DIY Concrete Garden Globes

diy concrete garden globes

We all love those garden ornaments, but they can be pretty expensive anywhere you look. Here at TGG we decided to make our own DIY concrete garden globes, and it turned out to be a fun and pretty rewarding project that cost less than $15 for three balls. We also tried out a couple different recipes, including a hypertufa… we’ve included a shot of our sample balls and the recipes below! For our final globes, we used recipe 2, a good compromise between a little organic without being too rustic. Here’s what you need:

Supplies:

  • Old glass lamp globes (we also tried a playground ball, it worked, but didn’t keep a perfect round shape!) These are thrift store finds!
  • Portland cement
  • Peat Moss
  • Water
  • Mixing container (We used a Rubbermaid storage container)
  • Stir stick (we say that, but we pretty much just used our hands…)
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cooking spray
  • File
  • Wire Brush
  • Hammer
  • Eye protection

Optional recipes: Perlite and potting soil (Perlite is found in the indoor plant supply area of your home improvement store)

 Recipe 1- Hypertufa

2 parts cement

3 parts peat moss

3 parts perlite

Water

 

Recipe 2- (This is what we used!)

1 part cement

1 part peat moss

Water

 

Recipe 3-

1 part cement

1 part potting soil

Water

 

Recipe 4-

Pure Portland cement

Water

 

concrete garden globes

concrete garden globes

 

Mix your chosen recipe in your container, spray the inside of the globes with cooking spray, then fill your globes…yes, it is messy! You want your recipe to be the consistency of thick cake batter.  Add water if it thickens too much, and use your gloved hands to break up any peat moss chunks.  The idea is to have it of a consistency that’s easy to pour into the mold, but not so wet that it takes forever to dry and cure. Don’t fill the neck of the globe, you want them to end up as round as possible. Set inside a plastic bag  and set upright in a cool place (we used old towels to stabilize them). Let cure for 2-3 days.

concrete garden globes

 

After the globes have cured for a couple days, you are going to break the glass with the side of a hammer. We left the globes inside the bag while we did this to prevent flying glass shards. WEAR goggles or glasses protection! And use gloves.

concrete garden globes

 

After all the glass has been removed, use a file to take off any blemishes or protrusions, then rough up the whole surface with a wire brush. Some recipes come out really smooth and even polished looking…if you like that look, feel free to skip the wire brush.

concrete garden globes

 

Here is a shot of our four recipe balls. In order, from left to right… Hypertufa recipe 1, Recipe 2, Recipe 3, Recipe 4 or the pure Portland cement and water.

concrete garden globes

 

Our finished DIY concrete garden globes! Think of all the places you could tuck these in for a great contrast in form. In a later post, we will show you how to grow moss on your project… how cool is that?

concrete garden globes

concrete garden globes

concrete garden globes

You might also like:

Comments

  1. I loved this tutorial and photos. Your website is filled with so many beautiful ideas that are relatively simple and inexpensive to make. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  2. I absolutely love these! Just curious as to why you add peat moss and purlite to the concrete? Thank u :)

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      The peat moss and perlite give them a more organic look! The brown and white color is subtle but come out more when you use the wire brush on them. Also the perlite makes them lighter in weight.

  3. Mary Anne Elliott says:

    do you have any suggestions to use something other than peat moss?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      You could use any kind of soil actually, but try to find some without big chunks of wood. The peat moss is great for this reason. It has a very fine texture.

  4. Awesome! I love the addition of organic matter. Not long ago I learned to make concrete leaves for the garden. These would be an awesome pairing. Thanks for the inspiration!

  5. Do you have any suggestions for adding a bit of colour?

  6. Did the post on how to grow moss on them ever come to fruition? I did a search for it but was unable to locate it. Our new house will be ready in late January and I will be making these!!! These would be great decorative pieces at my fence line. Being in the Pacific Northwest, I can’t imagine it would be hard to grow moss… it’s everywhere… ;)

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Andrea –
      Unfortunately we have wanted to do this sooner but still have not had a chance. We hope to do it soon! Let us know if you beat us to it!
      – Kathy

    • Debbie98569 says:

      You take a couple small pots of Irish Moss (purchase at nursery), along w/a couple pints of buttermilk in a blender, spread on rocks, etc….*fair warning* you must not let them dry out b4 they take “root”…. Mist them …plant on north side of house. Does not work in full sun or desert conditions!

