Category Archives: recycled crafts

Mosaic Tile Gazing Balls

Garden Gazing BallsVal was in a gluing frenzy with bowling balls and it immediately brought back fond memories of battling a 15 pound bowling ball while trying to glue things to it. Truth be told … the hardest part of mosaic tiling a bowling ball is … finding the bowling ball. Now that she’s got me going … anyone have an old bowling ball that they want to get rid of ? 🙂

 

Mosaic tiled bowling balls or mosaic tiled gazing balls … are time consuming but pretty easy to create if you prepare the surface properly and use the right adhesive.

mosaic tile balls

balls in half moon bay © mara lee

MOSAIC TILE BOWLING BALL ART SUPPLIES  – you’ll need …

  1. Bowling Ball or round objects in stone, terracotta or concrete
  2. Flat Tile Materials in ceramic, stained glass, vintage china, mirror and glass gems
  3. Best Adhesives for the job could be …Thin Set or a Weatherproof/Waterproof Adhesives like … GE II Silicone, E6000 or Clear Liquid Nails.
  4. Sandpaper in a medium grade is fine.
  5. Sanded grout – FYI … darker shades of grout won’t show the wear that lighter shades of grout will.
  6. Grout Additive ( to mix grout instead of water. Makes the grout more flexible and can help prevent cracking)
  7. Grout or Masonry clear sealant that can be found at tile and box stores.

MOSAIC TILE GAZING BALL PROJECT

  1. Clean the ball. Let it dry.
  2. Seal the finger holes – use your imagination with what – so they’re level with the curve of the ball.
  3. Rough up the ball a bit with the sandpaper … or you can cover the ball with tile mesh before gluing to make gluing easier.
  4. Time to put on safety glasses for cutting tile or glass.
  5. Prop the bowling bowl on a large weighted coffee can … or something comparable. If you have a heavy duty Lazy Susan … bonus fry.
  6. Organize mosaic tile materials and choose pieces that are close to the same thickness, for uniformity.
  7. Using a wheeled tile nipper, mosaic tile cutter or glass cutter … cut the tile, glass or china pieces before you start gluing.  If pieces don’t lie flat, cut them smaller.
  8. Grab your adhesive and start gluing one side of the ball. (FYI…Adhesives for this project are TOXIC and is best glued in a very well ventilated area or outside.)
  9. If pieces don’t lie flat, cut them smaller.
  10. A little patience is needed about now. Relax, it’s round. It’s not going to be done in a day.
  11. This project takes multiple days. Glue one side of the bowling ball. Let it dry for at least 24 hours. Longer is always better!
  12. Glue the other side of the bowling ball and let that dry for a minimum of 24 hours. Again, longer drying time is always better.
  13. When completely dry … Grout … READ the directions on the grout bag or box, then … mix the Sanded Grout with grout additive to an oatmeal consistency … again … reading the directions really helps.
  14. Grout one side of the bowling ball and let it set up for a bit before you start removing and smoothing out the grout.
  15. Grout the other side of the ball and let it set up for a bit before you start removing and smoothing out the grout.
  16. Keep smoothing and polishing until your satisfied with your work.
  17. You can cover the ball with a dry cleaning bag (or something comparable) to allow the grout to dry a bit slower to prevent the grout cracking. Hopefully;)
  18. I’d wait at least 36 hours for drying time.
  19. Uncover and polish with a soft cloth.
  20. Let it cure – I did for a few more days and polished it everyday.
  21. When grout is dry seal the grout with grout sealer or masonary sealant. Read the directions.
  22. Let dry for 24 hours. Polish again. Make a wish;) 
  23. Gaze.

FYI … Mosaic Tiled Gazing Balls and handmade mosaic tile garden art has to be brought inside in the colder states and it doesn’t hurt to reseal your gazing ball every season, no matter where you live. Cheers.

garden-mosaic

go outside. let it dry. © mara lee

all rights reserved copyright © mara lee. please do not copy, distribute, duplicate or create derivative works using my original designs and photography. thank you very much!

Salvaging Memories

When someone shows up with broken remains of a precious family heirloom, it’s always the same tearful look.

Peggy broke a very unique clay candle holder that her mother (who had since passed) had given her as a gift.

Seems that a chandelier had fallen on it. Maybe she should have called Angie’s List 😉

Here’s what we came up with …

Using the very cool wrought iron, double shelf table that Peggy brought, we cut a piece of concrete backer board for the bottom shelf. That way you can see the finished piece through the glass top and keep it safe from any further damage.

We arranged all of the clay children (as they were on the original piece) in the center and glued the rest of the broken pieces around them. Added a gold veined glass tile for the border and let it dry overnight.

Used a charcoal grout to finish it off, after the mastic dried.

Tears of joy all around!

Doesn’t get much better than this!

Recycled Art
Memories are made of these.