We can them garden balls, gazing balls, garden orbs, and globes, and they make great garden art for any yard. Browse these ideas from home gardens to find the perfect design for your outdoor space.
There is a free DIY how-to tutorial for making your own decorative garden balls here. It includes recommended materials including the best adhesive for projects like this.
Garden Globe Idea Gallery
If you want to add a garden art ball, gazing balls, or other decorative orb to your gardens, I’ve got lots of ideas for you.
There are countless ways to create garden balls using any weather-resistant materials you can find. I look at yard sales and thrift shops for old bowling balls and strong, glass lamp globes for the basic shape.
Next with paint or decorations, you can create a one-of-a-kind creation.
The tutorial on How To Make Garden Balls has more detailed tips and information.
Now, lets’ look at some ideas.
Glass Gem Garden Balls
These garden balls were created by my friend Karen Weigert Enos. Her sense of color and design is so lovely! I also appreciate the care she puts into her creations—it really makes a difference for the end result.
Visit Karen’s Etsy Shop: Seraphinas Artworks
Items include garden art balls, barrettes with recycled jewelry pieces, dish gardens, drawing pixies, elves, and aliens, painting, mosaics.
Photos by Karen Weigert Enos and Tina Marie Enos
Blues & Purples
Pink & Purples
Want to Buy One?
Visit Karen’s Etsy Shop
A design like this one takes carefully planning and measuring to be sure the main marbles fit perfectly.
Green & Purple
This purple and green ball is an example of one of the more detailed, time-consuming garden art balls. Notice how Karen has carefully placed mini-bits and fillers in all of the sections. It’s not a quick project but the final product is well worth it.
Black & Red
Black & White
These next garden balls were photographed at various home gardens.
Traditional Gazing Ball
Easy Alternate Idea: Spray paint a lamp globe.
Gazing balls have been used as a focal point in garden for many years. When I first started gardening, I wanted one for my garden. And then I saw how much they cost. And that’s where I got resourceful.
This is my first garden ball (above). I made it years ago and at the time I felt like I was inventing the wheel (the internet was still a wee baby). Today, of course, it’s commonplace.
I took a ceiling light fixture, with a glass sphere and metal post, and spray painted it silver. The first question people always ask is, Won’t it break? And, after over ten years outside, year-round, I can say no. I actually gave it away when we moved and now it lives on in a new garden.
Inexpensive material ideas: use old lamp globes, fish bowls, round vases, or bowling balls as the base and decorate with flat marbles. No need to grout them – the material used as adhesive (GE II Silicone Sealant) fills in the gaps between the flat marbles (glass gems).
The garden balls in the photo (above) are sitting on solar lamp stands.
Idea: Use various colors of flat-marbles (glass gems) to form designs on the garden ball.
Another option is to use various colors of glass gems to form patterns or designs.
This one (below) uses green and clear gems.
Clear Glass Ball
Idea: Use a clear lamp globe and display it as-is in the garden, add simple designs with paint, or place objects inside—dry flowers, stones, leaves, twigs—anything goes.
You can buy commercial garden art balls like this one, with a clear, glass globe, and (perhaps) a simple design painted onto the glass, or you can make your own.
Again, find a clear, glass lamp globe, and add whatever design you like with glass paints or a stencil and spray paint.
Painted Garden Ball
Idea: Apply paint to the inside of a clear ball to create unique designs.
In addition to painting the exterior of the clear garden ball, consider applying paint to the inside. Pick a single colour or several, squirt them inside, and move the ball around to distribute the colours.
If you don’t like how it turns out, you can always apply decoration (paint, glass gems, or decoupage) to the exterior.
Mosaic Garden Ball
Idea: Cover a garden art ball in flat marbles (glass gems) and grout it.
You can add mosaic design to garden balls. Whatever you use for the decoration (glass gems, mosaic tiles) will just need to be small enough and have a flat surface so you can adhere them to the ball.
Grout can be tinted to any colour you like. Fill it in between the mosaic gems or tiles to give a unique look.
There are lots of excellent books on how to do mosaic art including The Encyclopedia of Mosaic Techniques.
If you do want a mosaic look, beware that grout cannot stick to most adhesives, so the spaces in between the glass gems need to be adhesive-free.
This mosaic garden art ball is by Carrie, a friend of Empress of Dirt on Facebook.
And, of course, you can mosaic just about anything like this wonderful watering can.
Decoupage Garden Balls
Idea: Decoupage a garden sphere with cut-outs and Outdoor Mod Podge.
This ball (left) is by Empress of Dirt Facebook friend Pam. The sunflower ball is by Three Green Art.
Cork Garden Ball
Idea: Save those bottle corks and make a cork garden art ball.
This garden art ball was created by Louise who is an Empress of Dirt Facebook friend.
In addition to corks, you can use anything that a) you can adhere to the sphere and, b) can withstand the weather. Possibilities include small toys, coins, game pieces, beads, bottle caps, lids, tabs —see what you have at home and get out the adhesive.
Idea: use different colors of glass gems to form designs
Empress of Dirt Facebook friend Dawn Rutledge made this beautiful garden art ball, creating a daisy design with different colours of glass gems or flat-bottom marbles.
To get started, see these free instructions for making decorative garden art balls.
~Melissa the Empress of Dirt ♛
25 Garden Art Projects & Ideas
by Melissa J. Will
Grab the top garden art DIY projects and tips from Empress of Dirt
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