  7. The balls that you chose to do with the cement and peat moss, are they substantially lighter than the cement balls?

  8. Kathy – I can’t wait to try these in the spring for my new garden, and love your organic take on them. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ve put a link on my blog for them – hope you don’t mind.

    Enjoyed a nice visit to your blog, and look forward to your weekly updates. Happy new (gardening!) year!

    Karen

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Hi Karen,
      Thanks for the link… we love that project as well, it was a lot of fun! Send us pics when you try it in the spring! Happy New (gardening) Year as well!

  9. Wouldn’t it be cheaper to find plastic globes and cut them in half. Tape them back together well with duck tape and then add cement, or do you think that would work? Just a thought?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      I suppose that would work as well. Have you seen plastic globes? And wonder how much they might cost????
      The glass lamp shades only cost us $1 each!

      • Teresa Belchyk says:

        My plan is to buy beach ball 2nds. Cut the top off and pack it full of the mixture. I’m going to let them cure in sand to retain the round shape. We shall see.

  10. Linda Engelbrecht says:

    I can’t wait to try these … any thoughts on what I can use to make larger spheres?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Larger ones are tough… Once in awhile we see large glass lighting globes at thrift stores that would work… we have experimented with using plastic playground balls, but they don’t give you a uniform round sphere, as they aren’t stable enough… Any readers have ideas for Linda?

      • Penny Friend says:

        An inexpensive globe might work as a larger sphere if it could handle the moisture? Even that could be remedied. I’m anxious to try this project! Thank you!

      • kelly shirley says:

        You could use old basketballs and volleyballs for the larger sizes and footballs for large Easter eggs. They can also be painted with outdoor paint and then sealed with a clear coat.

  11. shari panczyk says:

    I love this project and easy tutorial. I can’t wait to create these, I have a bunch of these extra globes floating around my house.

  12. I love that …..I just think I will make a couple for my garden. Thanks for sharing.

  13. Did you use organic peat (dark, like dirt) or sphagnum peat moss (airy and brown in color)?

  14. Sharon B says:

    Love your globes!
    Getting ready to do several!
    I could only find smooth Sakrete.
    I live in Florida and wonder if I could use the Spanish moss?

  15. Debbie Demondo says:

    I’ve made a few recycled bowling balls but I painted them bright yellow with a smiley face with black paint. I give them to people I know that could use a smile when they walk out the door. I know it makes me smile…

    • My best friend bought a recycled bowling ball like that with a bee face for my Christmas gift. The recycler also added wire springs as the antennae with a black Styrofoam ball at the ends. It sits on a wire plant holder. I love it!
      Now that the snow is gone and I’m organizing my yard, it’ll be going out there in a place of honor!

  16. On globes, when filling with concrete mix – if you add broken tempered glass (windshield type), you can create a geode type sphere – put glass on edge in a clump or pile. On painting, – regular house acrylic paint works well – additionally craft paints. I have filled nitrile gloves with crete mix – and then put a ball on the fingers of the hands coming up from the soil. So much fun!!!!!!!!

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Thx for the tips Vicki! We also made a concrete hand with a dollar store plastic Halloween hand for…well, Halloween! It takes a little finesse, but turns out cool!

  17. Trying these today…thanks for the idea, my 4yo is excited to help paint them also.

  18. military move to hawaii says:

    Hi there, just wanted to mention, I loved this blog post.
    It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  19. Brion Brown says:

    I wonder how the glow in the dark paint would work on these?

  20. gale rhinesmith says:

    so fun! I will be trying these soon, since the long winter is finally over! Thanks!

  21. Have you tried this on the outside of the globes to make a hollow sphere or would the cement just drip off? Looking to hide the pipes in my yard. Thanks!

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      If you used a heavy thick mix, like a hypertufa, you could sculpt it around the globes, but I don’t know how they globe shapes would hide pipes…

    • Terry Noxel says:

      Perhaps you could put PVC pipe into the glass globe before pouring the concreted mixture in around the PVC. It could allow you a way to slip the concrete ball over the pipes you want to conceal. Select the PVC that fits over the pipes you want to disguise, then I’d use painters tape (or duct tape) to hold the PVC in place while the concrete is being added.

