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 spheres (also known as garden globes, concrete balls or decorative garden balls) , 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 version. We’ve included a shot of our sample spheres and the recipes below. Now, on to our garden sphere tutorial!
Supplies for DIY Concrete Garden Spheres
- Old glass lamp globes or spheres (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, Potting Soil, Perlite (depending on the recipe you choose) (Perlite is found in the indoor plant supply area of your home improvement store)
- 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
- Wire Brush
- Eye protection
Concrete Garden Sphere Recipes
Recipe 1 – Hypertufa
2 parts cement
3 parts peat moss
3 parts perlite
Recipe 2 – (This is what we used!)
1 part cement
1 part peat moss
1 part cement
1 part potting soil
Pure Portland cement
Mix your chosen recipe in your container, spray the inside of the glass spheres with cooking spray, then fill your spheres…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.
After the spheres have cured for a couple days, you are going to break the glass with the side of a hammer. We left the balls inside the bag while we did this to prevent flying glass shards. WEAR goggles or glasses protection! And use gloves.
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.
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. For our final garden spheres, we used recipe 2, a good compromise between being a little organic without being too rustic.
Our finished DIY concrete garden spheres! Think of all the places you could tuck these awesome concrete balls 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?
We just love how these decorative garden balls blend in so nicely with pretty much everything in your yard – plants, trees, rocks, etc…
Hope you enjoyed this post! We urge you to go make these Concrete Garden Spheres. It’s a pretty easy and fun project and they really blend in nicely with your garden! Read on to see where to buy them.
Where to buy Garden Spheres, Balls and Globes
So maybe you’re not in the mood to take on a DIY project right now or just don’t have the time? Well we found you a few garden spheres that you might want to check out. (They’re a bit difficult to find!)
These volcanic ash spheres from Ballard Designs look like they would be pretty awesome. Love the texture!
We found these next garden spheres at Wayfair. Looks like they are made out of a lightweight ‘resinstone’ material. They come in different sizes and 5 different colors which is pretty cool. Check them out here.
We thought we’d throw in a couple other options as well. Here is a nice set of three metal garden spheres or globes that you can purchase on Wayfair.com. These are great because the set comes with 3 different sized decorative balls, orbs, globes or spheres (whatever you prefer to call them!) And they fold up when they need to be stored.
And the last ones we are going to show you are these totally awesome heavy wire garden spheres. Get them at Wayfair.com. They seem to be very much in demand and sell out frequently but then eventually return to being in stock. Love these!
Don’t miss our post on Unique DIY Garden Globes for more ideas and projects! You also might want to check out our post Backyard Ideas on a Budget – Spruce Up Your Garden on our sister site TBD!
Not sure why this hasn’t been brought up, but is it possible to mix in styrofoam peanuts or hollow plastic Easter eggs into the concrete to lighten the balls? I believe I read that somewhere in a concrete pot tutorial. Would be particularly useful for those of you trying to make very large balls.
I have shape crete myself. utube has manny ideas for it..yes this too ..i have found at resale places globes to be used like this for Shape crete
This is a very nice “how to do” website, very easy to follow with clear directions and illustrations with photos. Thank you. E
I love these so much. Best instructions of all the post!
I was thinking that I want them to be NOT movable. I have 6 grandsons and they love balls. If I found some sort of corkscrew type tent stakes could I put them in the open end. Then be able to screw them into the ground? Just thinking outside the cement ball😏
What a great idea! Let us know if it works for you!
What’s your advise or thought regarding orbs or planters using white cement with lime type N
You r so awesome for sharing!!!!
The instructions say to use Portland cement. Can it be another kind like Quickcrete?
You can use any type you want, but different formulations will give you different textures.
quickcrete will work, but you won’t get a perfectly smooth surface with the pea gravel that’s mixed in with it.
Are these concrete balls OK to place into a fire pit like other concrete balls I have seen used on fire pits? They will not explode or is that other type a special type of concrete?
We actually have no idea, so I would check with a concrete expert before trying it! Good luck!
I did this and used “your” version. Mine came out dark gray. Will they lighten with time? What did I do wrong??
Hi Chris! Ours haven’t lightened significantly, those photos were taken right after they cured… Perhaps concrete has some difference in different areas of the country? Anyone else have a clue?
