How to Make a Mosaic Garden Gazing Ball

Add a colorful gazing ball to your garden, covered in a mosaic inspired from passion flower vines.
Similar Topics:
hclvr111_3final3

hclvr111_3final3

Materials and tools:

For preliminary sketch and color palette:

sketchpad
pencil
all-purpose white glue
sampling of small pieces of glass

To cut stained glass:

sheets of stained glass
cardboard mat
T-square
glass cutting tool
glass cutting oil
glass nippers 

For ball:

1 small heavy brass bowl
one 8" plastic ball (Christmas ornament)
sandpaper (or small electric sander)
Sharpie marker
stained glass cut into 5/8" squares
vitreous glass tiles
small pieces of mirror
multi-drawer storage box
large plastic bowl lined with cheesecloth
wheeled glass nippers
safety goggles
waterproof silicone adhesive
dental pick and tweezers
black unhanded grout
disposable latex gloves
large plastic container
stir stick
small funnel
plastic hair dye applicator
sponges
nylon or soft wire brush
grout sealer
1 gazing ball stand

Steps:

  1. Make a preliminary sketch of the design on a piece of paper.
  2. Wearing safety glasses, cut the stained glass into 5/8-inch squares and then into smaller pieces and store them in a small multi-drawer storage bin (usually used for nuts and bolts). Cut the vitreous tiles into quarters over a large bowl lined with cheesecloth to catch shards. Cut the mirror into small pieces. Each piece will require more cutting as the mosaic is made.
  3. Sand the surface of the ball (plastic Christmas ornament) for better adhesion. Make a rough outline of the pattern on the ball using a Sharpie. Place the ball in a small heavy bowl to use as a stand while working on the mosaic.
  4. Start assembling the ball by choosing the most prominent part of the design. Glue the glass pieces to the ball using waterproof silicone adhesive. If necessary, re-cut the glass pieces to fit. Leave a 1/8-inch gap surrounding all sides of every piece.
  5. After finishing the flowers and patterns, start filling the background with field tiles. It is important to stagger the rows. You do not want the background to be too symmetrical. Always leave room for grout to surround each piece. Let dry.
  6. When dry, check the mosaic pieces for excess adhesive. Use dental tools and tweezers to carefully remove pieces.
  7. Mix the grout per the manufacturer's instructions. If you cannot find pre-colored black, a colorant can be added. Once the grout has been mixed, funnel it into a plastic hair dye applicator.
  8. Wear latex gloves to apply the grout into the spaces between the mosaic pieces on the ball in small strips, packing it in by hand. Let it set up for about a half hour.
  9. With a damp sponge wipe off excess grout from the glass. Check for low spots and sharp edges. Using your leftover grout, fill in the imperfections. Let dry again. Gently scrub the mosaic until it is completely clean.
  10. After the grout has cured for four days, apply a commercial grout or masonry sealer. Let dry.
  11. Place the ball on a gazing ball stand.

Mary Clark-Camargo, Pasadena, Calif.
Website: newstoneagemosaics.com

Next Up

How to Make Dye From Natural Materials

Take your garden to your closet with tips on making natural dyes.

Make a Faux Living Moss Wall

Learn to make a faux living moss wall with tips from Tara Heibel and Tassy de Give of contemporary garden design business Sprout Home.

Paper Flowers How-To

It'll feel like spring all year with this easy-to-make paper tulip centerpiece.

Make a Planter With Crystals

Use sea glass to create a glamorous stage for your humble houseplants.

Make a Rustic Branch Tealight Holder

Add a little ambiance to your mantle or buffet with this easy to make candle holder.

DIY Garden Hose Basket Project

Treat Dad to a versatile, one-of-a-kind basket to use around the garden.

Craft a Holiday Kissing Ball

Learn how to make this classic holiday decoration with evergreens from your yard.

How to Make Paper Seed Pots

Share your saved seeds with friends and family with the thoughtful gift of seeds.

How to Build a Scarecrow

These guardians of the garden may not deter wildlife as much as you'd think—but they're fun to have around says scarecrow expert and HGTV contributor Felder Rushing.

How to Make a Decorative Garden Path

Make a fun, leaf-inspired garden path with this step-by-step guide for making steppingstones.

Stories We're Following

Shop This Look

Found a living space you love in HGTV's Photo Library? Get the look in your own home with products from Wayfair.

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.