Do Not Make a Sphere on a Cheap Beachball

ltd123(6A southern Ind)August 9, 2005

Having enjoyed success with my first 2 spheres I assumed this was easy to do. I spent a buck at the Dollar Store and bought a Sesame Street beachball that was supposed to inflate to 24 inches. I finally got it to 17 and gave up. As I put mesh and Quickwall on it, I began to hear a tiny hiss. I found the leak and put the repair kit tape (included for that dollar!) over the hole. The hiss stopped. I continued. I finished a little more than half that sphere and returned to my wonderful $2.50 Walmart beachball which is making its 3rd sphere with no hissing. As I used the mesh and Quickwall on that ball, I glanced over at the cheap sphere. It looked a little lopsided but I decided it was just an illusion. A few minutes later it somehow shifted and leapt off its stand and rolled around on the filthy carport floor. The mesh started slipping and I decided to finish the thing immediately and hope for the best. It was like holding a gritty greased pig. By morning I may have a new shape to decorate. It certainly was losing all hope of being spherical by 8 pm.

The moral of this story is - it would probably be best to buy a ball thicker than a balloon to help you make a sphere.


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puddle_of_mud(NC - zone 7)

The same thing happened to me last year, my ball came from WALMART too! It was one of those big bouncy balls that comes already blown up. I suppose the pressure from the tufa made the ball leak. It made such a mess ... I just gave up on making a sphere. Good luck with yours though! I really like the one you did with the leaves!

    Bookmark   August 10, 2005 at 12:01AM
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gardeners_hands(8, coastal WA)

ha! thanks Laura, I laughed so hard, I could almost see you keep trying with that lumpy, gritty, misshapen ball. It almost had a life of it's own it seems, I wonder if by tomorrow you'll wish you'd set it free? Too funny, and I needed a laugh.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 1:01AM
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You know if you wanted it that way it wouldn't happen. Now you have a truely one of a kind "sphere". How about a pic? Maybe we can suggest a use for it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 1:14AM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

These upbeat remarks have made me look at the misshappen ball in a new light. Hopefully, some of you will have suggestions on how I can take advantage of the unique shape!!
The photos look better than the sphere really does.

Here is a link that might be useful: check out album titled

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 9:28AM
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jazzbone(7 AL)


WalMart here, as far as I can tell, only sells a thin, balloon type beach ball. The 16" ball that worked so well for you, did it come already inflated? Did you have to use a needle to deflate/reinflate it?

Your spheres look great... the "cheap ball sphere" will take a bit of work to salvage but I'm sure you can make something of it.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 9:42AM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

Jazzbone, The ball I got from Walmart was already inflated. They were displayed in a big "cage" made of pvc pipe and stretchy rope- full of probably 30 balls in many colors. They cost 2.50 each and you might easily describe them as a balloon type beach ball but they are thick compared to a blow-up flat beachball. I used a needle to deflate it and then to reinflate it for the second sphere. Today I am pumping it up for the 4th sphere. I think though that this is the same ball someone else said failed miserably for them so --- maybe getting the right ball is just the luck of the draw.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 10:16AM
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Laura- I say stain it brown and green or just brown and rub some moss mixture on it, put it in the shade and let it grow. Looks good even if it isn't perfectly round.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 2:36PM
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Buddyfly(4A/4B Ont)

Laura, what about cutting out that deflated section and use the 3/4 sphere as a planter? You could add a bit more quikwall to it to make it a bit thicker.

Or, what about sculpting an acorn? It already has the basic shape... or... lol! I can look at it again later and see what other ideas I get. DO NOT THROW IT OUT! It looks like it has a great deal of potential.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 6:32PM
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Belgianpup(Wa/Zone 7b)

Just lumpy it up a bit more, add some moss spores and use it to hide your spare house key.

Or, you can just keep it as it is. When you are rich and famous from your concrete work, you can look at it fondly to remind yourself how far you've come.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2005 at 6:51PM
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Laura, this is the first sphere I tried, it collapsed also, for some reason I spotted a smiley face and use it as a hose gaurd. But I didn't give up, I tried again and it worked out fairly good. I will probably try again this fall, got too many things in the works at this time.

Here is a link that might be useful: sphere

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 2:03AM
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ltd123(6A southern Ind)

What a great end for a collapsed sphere! I love your sense of humor.

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 9:12AM
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jazzbone(7 AL)

Hey LG, that smiley face makes me think of WalMart "falling prices"... now its WalMart "failing beachballs". Oh well, that's the challenge in this life, taking our failures and making something useful from them. You did good on that one.

Laura, I have had several failures with those balls from WalMart but they were all my fault. I have another one in the garage waiting on my next attempt. I have learned 1) don't puncture it because it will deflate like a balloon. 2) Don't use fiberglass resin on it because the heat of cure will melt the ball and therefore cause it to deflate.

My lesson number two above resulted it a much worse failure than your "acorn" (that's cool, Marly).

    Bookmark   August 12, 2005 at 9:12AM
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DianaT(z8 SC)

I would turn that into a really huge eyeball with the sunken part as the cornea. Then I'd place it where it'd be peeking out from under a flowering shrub.

Here's lookin' at you, lol!


    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 12:42AM
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I like that idea, Diana!!!

    Bookmark   August 15, 2005 at 4:19PM
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wannadanc(z8 WA)

My WalMart $2.50 beach ball was purchased for the neighbor's border collie - and it lasted there all of 10 minutes as the dog herded the ball the way that only a border collie can. I took the deflated ball home w/ me and made a larger opening - and then filled it w/ hypertufa!!! Hollowed out a spot in the top - put colored rocks in there ...that was the place that couldn't "round up" anyway due to the tear in it - where I stuffed the tufa ......painted it terra cotta color and put it with a few wild west items .............two years later, it is still quite remarkable - but it was a one time use of ball - other than the dog play!!!


    Bookmark   August 22, 2005 at 2:15AM
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