Gazing Ball

The Mystique of the Gazing Ball, or, Why I Shouldn’t Drop my Bowling Ball on a Mean Girl’s Head

Have you ever just wanted to drop a bowling ball on someone’s head?
I know how terrible that sounds, and, of course, I’d never do it. But in full disclosure, the thought has crossed my mind lately. You know the term “Mean Girls?” Well, they aren’t just in junior high school. That’s all I’m going to say about that.

Okay — so on to crafting.

Although we rarely go anymore, I actually enjoy bowling.
Growing up, it was the only sport I where I didn’t have to wait to be the last person selected for a team. It’s the only sport where I didn’t have to get hit in the head with a ball or a bat. It’s the only sport where I didn’t have to run from one end of a field or court to another. Okay, so my memories of Phys. Ed. class aren’t the best, although I loved square-dancing in elementary school (Yep, that was part of PE back in the days of yore).
Bowling is the only sport I ever excelled at. So much so that while attending FSU, I took Bowling (and Women’s Glee Club) as a class for three semesters so I could keep my GPA up, because Geology and Chemistry really messed it up. Smart, huh?
Bowling is also the only sport that I can beat my husband at. Fun! And it really unnerves him.

Anyway, instead of dropping my bowling ball on a mean woman’s head, I found something more creative to do with all that pent-up frustration. At our November 2015 Crafting Sistas night, we started a project that I hadn’t finished and had almost forgotten about. We were to up-cycle old bowling balls and make Gazing Balls.

In the end, this is a beautiful addition of art to my garden, but it takes time and patience.

old bowling ball, Liquid Nails, glass beads, Pre-mixed Adhesive & Grout, Sealant, sponge and water, and pedestal
This project was not cheap. The total cost was around $45 for the beads, grout and sealant. The bowling ball came from a thrift store for next-to-nothing. Total time to make it was about 4-hours spread out over a week.
Using just a small dab of Liquid Nails applied to the flat side of the glass bead, begin applying the glass beads to the bowling ball .

You can only do one small section of the ball each day, then you let it dry overnight before starting on another section. This took me a total of five nights, but only about 20-minutes each night. Do this until the entire bowling ball is covered in glass beads.

Note: I saw a project similar to this one on the HGTV site, but they only glued the beads on and then set the ball in a garden. I have gone a little further by grouting my Gazing Ball and placing it on a pedestal.

When the whole bowling ball is covered in glass beads and the glue is dry, apply the Pre-Mixed Adhesive & Grout following the instructions on the container.

I simply put on a pair of surgical gloves and began smooshing it into the spaces between each bead, all the way around the entire ball. This took me about a half hour.

I let it sit for about 10-minutes, then I took a wet sponge (not soaking — wring it out) and began wiping the grout from the tops of the beads.

This took a little more time, because you have to keep going over it with a clean wet sponge until all the beads are clean.

Let it dry overnight, then apply grout sealant. When that’s dry, clean the beads, again, with a window cleaner so they shine in the light.

Voila! You have a beautiful new Gazing Ball!

Here’s mine in my front garden.

And here’s a little history/trivia about the Gazing Ball:

One Comment Add yours

  1. Dj says:

    Beautiful! Sorry I missed that crafting nite, but maybe……


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s