  22. Debbie Hall says:

    I have all my supplies and it’s finally getting nice outside so I can get started on these. I bought a whole box of the glass globes at an auction for $1! I want to try using a small piece of clay and a vintage piece of jewelry to stick on the inside of the globe before pouring. That way it will be embedded in the cement and add a bit of bling to these orbs. Has anyone tried the clay idea? Can I just use double sided tape? I’m also going to add a 2014 penny on the flat side, which will be the bottom.

  23. Diane Marie says:

    Just got done cracking open my globes! I did a Medium & Large one. They’re Beautiful! The Medium Globe came out Glossy. I’m thinking it’s because I mixed the concrete longer. But no matter, they are awesome. Thanx for the great project idea. I’m thinking ‘Gifts for my Sisters’ . Thanx sgain! ((*

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Thx for sharing, we love our globes as well! Gifting them is an awesome idea, thx for sharing Diane!

  24. Donna Izzard says:

    I took a large funnel and cut most of it off so it was a really wide opening…made filling the globes easier.

  25. Where do you find the inexpensive glass light covers?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      We find them at thrift stores or at a salvage store, your area might have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore…

  26. Mandy Lou says:

    Wow!! These are awesome!

  27. I love this idea! Do the globes hold up well in areas that have freezing in the winter? I live in TN.

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Hi Kay… We live in a zone 6, so we get regular below freezing temps, and have never had any problem… However, if they did develop hairline cracks, I think that would only add to the appeal!

  28. I want to make a lrg garden globe. Have you ever frosted the concrete onto an exercise ball? Wonderimg if it would work in steps of drying it first at different applications then roll to finish another side etc. Am I crazy?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Hi Karen! It’s never crazy to think creatively! That might possibly work if you aren’t picky about having a perfectly round ball… If you try it, please share how it turns out!

    • Yes!!! Lol. Just kidding…. I wanted to share with your readers another way as well …you may have seen DIY tutorials using a product called “feather finish ” for doing countertops etc. you can Google it made by Ardex. It’s 2x as much $$ as concrete frim hardware store BUT you can PAINT IT ON OBJECTS!!! Woohoo! As thin as a 1/4 inch thick! …over flower pots or a really large Styrofoam ball glued onto a dowel or stick that you force into the ground (to keep something as light as Styrofoam from blowing away) I’m not kidding when I tell you it doesn’t crack chip or peel! it’s a flooring underlay cement product that’s just amazing …my favorite new material and if you make a sort of thin cake batter with it you can actually paint it on objects with a paintbrush and sand it easily…have done many things w it! I’m not a fan of orange terra-cotta pots all mine are covered in cement (ardex) or sand Good luck!

  29. Saturday I threw out 3 wine carafes (the cheap kind), I think I take them out of the trash and try this with them as well as the round. They could serve as a base with a round one on top or the shape of the carafe itself is pretty, and they could also be stacked when looking for height. I can’t wait to try this but the weight of the back of cement has me concerned.

  30. Saturday I threw out 3 wine carafes (the cheap kind), I think I’ll take them out of the trash and try this with them as well as the round. They could serve as a base with a round one on top or the shape of the carafe itself is pretty, and they could also be stacked when looking for height. I can’t wait to try this but the weight of the back of cement has me concerned.

  31. Julie Wolf says:

    I just bought quicrete, I wonder if I could use that instead of Portland cement? Great idea by the way, can’t wait to try.

  32. Kay Babineaux says:

    I would love to make a very large medium and small any suggestions on what to make theVery large one out of?

  33. you could also use shredded newspaper and cement . as a cheaper combination . I have also seen where there is tubing put in middle so you can stack . I also saw one done like a caterpillar with a small chain inside to allow curve adjustment.

  34. Well darn it!! Now I understand why I’m having so much trouble finding those glass gloves at the thrift store!

    I wish you’d come up with a different form rather than destroying the globes because they can have a different and useful garden purpose. I put a string of solar powered white lights inside clusters of those glass light fixture covers. They create a wonderful long lasting focal point.

    Can’t you make a stiffer mix and pack it on outside of a balloon like one does with paper mâché?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      We’ve tried using rubber playground balls, but we got a lopsided globe… You could try the idea for a stiffer mix on the outside of a ball, but it will not be the same look as a poured project…A balloon will not be strong enough. Does anyone have any other ideas for molds for these globes?