There are different kinds of Portland cement. Most concrete/cement mixes sold at Lowes or Home Depot are a darker gray. For a lighter result, I suggest the white Portland cement or white mortar mix. With the white mix, you can also add in pigmented mica powder for fancier results!
Does anyone have any ideas on what i can use to make an egg shape?
try those old pantyhose LEGGS. Look in resale shops. Or, buy plastic Easter eggs at the dollar store. I know it’s flat on one side, so use the rounded one, let it dry then fill again. You can probably find concrete glue at a hardware store.
Use a plastic toy football
Around Easter would be a good time to check for some of those jumbo plastic eggs. Maybe won’t shatter like a glass globe would, but you should be able to crack it enough to remove it from the cement once it’s hardened.
Just came across this product called shapecrete. This is shareable concrete. http://www.shapecrete.com/
I have shape crete myself. utube has manny ideas for it..yes this too ..i have found at resale places globes to be used like this for Shape crete
Can you use plastic bowls from the $ store and then motor them together
You could, but them you would have a seam, and risk a more “oval” shape… worth a try, maybe you will like the more industrial feel of it!
I’m interested in using the first recipe. I understand the ratio of elements but can you tell me about how many cups of concrete to use initially?
Wow Ken, can’t say that I remember that! Also depends on whether you are going tomato just one, or 5 like we did!
Several years ago I saw a picture of this enormous ball that looked like the side was a cracked open egg. It was an art piece that sat in a park. Since seeing that picture I have been obsessed with finding a way to make one and have since seen pictures of men wrapping large balls with fiberglass tape and using not cement but a construction grout. They seem to apply more than one coat and let it dry in between. One man leaves a hole at the bottom where the air inlet to the ball is located and he has attached a valve. When he is done he releases the air from the ball and it deflates pulling away from the inside shell of the orb. He finishes it off and paints it and it sits outside with no problem. I have not tried this but I have purchased all the materials to try it. I want it very large so I bought a very large exercise ball. Now all I need is time to myself!!!!
That cracked egg idea is one I may try. Once the cracked egg shell opened …You could add a lg mounded yellow yoke and pour glossy clear resin over and around the yoke for the egg white.
I was browsing through one of the craft and hobby stores about a month ago and ran across a sale on large, clear glass Christmas ornaments and immediately thought of this project. I bought 2 boxes and now have 8 concrete deco balls. I was limited to using Portland cement by the size of the hole and having to use a funnel. I mixed it a little thinner than cake mix consistency and had to top them off as the mix settled, but it all worked out. I think I spent maybe $15 total. Thanks for the inspiration!
Amazing and cheap. .. love it… thanks for share
I like the idea of the lighter weight but also want them to hold up to some freeze in zone 8. Do you think there is a better recipe for durability? I’m guessing the one with peat moss would deteriorate faster.
We live in zone 6, and we haven’t had any of them deteriorate yet!
hi I came across this site I was wondering if I took a large child rubber ball applied wire mesh tape could I use quick set cement on it and let it dry than break the balloon to have it hollow. I was thinking trying a small rubber ball and your pop it and fill it with cement? I want to mosaic it with broken glass I have done that to bowling balls.. wonder will it work the same?
It sounds like a great idea, I would think it would take several layers to be strong enough… Let us know how it turns out!
Hi Kathy! Yesterday I followed your directions and have “poured” one large globe and three small ones and now they are in the drying process. I’m anxious to “crack them open” and see how they turned out! I just love how yours look and hope mine will look “somewhat” like yours on my first try! Thank you!
How did they turn out Judy? We loved this project, we have concrete globes everywhere! :)
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 :)
You might have to work faster, but should work!
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!
Wow! Thats a lot of cement options! I would guess ours was common Portland cement… Hope this helps!
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.
Thanks for your help
Now I know how to make light concrete
Now that it has been over a year, how do they look? Stood up well versus the weather?
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.
I’ve always wanted globes in the garden and just now starting to make hypertufa. Thank you for the tips on cement globes.
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?
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!
Love this, can they be painted with glow in the dark paint?
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.
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! ;-)
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?
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.
