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I am soooooo excited about this project. I have a pretty little yard with raised flower gardens, so there are a lot of places where I could tuck in some bling to my posies. I like a bit of garden decor and I have always loved gazing balls, but you know me… I gotta do me some DIY. DIY makes me happy 🙂 Plus, they are pretty pricey to buy, so let’s make our own.
There are a few ways to pull this off. I have heard that some people use bowling balls, or even sports balls. But I’m going with a nice light globe. You know, those old school glass light covers that go over a lightbulb? I bought these at the Re-Store for $3 each.I found these yellow iridescent globes, which is EXACTLY what I was looking for – BAM! Then I found these other glass light fixtures.which I assume are for pendant lights.
But I was playing around with the two of them in the store and when I put one inside the other, THEY ARE FABULOUS!!!!! This looks so Art Deco!!!!!! I love Art Deco. I spend a lot of time trying to make things work together in the store 🙂
The size of the globes is approx. 6″ diameter with a 3″ opening. I want to ensure that you can replicate this look, so here are some 6″ globes that you can use.
Ok Let’s get to the PROJECT 🙂 🙂 🙂
Here is what the two glass light covers look like, sitting in the garden before any alterations or embellishments. They are already pretty fabulous garden decorations. But I don’t really want a purple and gold gazing ball, so let’s amp this shite up!! and make it
My end plan is to glue iridescent stones to the globe, but I wanted to make sure that your couldn’t see glass in between the stones. So, I decided to paint the globe. And I remembered this mirror spray I had seen while ago, and decided to try this out. I had never used this before, and now I am a convert. This is some pretty amazing paint. After I had used it, I found this video that did a side by side comparison or Krylon vs. Rust-Oleum paints. I was not going for a full mirror finish, so no disappointment here. It just needed to work as a backing behind the stones. I really love this paint. I only used the Krylon. And I will definitely be using it again. This is really cool stuff.
The first step is to clean your glass, mine especially since it was from the re-store. I took it outside to paint, since it was a nice day. First I painted the flared glass.That is some super cool paint!!! You could do a lot of amazing stuff with this paint!
The more I used this paint the more I got the hang of it. The secret is to use SMALL BURSTS 🙂 Also keep your paint can 8-10″ away from what you are painting. This paint dries SO FAST. You can pretty much blow on it and watch it turn from foggy to reflective. So just do small quick bursts and let dry. The can advises 5 coats, done at 1 minute intervals. Then I painted the globe. This paint dries soooooo fast, it’s crazy!
This paint is only for indoor use, so after I was happy with the mirror finish, I coated the pieces with a clear lacquer spray paint (for outdoors) to seal it, because it is going to be outside. One everything was painted up and nicely dried. I used the caulking to attach the 2 pieces together.
Here is where you get to have some fun, and let your creative side take hold. You need to decide what type of finish to apply. I have three of these same sized light globes, so I am going to do a few different options. For the first one I’m using iridescent stones from the dollar store. And because our backing is already reflective, these will look super cool!!
Dollar Store Crisis
So, when I started this project, I bought these pretty blue stones at the Dollar Store, and then I worked on a couple of other projects, that I am multi-tasking. And then I got to the point where I was ready to apply the stones, and… I ran out of stones.
And then I had to go to THREE different stores before I found enough to finish my project. So, the moral of the story is… buy enough decor, for your WHOLE project. Luckily, I have now gone to the trouble to do the math for you, and you will need approx. 5 bags of stones or 2.5 lbs, probably less if you aren’t high grading through for the iridescent ones, to cover a 6″ globe. You can order these ones if you are looking for a similar blue plus there are a lot of really great colours if you don’t want to use blue, so many choices 🙂
Before we start a few tips and tricks about using the caulking gun and adhesive, for those of you who may never have used one before. If you are a caulking master, just skip to the next section 🙂
You want to use an outdoor caulking/sealant that will withstand the weather and make sure that you get clear and not opaque. I used this one. Don’t cut the tip off too low, or you will have a very large bead of caulking coming out. Cut it high, and you can always cut lower if you feel it is not letting enough caulk out. You will need to puncture the seal with something long and sharp.
If you don’t own a caulking gun, buy a good one, pay a little more. Go to the hardware store, and try them out. Don’t pick the cheapest one there. The first caulking gun I bought, I bought the cheapest one they made, and I just grabbed one off the front of the rack. And it was a piece of CRAP!!! It was not properly lined up, and it would push the plunger to one side. It was tough to use, and frustrated me every time I used it. So, go to the store, and test them out. Squeeze the trigger and make sure that they work well. Also, check the release, to make sure it works properly. Make sure that the plunger is centered – important!