      • Hi love your post (I replied to a lady above asking about coatng the exterior of something) and commented about a product I use made by Ardex for people looking to make something larger …that is cement that is flexible and doesn’t crack and can be used To coat objects with! Works great….

      • Could you make just one, then used it to make a two piece plaster of Paris mold for the rest?……I haven’t tried it so don’t know if it would work.

  35. Roxanne K says:

    I LOVE this idea!! I will definitely give this a try!
    In response to Teresa B: I have made 3 different sized garden spheres using, a exercise ball, a regular size beach ball, and a small beach ball. I sprayed the outside with cooking spray, then carefully spread with a thick mix of cement, adding cut up window screen, (for strength), overlapping as I worked. I sort of incorporated the screen as I went along. Sometimes I’d have to let things dry a bit before I could add more cement, as it’s really difficult to work on the outside of a round surface! I left an opening in each one of the spheres, and when they were finally done, I painted each one a different color, and put dried branches, sticks or whatever in them every year. Any touchups to exposed screen can be done before you paint. I probably wouldn’t make them again, but they did turn out nicely! ;-)

  36. Love this, can they be painted with glow in the dark paint?

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Anyone tried that?

      • I’ve used craft store paint and another product from the craft store that turns any of those types of acrylic paints into stain. The brand is called DecoArt Staining Antiquing Medium. You just mix equal amounts of this and your acrylic paint. Its great for concrete or wood projects because it soaks into the surface. You can apply multiple coats if you want a really bright color. Just wait for it to dry between coats. I like to finish outside projects with a wax, like Lustra Table-Top wax. Its specially formulated for water resistance and exterior projects. I’ve tried just spraying with a clear coat and it will eventually flake off if you leave your project outside through the cold winter. Same with just paint. You can probably find a wax product in your hardware store, like Lowes or Home Depot or you can order many different kinds online. One website I like is briwax-online.com
        I do take my projects into the garage for the winter now. Even though it’s not heated at least they are out of the cold and snow until spring.

  37. if you want to create a hollow ball, you could put a smaller size globe *inside* a bigger globe and pour around the small one. my aunt did that and it makes them TONS lighter and capable of “hiding” things. i’ve tried the duct tape around a halved plastic globe.. it works, you just have to file at the seams

    • How about you get the smaller globe inside the bigger one? The opening isn’t very big. Then how do you go about breaking the inside globe without busting the concrete sphere?

      • Kathy Woodard says:

        Hi Kelli,
        I’m a litle confused by your question… maybe you didn’t understand that the globes are solid? They are not hollow… Let me know if that clears it up!

  38. I’ve always wanted globes in the garden and just now starting to make hypertufa. Thank you for the tips on cement globes.

  39. Oh my gosh, these are wonderful. You gave me the best idea. I am going to fill only half way and then make them like lady bugs and other little animals. Thanks so much for this wonderful idea.

  40. Now that it has been over a year, how do they look? Stood up well versus the weather?

  41. Thanks for your help
    Now I know how to make light concrete

  42. We used very large plastic Christmas ornaments (largest was 14 inches) of different sizes. They can be cut in half and used over and over. The only modification we made was enlarging the opening. These large and extra large ornaments can be picked up at Home Depot, Lowes, or Walmart. We bought ours after Christmas, so they were really cheap. Good luck and most of all have fun.

  43. Hello, I’m from Brazil and I just loved it! I’d like to know what type portland cement you used? Here in Brazil there are 11 types: CP I – Common Portland cement, CP I – ordinary Portland cement with addition, CP II-E- Cement portland slag compound, CP II-Z – Portland cement compound pozzolan, CP II-F – Portland cement compound with fillers, CP III – Portland cement blast furnace, CP IV – Portland cement pozzolan, CP V-ARI – Cement with high early strength, RS – Portland cement Sulphate Resistant, BC – Portland Cement Low Hydration Heat, CPB – white portland cement. I know it’s a lot! But I really want a smooth concrete like your Recipe 4- Pure Portland cement. Thank you!

    • Kathy Woodard says:

      Wow! Thats a lot of cement options! I would guess ours was common Portland cement… Hope this helps!

  44. I’ve been wanting to try this for a while now, I have some quikcrete (sp) and wondered if this type would work ok. Thank you for posting this idea, I’m really inspired now :)

Speak Your Mind

*