Saturday, May 16, 2009

Homemade Gazing Balls for Your Garden

The Frog Princess and I just completed
our favorite craft of the year this week.
We made yard gazing balls
that we found the directions for
in the May 2009 issue of
Family Fun Magazine
(they have the best craft projects!)

What more could an artsy mama hope for?!

Frog Princess painting our
3/8" dowel rods
with metallic acrylic craft paint.
We used red, teal, blue, and purple.

While the sticks dried in the sun,
it was time to paint the balls.

We modified the magazine directions a bit.Instead of painting the inside of the plastic keepsake balls
(we found ours at Michaels craft store)

We did a poured paint technique of
drizzling craft paint and tipping the ball to make
it swirl and marbleize.

It looked nicer and the paint brushes
made it too streaky.

Drizzling paint...

Swirled paint...
So pretty!!
It was fun because you never knew
what you were going to get.

Drying in the sun.

Note: that they are bowl side up....
We dried them the other way
and the condensation from the water in the paint
and the heat of the sun washed off half our paint
We had to start over.

Our gazing balls wired up and
ready to go in the garden.

Note: We substituted our own 16 guage copper wire
for their suggested 6-8 gauge copper wire
(too hard to bend and expensive!!)

So here you have them...

Love them!!
They "go" beautifully with my
vintage bowling balls I have scattered
in the flower beds.

We may have to make more to give as gifts!


teachmama said...

so pretty! thanks for the modifications to the project--I saw it in the magazine, too--but the changes help!!

love, love it!!

sunnymama said...

What a great idea! They look so good and must be so pretty in the sunshine.

Mom, M.Ed. (Jessica) said...

Gorgeous! I'll have to make some of these w/ Benjamin--we have a glass Witch Ball and a shiny green gazing ball...but he'd love to make something of his own!

Miko's Girl said...

I'm glad you tested this for me - I saw it in the magazine and wanted to give it a spin as well. I like your marbeling technique.

Native American Momma said...

Oh my those are beautiful. This is a craft even I could do!

Meatless Monday Party has started sign up at my blog.

Not Hannah said...

These are just beautiful! Can't wait to try this.

Infarrantly Creative said...

Oh you guys did so great. I love them. And yes, any mother who does not get Family Fun every month is insane! I want to see your table lamps like mine...take a picture for me...would ya?

Ashlee said...

Oh my goodness, these turned out so pretty! My daughter would love these. Will have to try this out.

Lisa said...

Love this and what a cute little artist you have!
Lisa :)

jlbee said...

this is something i am dying to do after our move... if we have any sort of garden or yard. i adore these!!!

Mama Mel said...

I just want to say congrats on getting your blog featured in the September issue of Family Fun! :) I was flipping through it yesterday, when I noticed your blog url... I said, "Oh my gosh! I follow that blog!". I felt like I knew a celebrity! Very cool! :)

DebRyan1 said...

Hello, My mother in law seen these gazing balls in the family fun mag. And we decided to try them. We searched high and lo for the balls everyone acted like we were crazy! We did find them. Well Im just impatient so I decided to do one that night with my oldest son. we drizzled the paint and WOW it was awesome BUT that was the inside, the same affect was not on the outside of the ball where u see it, it was more like blotches. Can u help me and tell me wat I did wrong? THANKS SO MUCH

Pink & Green Mama said...

I don't think the outside ever looks as pretty as the inside. It's important that you go slowly and add one or two colors at a time then slowly tip the ball and let the colors run. Mine dried with some splotchy holes so I had to go back and add a second coat to fill in the gaps. If it looked like big blobs on the outside you may have poured too much of one color in too fast -- it stuck to the plastic walls then as you added other colors they marbeled and swirled and looked pretty on the INSIDE....that's my guess without actually being there or seeing it. I hope this helps. Slowly Slowly wins the race and remember what I always say to my students "There Are NO Mistakes In Art -- only opportunities for new ideas!" Fondly, MaryLea (pink and green mama)

Montessori Mama said...

Dear MaryLea,
Thanks for this and ALL your beautiful posts! I love your blog.
Montessori Mama

Anonymous said...

I'm having trouble with the wiring. Is there any way to keep the wire from being too loose while you're winding it around? Right now I tried hot glueing the ball to the rod first (it's trying as we speak).

Pink & Green Mama said...

Regarding the wire....

I think I threaded it through the small hole on the plastic ornament then wrapped one end around the stick, and continued to criss-cross and wrap the wire around the ball and stick. It was just a balancing act, I may have used some needle nose pliers to tighten it up!! Good luck : )

pink and green mama

Madeline said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Carrieann said...

We are making these as a group project with our family circle tomorrow. I did a test subject today and it came out beautifully! My 7-year-old is super excited to get her hands on the paint tomorrow. :) Thanks so much for the post. All of your ideas are beautiful!
Peace and Brightest Blessings!

Anonymous said...

Spring is finally here in Western NY State! BUT, a cold front is going to come through late friday and it's going to be chilly and rainy on Saturday which is when we are celebrating my daughter's 9th birthday. Perfect rainy day project that i know she will love!

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

I'm sure they'll be great!

D said...

Love this idea but what is the craft paint that was used for the inside of the balls???

pink and green mama MaryLea said...

Great question D, we used acrylic craft paint in little bottles from the craft store. You can see it in the photographs. Happy creating!

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