Updated: Jun 24, 2020
Miycreations Project article and photographs
by Madeleine M Langlois, MaddyLane Designs
Mosaic Garden Gazing Ball ~ made with recycled plastic balls
For this garden decor creation, I recycled and use an old plastic toy bowling ball that my
young son was no longer using, plus it was dented, so instead of throwing it out I
transformed it into a garden marvelous mosaic decoration.
Hands-on time: Half a day
Total time: Needs 48 hours to cure
Skill: Easy skill, patience is required
Materials & tools: - Protective eye wear and gloves - Tiles of your choice and colours and (broken in small pieces). I recycled tiles form a bathroom renovation and smashed them with a hammer - An old heavy towel - Hammer - Tile cutter or nipper (optional) - Plastic ball ( an ideal way to recycle old toy plastic balls) approximately 6 inches (15cm) in diameter - Jar lid from a peanut-butter container (to use as a stand) - Tile adhesive, and or Poly tile grout by LePage available at hardware stores - Colored crystal accent pieces, available at Dollar stores - Glass beads, available at craft stores, dollar stores, florists and at pet shops - Mapei (fast-curing polymer tile grout) available in assorted colours at hardware stores - Old bowl or disposable container - Spatula or spoon - Ziplock bag and scissors - Flat rectangle sponge, or a sponge sanding block - An old toothbrush - Damp cloth, clean rags or paper towels Enchant your garden with mystic, give it spirit with a hand-crafted mosaic gazing ball. First you need to plan the design, colors and theme for your project. I made five flowers around the ball, using pink crystal petals, green crystal leaves, yellow glass beads for the center of the flowers, and electric-blue mosaic tile pieces placed around the floral design. I used leftover tiles from a previous bathroom renovation.
Make sure that you are wearing protective eye wear and gloves. Take two to four tiles
at a time, wrap them inside a heavy towel, put them on a hard surface, and smash them
two or three times with the hammer. Open the towel to see if you have enough small
pieces; repeat if needed. You can also use a tile cutter or nipper to prepare smaller
Place the plastic ball on the jar lid, to serve as a stand for the next few steps. With the
adhesive, put the crystal pieces and glass beads into place while rotating the ball. Once
all the pieces are applied, repeat the same procedure for the mosaic pieces around the
design until the ball is covered, working on one section at a time. Leave a minimum of
one-16th of an inch (1.5mm) spaces between pieces for the grout. Let stand over night
for the mosaic pieces to be secured in place.
With a spoon or spatula, mix the grout according to manufactures directions in a disposable container or an old bowl. Let the mixture stand for about 15 to 20 minutes (it needs to become a little thicker in consistency than recommended on the directions, since it is use on a round surface).
Put the mixture into a Ziploc bag, and cut a small diagonal hole in one corner. Using the bag like a cake-icer, squeeze out the mixture to fill in all of the gaps around all of the mosaic pieces while rotating the ball. (an extra set of hands to help you here is a good idea). This is where the project gets messy before it gets better.
Remove excess grout. Keep rinsing the sponge throughout this step. Let the ball stand
for 30 to 40 minutes, and wipe again (you might have to repeat a few times). Use a
toothbrush to remove excess grout in the grooves.
Let the ball dry and cure for 48 hours until it has completely hardened. Use a damp
cloth for the final polishing. Place the gazing ball on a stand in your garden - preferably
a sunny spot - and watch it sparkle.
Tips:Tips: Try different decorating ideas, like displaying the balls in baskets, or on
front steps, or placing one in a bird bath. Pebbles and even costume jewelry can be
part of your mosaic design. Bring the outdoors in for the winter, to add dazzle your
entrance hall or fireplace mantle.
View more MIy projects at www.maddylane.com
Copyright maddylane designs 2020
photos, text by maddylane designs
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