How to Make a Garden Gazing Ball


Do you have a bowler in the family? One of our family members seems to change out bowling balls as often as the seasons change in Buffalo.

Needless to say we have found an abundance of these sporting goods that need a home. Our resident upcycler Mike K figured that his garden would be just as good a place to re-purpose these items. First introduced in 13th century Venice by artisan glass blowers, gazing balls are now a common sight in yards and gardens as decoration. There are a number of ways to make your own gazing ball, and here's one!



  • 1 Bowling Ball
  • 1 Dust Mask  (to be used during sanding and painting)
  • 1 Can White Rustoleum Appliance Epoxy
  • 1 Tub Durham's Water Putty
  • 1 Can Rustoleum 2x gloss clear coat
  • 2 Tubes GE gutter Silicone
  • 3 - 3” Drywall Screws
  • 750 Marbles (Dependant on the size and shape of the marbles.)
  • 1 package 60 grit sandpaper
  • 1 Roll ¾ masking tape
  • 1 - 6” Lag screw with eye end

First, place a drywall screw into each of the finger holes to give some stability for the filler which we will apply to the holes. Secondly, pre-drill and add a 1” eye screw to the thumb-hole. This will be a good safety device so the ball will not injure anyone if it falls off the pedestal or rock formation you display it on.


Next, fill the holes with Durham's Water Putty and let it harden overnight. Sand the glossy finish off the ball, use a damp cloth or tack-cloth to wipe off excess dust.

Then, spray the entire ball with 2 coats of white appliance epoxy. This will provide good reflective qualities and help the colors on your marbles pop.

Begin working from the top by placing a bead of silicone and applying the individual marbles. We found that as you add a few rows you can tape them to the previous section to allow the silicone to set up. This process may take several days, but will ensure that you do not lose your marbles in the process.

Finally, we painted the entire project with 2 coats of gloss clear coat to seal and protect. Additionally, it gives a nice shine to the finished project.

As an optional embellishment you can add coins, washers, crystals from old costume jewelry - use your imagination and make the project your own!

Another route that you can take with this project is to tape off areas of the bowling ball surface (similar prep with filling, sanding, and priming). The design can be anything - like a lady bug or bumble bee. The sky's the limit on being able to dress your garden up this spring!

Thanks, Valu 23 Family