? about making gazing balls...

Jude_KS(zone5-KS)February 16, 2002

When you make gazing balls using bowling balls and

gluing pennies, mosaic tiles or flat marbles on them

what do you sue for the grout???

Will appreciate any info you can share!

Thanks, Jude!

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Hi -- I haven't made one yet but have done quite alot of reading on the message boards about them. From what I've read, if you put your items very close together, they don't grout them. Many people use those glass blobs and don't grout. They paint the ball a background color first to go with their blobs. They use the silicone glue to attach the blobs.

When I make mine, I will grout it because I'm going to use tiles. And I will grout it with non-sandy grout which you can find at any home depot type store in lots of colors.

Also, do a search on "bowling balls" and you'll get tons of ideas and lessons. Have fun!

    Bookmark   February 16, 2002 at 1:01PM
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pplantlady(USDA 9)

Hi Jude,
I didn't paint my BB's at all.....just used window/door/weatherproof silicone to glue my glass gems on....they've been outside quite a while now and they're holding up just great....take a look,

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Junque

    Bookmark   February 18, 2002 at 1:14PM
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rosie_ga(GA 7)

No grout on the ones I did.....but I did have a base coat of fleckstone. Next one I will paint base of white. I think it will make the colors in the stones show up more. There is a new metallic paint (Krylon, I think) that produces a mirror coating. Might try that as a base coat. Figure it will look great with the sun shining on it. I also used silicone. Works great!

    Bookmark   March 2, 2002 at 11:40PM
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what on earth are gazing balls??? the name conjures up images of crystal balls that are supposed to be used by wizards for prophesying.
what are they for?

    Bookmark   March 18, 2002 at 7:17AM
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If you have any ideas about how to grout mosaic bowling balls and NOT have them crack - let me know. Thanks!

    Bookmark   June 24, 2002 at 6:17PM
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The smaller your grout space is the less cracking you will encounter. Use sanded grout, it is less likely to crack and holds up better outside. If your grout cracks, proceed on (dont let grout dry on tile) with clean up, and wait for grout to set, usually at least 24 hours and you can grout right over places that have cracked. Seal this sucker for sure. I added a link that will be helpfull.

Here is a link that might be useful: happy craft mosaic supplies

    Bookmark   June 25, 2002 at 11:36PM
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Hey Sunita, Gazing balls have traditionally had a mirror-like finish which reflects the garden around it. I do not like gazing in them much, and do not like the shiny finish. Some gazing balls nowadays are made of transparent blown glass, some with swirls or flecks of other colors, and some solid. Last year I had a solid pale pink one which looked like a giant bubble. Belinda, the Good Witch of the North, arrived in Oz in a giant pink bubble that looked like my gazing ball. I think that for reflecting the garden and the sky, a bit of water beats gazing balls. But, these creative ideas for mosaic covered balls are a whole nother animal.

    Bookmark   July 10, 2002 at 7:08PM
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Has anyone tried this gazing technique on a large beach ball? I think I may try that. What is your opinion. I am a newbee at this craft.craftylady_MA.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2002 at 11:15PM
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If anyone wants to know more about the bowling ball-gazing ball thing just go to the Garden Forum and go to Garden Junk.It is really habit forming making the differnt kinds of balls.


    Bookmark   July 22, 2002 at 1:11PM
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I have another question...where can I find instructions on making a huge wall clock...the same ones selling in store for 200 and more. they are flat round wall clocks usually made to look old. Some have pendulums.

    Bookmark   October 9, 2003 at 5:10PM
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crazy_crafter(South Ga)

craftylady: i ve never tried the gazing technique on a beach ball before, but i dont see why it wouldnt work. i ve been trying to find some bowling balls to use but havne had much luck yet. so i ve been using glass, and plastic light globes for my gazing balls. works just as well. i would think anything round would work as well and look as good as a bowling ball. try the beach ball and then post pics for us to see. cant wait to see what you come up with.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2005 at 10:43AM
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butterbeanbaby(z5 MO)

Sunita... there are two legends I know of about the purpose of gazing balls. One is that they will keep witches out of your garden as they do not like their reflection. The second, and more realistic, is that the Victorians placed them at strategic points in the garden so that their servants could see the master and whether or not he required anything without intruding on the party unless he was needed.


    Bookmark   May 30, 2005 at 7:24PM
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led_zep_rules(5 WI)

If you have a silly hubby, he will just put a bowling ball out undecorated and have all the neighbors wonder why we have a dull black (with green swirls) gazing globe. He says we have the only black gazing globe anyone has ever seen. :-)

But we had 2 or 3 gazing globes smash and he decided this was unbreakable. :-) Thought of spraypainting it, but never thought of gluing shiny stuff to it. Maybe someday.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2005 at 1:52AM
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Lillie1441(b3 TX)

Craftlady and CrazyCrafter-I don't think a beach ball would work for gluing things onto.For one,if you mosaic and grout it I am afraid it would crack and what if the air goes out of it?? I sure wouldn't spent that much time and energy on a beach ball to have it lose air and fall into a heap on the ground!LOL You need a solid round object,such as a bowling ball,even a softball,but it must be hard.
Marcia-You haven't lived until you have glued shiny objects onto a bowling ball! Try it,you will be hooked! LOL............Lillie

    Bookmark   June 3, 2005 at 9:37PM
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i wonder if you could use the beach ball for a mold? you could set it in sand or soft dirt or somthing, and cut a hole in it to fill up with concrete,when its done then do the gazing ball idea to it.
might haveto sprey some vegie spray or or somthing inside the beachball so the concreat wont stick,
never done it before,just an idea

    Bookmark   January 13, 2008 at 12:38PM
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when you cut the beach ball it will lose it's shape. Yes I am speaking from experience. Long story.. Just trust me..

    Bookmark   April 4, 2008 at 5:07AM
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concretenprimroses(4B NH)

The hypertufa forum has stuff about using a beachball as a mold (you cover the outside). Then you end up with a hollow concrete ball which is a lot lighter than a solid one clearly.
Check out that forum for examples and instructions. People do beautiful things. That is what I want to do next.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 1:43PM
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I'm just getting into the bowling ball craze, they are just beautiful, but what do you do with the hole in the bowling ball? Do you fill it with the caulking?

    Bookmark   June 7, 2010 at 5:18PM
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Seems like a beach ball covered in sticky fiber glass mesh then coated with cement might make a nice light weight gazing ball to glue those glass globs to. Maybe even use thinset to stick globs to the cement shell.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2010 at 5:40PM
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I just finished my all heads up penny covered bowling ball. I didn't like the black showing through so I grouted it and love it. I sealed it good and then put several coats of clear spray paint. I filled the holes up about half way with tissue and then finished with caulk. The next one I am going to leave the thumb hole open to put it on a pole. You can get old bowling balls at the good will, thrift stores for usually under $3.00. It is a very addictive hobby. I have done them with the glass marble disc's, they turn out gorgeous.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2014 at 5:16PM
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steiconi(12a-Big Island, HI)

Oh man, now I want to make one. I've never seen a bowling ball at a thrift store, either in California or Hawaii. Maybe it's more common East of here.

I'll have to think of something else to cover with glass nuggets...

    Bookmark   July 28, 2014 at 12:51AM
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