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Concrete Garden Balls…an easy DIY

All the materials needed, as well as the instructions and a video showing how to make Concrete Garden Balls

I am a sucker for lawn art and lawn ornaments. I love to tuck unexpected and non-plant objects in and among the plants in my garden.

With that in mind, you can understand why I’ve long had a ‘thing’ for the concrete garden balls, orbs, or spheres that can be incorporated into my landscaping.

A close up of a flowers  in front of a brick building

You can find these garden spheres, orbs, or balls in many places, I know I’ve seen them at Pottery Barn. But, they can be pricey. I spent $16 on the Cement All and $5 each for my glass globes, so for $26 total, I have two spheres. The key is to find the glass globes, so keep your eye out for those.

In addition to being a sucker for lawn art, I’m also a collector of recipes for Container Gardens. To see my collection of Container Garden Recipes and Ideas, pop on over here.

What You Need to Make Concrete Garden Balls

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  • For glass light globes or light covers, I used a 6″ diameter globe and a 7″ diameter globe. (I expected that used and discarded glass globes would be easy to find at my local Habitat Restore…nope! It took several months of popping in and out of my local reuse stores to find two of them. You could always buy new ones, but you can only use them once, so I’d try to find used ones.)

glass globe.
  • Cement All Rapid Set
  • Water
  • Measuring cup
  • A large tub or bucket to mix concrete
  • A large metal spoon or concrete mixing paddle for a drill. I used a metal spoon, it took a little elbow grease but it wasn’t worth buying a new ‘thing’ to make the garden balls.
  • Kitchen baking release spray, WD-40, or something similar.
  • Box with packing peanuts or packing pillows, towels, or something to hold the globe in place while the concrete dries.
  • Gloves, protective eyewear, canvas drop cloth, and a hammer to crack the globe after it is set.
  • For a 6″ diameter globe (7.8 cup volume) you will need
    • 8 cups of Cement All Rapid Set and up to 3 cups of water
  • For a 7″ diameter globe (12 cup volume) you will need approximately
    • 16 cups of Cement All Rapid Set and up to 6 cups of water.
white ball in garden

How to Make Concrete Spheres

  • Have all your materials handy.
  • I used a bucket for mixing, but a tub would be much easier. If you will be stirring by hand, add half of the powdered concrete to the tub or bucket, and then add about three-quarters of the water.
  • When that is fully mixed, add the remaining concrete powder.
  • Stir until no dry mix is left. Add water in very small quantities until it just reaches a consistency where it is thick, but is a little glossy on the surface. When you stir, you will see the ‘sandy’ texture, but when you stop stirring, it will quickly settle back to a smooth surface. You are looking for a thick pudding or oatmeal consistency. Adding too little water is better than adding too much water.
hand stirring concrete in a bucket.
  • This Rapid Set concrete will set quickly, so once it is mixed, you need to work quickly.
  • Spray the inside of your globe with baking release spray or WD40.
  • Set it with the opening facing up and pour the concrete into the globe until it fills the entire globe.
Pouring concrete into glass globe.
  • Leave the globe somewhere where it can sit undisturbed. Rapid Set will set in 1 hour, but since this is so thick, it will take longer for it to be fully set. I waited about 18 hours.
  • After 12 – 24 hours, place your globe filled with concrete on a drop cloth. Wearing protective eyewear and gloves, tap the globe until the glass breaks and falls away, revealing your brand spanking new Concrete Garden Ball!

I like my garden balls the natural color; I hope to grow moss on them. I’ll keep you posted on that project. But, if you would prefer, you can add acrylic paint to the wet mix when you are mixing it together. I’d add it to the water for ease of mixing it consistently.

Breaking glass globe.
  • There may be some residual marks from the oil spray, but it will wash away when it rains.

To see the full video for this project, pop over here!

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Flowers and globe on steps

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2 Comments

  1. Hi, Lynn.
    My friend and I used your tutorial to make some concrete balls/orbs for our gardens. I wondered if you ever figured out how to grow moss on these.
    My friend found it difficult to find these glass light fixture molds when we talked about it a year ago. She did find two. After we had spent a morning mixing and pouring ours, someone in my neighborhood had six of these out on the curb to take FREE. My husband saw them and knew I was looking for more. I grabbed all and we will be making more in the future.
    Thanks for the tutorial and inspiration!
    Karen

    1. Hi Karen,

      I tried a couple of times, but was never successful growing moss. I live in the hot Southeast, so I don’t know if it was just too darned hot and sunny. I should try again.

      And aren’t you lucky about finding those glass globes!! Wow! They are hard to come by. I’m jealous.

      Have a wonderful weekend.

      Lynn

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