When you stop applying, release the pressure on the gun, so the adhesive doesn’t keep squishing out. Find a good sized nail or screw to push into the opening, to keep it from drying out between uses. I also cover it with cellophane wrap when I am done for the day, and tied it off with an elastic band. If you get this on your hands it just rubs off like rubber cement.
Make sure you have a good supply of stones on hand, as you will want to fit these as tight as possible, so that you don’t have big gaps. I started around the neck area. Don’t put glue on the whole fixture, just glue one row at a time. Or it will dry and you will end up with a lumpy mess. Apply a wavy line of caulk around the area where you’re working, and then apply the stones, one row at a time.
You probably won’t be able to complete this in one sitting. I did 2-4 rows at a time, and then went away and allowed it to dry, usually overnight. It is very difficult to get all of the stones to line up, so that they fall into the grooves of the stones from the previous row, so there will be some gaps. It will even out. You won’t really notice any small imperfections when it’s done It’s pretty heavy when it’s complete. Well, the are glass STONES after all. Ok, onto the next one.
If this were a cooking show I would be making:
Gazing Balls – Three Ways
For my second course…
I call this one blue daisies. I was playing around with the glass stones in different colours, and then I decided that it would be fun to use rhinestones, for a little extra bling. Can’t have too much bling 🙂 These are stick-on so it makes it a bit easier to work with them, since you don’t have to glue them down. I did the same finish as with the last one, using looking glass spray and then clear coat.
I started by placing my first coloured stone right on the very top of the globe. You will need to balance the globe in a vase. I bought one at the dollar store that worked perfectly. From there I just surrounded the stone with a circle of rhinestones, I didn’t glue these on, just stuck them on since they have an adhesive backing.
After the first daisy, I placed another blue stone and then again surrounded it with rhinestones. 1 blue stone, surrounded by 6 rhinestones. Keep working your way down from the top working around in circles. You can keep doing this for the first couple of rows, and then once the globe gets wider, it won’t line up properly anymore, so I added in some of the smaller rhinestones where I couldn’t fit in a full-sized one. You may need to adjust as you go. So long as all of the coloured stones are surrounded by rhinestones, it will look fine. Remember that this isn’t for up close viewing, it’s going to be sitting in your garden looking pretty. So don’t stress out if there are some imperfections. Also, remember it’s garden decor from junk, so you can always make a mistake, and try again 🙂
A couple of tips:
- It’s easier to stick a bunch of the rhinestones onto your hand and then just pick them off as you go. It looks a bit creepy, but easier than peeling them individually off of the plastic sheets as you go.
- Squeeze a small pile of glue on something you can throw out, and just “dip” the back side of the rocks in the glue before sticking them onto the globe. It’s easier than squeezing it directly on to the stones from the tube.
Work all the way down until you are near the bottom of the globe. Before finishing it off, attach the base if you haven’t done so already. And then complete the last couple of rows
Large Gazing Ball
I bought 3 each of the smaller sized globes and pendant lights. But I wanted to have a few different sized gazing balls, so I also bought this much larger version, which is about 10″ in diameter. I decided to just leave this one in mirror finish, using the looking glass paint.
I learned a lesson, while doing this larger globe, which I want to share with you. When using the looking glass paint, on a large spherical surface like this, Make sure that you do very short light bursts of paint. Best to try and avoid them. but if you do get drips or streaks, don’t worry too much. Just keep adding additional coats until the finish reaches the desired finish. Easier to avoid the drips by painting in small bursts. Also it helps to blow on it, or do this in the sunshine and it dries in about 20 seconds.
The clear coat finish does dull the mirror finish a bit so after I painted this one, with just the mirror paint. I left it outside for about 2 weeks, to see how the paint would hold up in the rain and sun. It doesn’t wash off but it does start to get a bit splotchy. I gave it another coat of paint. I’m further experimenting with some other finishes, I will update these once they are tested.
So here are a couple of suggestions around bases for the globes. Because I’m not sure if you will be able to find the style of pendant light covers that I have used here. So, I want to provide you with a couple of alternatives, just in case.
The dollar store has a decent selection of vases and jars, and they are super cheap. Here is what this one looks like on a storage jar. These will run you about $2 .
If you don’t have any luck finding something to hold up your gazing ball as a last resort you could use a recycled can. Just pick the right size for your globe. You can spray paint the can to whatever colour you need, or just clear coat it, so it doesn’t rust and the best part is that if it does rust, you can just replace it with a new can 🙂
I’m working on one more style of Gazing ball garden decoration, but it still in progress. I will add it to the post once it’s completed.
Although I love the shape of these, they are a little bit short for my raised garden beds. I actually prefer them in a holder (aka dollar store vase :)) I still love the look of the flared bases, but I like them better sitting inside the vase. So if you are not finding the right stand, Just go to the dollar store and pick the right sized vase.