The most requested thing for dinner around here? Noodles. With butter.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Bowling ball "art"

I wanted a gazing ball for my garden area.  I had a really nice one at my former house, but it got stolen from the front yard.  I got that one for free, so I had no idea how much they cost.  The really nice ones- the chrome ones- are spendy!  Nothing less than $40 on amazon.  Yikes.  Not in my budget.

So I looked on-line for alternatives and found that people were taking old bowling balls and painting them or gluing shiny things on them and voila! yard art!  I like crafty things so I started scouring the local GW for used inexpensive bowling balls. Nothing. I tried Salvation Army. Nada. Craigslist?  No way. Maybe Value Village would have one? Nope. The local bowling alley? Nein. It seems that as soon as one person posts an inexpensive recycle craft idea on the web, all the supplies for that craft get promptly scooped up and used by all the crafters in the area.  Boo.

Months later, I asked the staff at our athletic club, which has a small bowling alley.  They had a ball that was damaged and they didn't know what to do with it.  Did it go in the trash bin or the recycle bin? Neither.  It came home with me!

You can see the cracked and damaged area on the right center part of the ball.
I filled in the crack with some of the adhesive that I was going to use to glue on the glass stones.
The adhesive is called E-6000 and it is paintable.
I had white spray paint, so I used it up for the first coat.  Then I sprayed it with Glow-in-the-Dark paint.  I wasn't sure if it would actually glow, but I figured it was worth a try.
Blue painter's tape rolled into a sticky rope provided a nice guideline and "shelf" for the glass stones.
All the glass stones came from GW in random containers of craft supplies, so I had to figure out a pattern using what I had.  I decided to stick with a green/white/aqua color scheme since those are the main colors I got
and since the glow-in-the-dark effect was sort of greenish. 
I pounded a 12 inch spike of rebar into the ground and set the ball's thumb hole right on it.
I had covered the finger holes with glass stones so bugs wouldn't make homes inside them.
It looks cooler than I thought it would in the garden.  I can hardly wait to see it glow outside tonight.
(It does glow- like a night light in my living room the last few nights.) 
Now it just needs the sun to come out and "charge" the paint so it will glow tonight.
Instead of over $40, I spent just under $15 for paint, glue, and used glass stones.  Boo-yah.


  1. Ingenious!!! I love it. What a great way to use a recycled bowling ball!!!!! I hope that it glows at night!

  2. How cool is that! (pity we don't have a garden).
    I'm curious...How much does it glow at night? Do you have to reapply the stuff to keep it glowing?

    1. The glow is obvious, but faint and it only lasts a few hours. It all depends on how much the sun charges it during the day and whether there is total darkness (no house lights on) at night.
      The paint is advertised as something you could apply to things like wall light switches so they could be located quickly in the dark. In that sort of use, you could re-apply it over time, but I glued all those glass stones down so I can't re-apply it. It will probably fade over time, but that's ok.