Build a box and put the ball in the box, as you fill the ball thru a 4″ PVC tube fill around it with dry sand and it will keep it’s shape . One week to dry and about 600 lbs so fill it where you want it
They do have molds you can buy now. They are half-sphere molds in varying sizes. They are a little pricey ($25), but if you want to make a lot or make larger spheres, it is the way to go. You make two sides and then mortar them together.
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.
I would love to make a very large medium and small any suggestions on what to make theVery large one out of?
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.
You will get a different texture,and have to mix it thinner than usual, but yes, it should work fine!
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.
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.
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?
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!
I did a beach ball. I put screen and cement to make layers on outside of ball then I put the flat marbles on the outside.It is huge but I didn’t think about the hot air outside causing the ball to expand causing cracks.I stuck a pin in the ball which resulted in the bottom blowing out. That was fine because I have it sitting on a pot and I could go on the inside and repair the ball, can’t tell where it cracked. Was lots of fun but you must be patient
I love this idea! Do the globes hold up well in areas that have freezing in the winter? I live in TN.
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!
Wow!! These are awesome!
Where do you find the inexpensive glass light covers?
We find them at thrift stores or at a salvage store, your area might have a Habitat for Humanity ReStore…
I absolutely love these spheres. I’ve been to the Habitat for Humanity Store 3x, & several other thrift stores. I can’t find glass globes anywhere! Any other ideas/suggestions?
Try the Church Thrift Stores or Flea markets…
Although it costs more you can find them at Home Depot and other stores that sell replacement globes for your light fixtures. I would suggest that you put the word out to friends that you are looking for these and to please keep their eyes open for them. Many times they are just tossed into the trash when we change out light fixtures. I tell my ex husband and he found me some pretty cool things although they are not globes!! Lol
Just use a ball instead if you cant find any
I took a large funnel and cut most of it off so it was a really wide opening…made filling the globes easier.
You can also use a canning funnel, which has a very wide exit hole.
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! ((*
Thx for sharing, we love our globes as well! Gifting them is an awesome idea, thx for sharing Diane!
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.
That is an interesting idea. I was thinking about gluing leaves with the thick veins to the inside of the globes and then pouring in the cement to get the impression of the leaves on the balls. I was even thinking about gluing in letters that might say, love, hope, peace, etc. I guess all we can do is experiment and see what happens!!
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!
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…
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.
great idea on the pvc!!
so fun! I will be trying these soon, since the long winter is finally over! Thanks!
I wonder how the glow in the dark paint would work on these?
If you try it, let us know!
Hi there, just wanted to mention, I loved this blog post.
It was helpful. Keep on posting!
Trying these today…thanks for the idea, my 4yo is excited to help paint them also.
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!!!!!!!!
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!
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!
I took a bowling ball I bought for $3 and had a bunch of glass mosaic stones I found that I didn’t remember having. I glued the stones on using half hot glue and half e6000. The hot glue will stick immediately and the e 6000 will not. I discovered by only using the e6000 the stones would slide down the bowling ball. I took some of the lighter stones, clear, light blue and light green and baked them in the oven at 500 degrees for 20 minutes then filled the sink with cold water and empty the ice from the ice maker in it. After the 20 minutes poured the stones into the ice water to make cracked stones. It gave them the advantage to pick up colors around them and none of the stones broke or chipped off.
Thx for sharing this Judy!
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?
I’m sure that would make a really cool organic project! Let us know how it turns out!
Did you use organic peat (dark, like dirt) or sphagnum peat moss (airy and brown in color)?
I believe we used organic…
I love that …..I just think I will make a couple for my garden. Thanks for sharing.
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.
I can’t wait to try these … any thoughts on what I can use to make larger spheres?
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?
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!
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.
Try using orange plastic Halloween pumpkin candy holders. They leave the jackolantern face on the ball, after the concrete has cured, just cut away plastic. Paint or stain your favorite Halloween colors.
Use 2 or 3 one inside of the other…also a thought I am curious as to why you do not make them hollow…this way they are more versatile…as a planter or a sphere…i also am curious about using a wire or netting in between 2 layers in order to make them even more durable….i know in Athens there is a concrete place that uses metal in between the the layers for durability…just a thought…i do not know if either of these will work…i just often think of things in this way…i do hope it will help someone…and hope I see the posts…as I am going to also try my own thoughts adding from your beginning project….thank you
A box of sand will work. It has to be large enough to hold your sphere mold. Dig out the sand, place your soft mold and fill it. Collapse the sand around it for support while it dries. Doesn’t hurt to add water to the surrounding sand to firm it up.
