Brighten up your garden or lawn with a homemade mosaic gazing ball. These decorative balls are covered with glass tiles to reflect natural light and add color to your outdoor areas. You can purchase mosaic gazing balls from garden stores or home improvement stores, but creating your own allows you to choose the tile colors and patterns to match your home. Purchase a stand to display your creation or nestle the ball into a flower bed or under low-hanging foliage for a subtle burst of color.
Things You'll Need
- Plastic or polystyrene foam ball
- 220-grit sandpaper
- Felt-tip marker
- Colored glass
- Glass-cutting tool
- Safety glasses
- Glass nippers
- Waterproof silicone adhesive
- Wax paper
- Ready-to-use grout
- Plastic freezer bag
- Rubber gloves
- Damp sponge
- Wet rag
- Grout sealer
Purchase a plastic or Styrofoam ball slightly smaller than your desired gazing ball size. Decorating the ball will add approximately 1/4 inch to the diameter of the ball.
Rub the surface of the plastic ball with 220-grit sandpaper to roughen the smooth surface of the ball. This step is not necessary if you are using a foam ball.
Draw a design onto the ball with a felt-tip marker or piece of chalk, unless you are using a free-form pattern.
Break sheets of colored glass or glass tiles into small pieces. Score the glass by running a glass-cutting tool or utility knife along a straight-edge on top of the glass. Break the glass along the scored line with gloved hands or use glass nippers to break off small pieces of glass.
Apply waterproof silicone adhesive to the back of a piece of glass and press it onto the ball. Continue to cover the ball with pieces of glass or tile, leaving a 1/8-inch gap between each piece.
Place the ball on a piece of wax paper and let the adhesive dry overnight. Newspaper may stick to any excess adhesive and become difficult to remove, but the wax paper will peel off easily.
Scoop premixed or ready-to-use grout into a plastic freezer bag. Seal the bag tightly and snip one corner of the bag with scissors to create a small opening approximately 1/8 inch in diameter.
Squeeze the bag to force the grout through the hole and fill in the spaces between the pieces of glass on your mosaic. Smooth the grout down with your rubber-gloved fingers to completely fill these gaps.
Allow the grout to dry for 20 to 30 minutes. Don't worry if some of the grout is on the glass during this time.
Wipe the face of each piece of glass with a slightly damp sponge to gently remove the grout. Avoid removing the grout from the lines between the glass.
Wait at least one hour for the grout to dry. Different brands of grout have different drying times, so read the label to determine how long the grout needs to dry completely.
Scrub the mosaic gazing ball with a wet rag to remove any haze left behind from the grout. Use a no-scratch scrubbing pad to make the glass shine, if necessary.
Brush grout sealer onto the grout lines of your mosaic gazing ball after the grout has set for at least four days. This will help prevent the grout from becoming stained or discolored.
Tips & Warnings
- Wear thick gloves and safety glasses while cutting glass to prevent injuries.
- Tiling: Step-by-Step; Better Homes and Gardens
- Photo Credit glass ball 2 image by Roxy from Fotolia.com
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