DIY Penny Balls for Your Garden

Penny balls are quick and easy to make! They look beautiful in your garden, and they also repel slugs and will make hydrangea flowers blue. I found many samples to inspire me on Pinterest, most made with bowling balls, but I thought Smoothfoam would be the perfect base for my penny garden ball. Weatherproofing the Smoothfoam with varnish will make it safe to use outdoors. Mine has been in my garden now for almost 2 years, year-round, and still looks great! The pennies have a bit of a patina, but the foam is still intact, which is just what I wanted.
6″ Smoothfoam ball -
Krylon Indoor/Outdoor Spray Paint – Satin Brown Boots
Marine Varnish by EarthSafe Finishes
Beacon 527 Adhesive
Paint brush
1. Spray the ball with brown spray paint and let dry.
2. Apply a coat of Marine Varnish over the entire surface of painted ball and let dry.
3. Glue the pennies to the ball and let dry.
4. Apply a coat of Marine Varnish over the pennies and let dry.

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Cindi McGee

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

3 of 11 questions
  • Rose Marie
    on Jul 3, 2019

    How many of these do you need in a vegetable garden? Slugs are eating up my green beans and a few other plants. One for each plant?

    • Donna
      on Jan 14, 2020

      I tried epsom salts in my garden and it really helped with the slugs and the magnesium helped my plants. :) I may try to pennies around, maybe smaller balls.

  • Angela Colello
    on Jul 21, 2019

    Do you polish the pennies or mix old with new? Also is it heavy enough for a windy day to stay put

  • Jane Toomajanian
    on Feb 1, 2020

    If you varnish over the pennies, will it still repel the slugs?

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