I’ve been scheming on how to roll the giant ones away from the front of the local Target stores. If you hear about it on the news, you’ll know I succeeded. :)
Don’t the hypertufa balls break down faster? I had purchased a bowl before and the weather basically melted it away for the lack of a better explanation.
I’m gonna guess it depends in the weather in your area… when in doubt, put it in a garage to overwinter!
? me too!
Too bad you weren’t in Canada when Target went belly-up. You could have saved the demolitions crews from having to bust up those spheres with a jack-hammer. Although getting them into your car might have been tricky.
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?
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!
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.
Yes it works. We did them years ago. A few wraps of duck tape all the way around. We pushed a 6″ (wrapped in plastic) flower pot down in the opening to make them giant planters & planted with vinca vine. They look great! Made several from one mold. Oil your mold so it does not stick. Good luck!
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!
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!
The balls that you chose to do with the cement and peat moss, are they substantially lighter than the cement balls?
Yep they are! And the hypertufa ones are even lighter of course!
Love your recipes……thank you so much!
Have you tried mixing only Portland cement and perlite? I think I read using a proportion of cement 1, Perlite 5 (or any combination of the things in your great recipes. I’m just getting started making creations based on cement and aggravates. so many great ideas! I suppose I could just experiment. : ).
I’m combing thrift stores for the globes…so far, nada. I may spring for a nice 2 piece mold. Definitely want to do a jack-o-lantern for a Halloween pumpkin contest. Planning to stick something like a large cottage cheese container in the center (of one of those plastic trick or treat pumpkins) to take up space and make it lighter, and also to give me a space for a small plant or whatever… appreciate any thoughts. love reading suggestions from others on your blog~. bookmarking this for sure!
oops, that was AGGRAGATES, not aggravates. darn autocorrect!
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… ;)
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!
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!
Another way to encourage moss is to fill a big tub with water (recently I heard you have to let that water set for a couple days to let chlorine evaporate or the growth will be impeded), then put water, a handfull of moss you found growing in that spot in the yard that never gets sun (or just buy a six-pack of “moss” at the garden center– I have always scrounged in my yard for the slimy stuff), and PLAIN yoghurt (not vanilla! LOL). The yoghurt MUST contain live cultures– acidophilus– most do these days. In an old blender, put the water, moss, yoghurt and blend together till smooth. Stir into the big tub of water along with a few handfuls of soil out of your garden bed, not bagged soil which is sterile. Then SOAK your garden spheres in that for a day or so, and remove, drain, and mist daily. Or just start all this right before the winter rains start. You probably won’t get a big furry green mossy ball this way, it will just age and look old, with some mossy areas on the parts that don’t get constant sun. You might want to rinse your spheres several times a day for a week or so beforehand to allow the chemicals to leach out some, making less likely moss growth would be hindered.
Personally I think the balls look nicely aged as shown, so maybe we don’t even need to try making them look old immediately.
Do you have any suggestions for adding a bit of colour?
You could mix in some concrete dye. I believe Home depot carries some maybe?
yes home depot carries liquid and powder concrete dye. they are dull colors. you can also glue colored stones, pennies,mirrors to make a mosaic design too
what kind if glue do u use on cement
We use a landscape adhesive sold for caulking guns… ask at the home improvement store!
Try spreading some buttermilk on them to encourage moss growth.
Try putting buttermilk and Moss in an old blender to make a paste. Spread past onto cement ball and put it in a shady place and the moss will come to life and grow.
These would be great with glow in the dark powder mixed into the concrete!
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!
Thanks for the feedback Heidi!
do you have any suggestions to use something other than peat moss?
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.
I absolutely love these! Just curious as to why you add peat moss and purlite to the concrete? Thank u :)
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.
oh my gosh! love these, so simple, too. Going to make a few over the winter to have them ready to go in spring projects : )
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.
Thanks Debbie! Have you given them a try yet?