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Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Re-Purposed Garden Decor...Gazing Ball & Stand

The weather here in Southern Texas has been amazing lately. The wind seems to finally be dying down to a gentle breeze and the humidity is yet to return so being outside is a must!
(I am writing this from my back patio now-it's perfect!)

I love being outside, working in the yard and gardens, getting good and dirty, and feeling SO accomplished when the plants start to show off their goods.
This house has such fantastic garden potential. The previous owners must have been avid gardeners as well as there are raised beds lining almost all the fence edges. 

A veggie lovers heaven.
I've gotten most of my babies in the ground by now,  put in the last of the seeds this past weekend. Hooray for fresh veggies! (in a few months)
The flower beds were bit of a different story...very over grown and very oddly planted...
...fast forward to I've completely replanted, pruned, shaped, mulched, and hauled rocks around to get these girls into shape.

 So much better, but they needed a little pizazz while the plants are filling in.  
I wanted a gazing ball or two, didn't however want to pay for them.
So I came up with my own little version here...

I used a round fish bowl,
alcohol ink to get the color,
Krylon metallic spray paint to fill in the gaps,
E-6000 glue to attach the bowl to the base,
and a few pieces of wood for the base:
a 4x4 block, mine is about 18" tall
a pine 1x6 cut to two 5.5 x 5.5 squares
and a 2 x 8 cut to two 7.5 x 7.5 squares
I nailed the wood together, centering the blocks onto each other to create the stand, didn't paint or stain it because I want it to age by the sun.
To finish the bowl I followed the directions on the ink label adding the ink to the inside of the bowl, let it dry completely and then applied a second coat.

 Once that coat was dry I sprayed the inside with the metallic spray paint to fill in any gaps I might have missed with the second coat of ink and to make the ball not see through.
 Then I glued it to the wood base and she was good to go! 
Because I had all this stuff lying around my house (seriously Wendy!) this was a totally free project for me! Just more $ to spend on plants...oh happy day!
Just a few after thoughts:
I used the fishbowls because I had them. If I were starting this from scratch I would have bought round glass jars/vases that don't have that little lip. You can find them at Micheal's and Hobby Lobby and even at full price ($5-ish) they are cheaper than a fish bowl. The fish bowl glass is however thicker.
Alcohol ink is awesome! But it smells like a science project gone wrong so don't stick your nose in the bowl! It comes in a ton of different colors and while one pack of 3 is around $10 without a coupon, I had 1/2 a bottle of red and green leftover when I was finished. (Plus the brown I didn't use.)
Enough to do another set or share with a friend.
Check out your local construction sites for free wood scraps-if the workers are around they might even make a quick cut for you. If you have to buy wood, check the scrap bins first! They are SO cheap and you won't end up with a ton of extra wood yourself. Otherwise, go in on this one with a friend you can each make 2 bases from 1 six foot 4x4.
Happy Crafting! 
Linking this project to the Summertime Ideas Challenge at:
 Visit thecsiproject.com


Valerie said...

My mom made her own gazing ball once...with a large rubber ball covered in aluminum foil (I know!) These are so much nicer!!! :) Great job!

Lolly Jane said...

That garden is beautiful! Love it!

PS: Just sent you an invite to Pinterest :)

SJ @ Homemaker On A Dime said...

Wendy, I so heart your backyard :) Linking up this awesome post with us made the Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop better and more special. Thank you!

Chrissy said...

Wow Wendy, what a great idea. I am definitely going to have to find some alcohol ink ?? and give this a try. Your gardens look great, hopefully it will stop raining here in PA soon.
Thanks for sharing

Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

those look beautiful and add a nice touch to the garden!

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