Concrete Garden Orbs

3 Materials
$5
1 Hour
Easy

Use some old yarn or fabric strips to make these light weight concrete garden orbs. They make great accents to the garden as they stand up to all weather. This is my own original design, and quite simple.
These great concrete orbs can be made with any fabric or yarn as long as it is wide enough and can absorb some concrete. You can use a rotary cutter to cut strips of fleece or use some chunky yarn. (complete detailed instructions here)
The 'stiffener' in this project is portland cement. It is the active ingredient in concrete and usually some aggregate is added. Here, we will be using the fibres as the aggregate.
As a form for this project you can use any inflatable balloon or beach ball. Make a resting place for them on a bucket and have them ready before mixing any concrete.
Get suited up with a dust mask and gloves to mix a slurry of portland cement and water. It should be of a fairly fluid consistency.
Take your long strips or yarn and dampen it. Once dampened submerge it in the concrete and squeeze to allow it to absorb the cement. Do not lose the end in the mix.
Once it is quite 'concretey' pull it through your fingers and wrap around the form in a random way trying to evenly space the lines. The more dense the wrapping; the more strong the shape. Leave a place for the beach ball to be pulled out.
The thin cement will chip away afterward. Let is cure in a shady place. Spraying with water will help strengthen the concrete.
Poke the balloon or deflate the beach ball. The transparent nature of these makes for great use of fairy lights as well.
Simple shapes accent the texture of the garden quite well. I love how they can be combined as well. For more options see here
These will be easy to move and can be made in any size... Awesome!

Suggested materials:

  • Yarn or fabric strips  (general store)
  • Portland Cement  (Hardware/home improvement store)
  • Some inflatable balloon or beachball

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MadeByBarb

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

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 10 questions
  • Chasecatrina
    Chasecatrina
    on Oct 11, 2017

    So could this idea also be used inside like the twine orb lights that I have seen people make? It would hopefully hold up a little better in the humidity
    • MadeByBarb
      MadeByBarb
      on Oct 11, 2017

      Sure it could. The thickness of the yarn determines the thickness of the lines. Just don't drop it on the floor! I could imagine them with a dry-brushing of a metallic paint. That would pick up the detail of the texture.
      , Metallic paint dry brushed to accent texture
  • Nancy
    Nancy
    on Jun 9, 2020

    Have anyone tried adding die to the concrete?

    • Tammylu
      Tammylu
      on Jul 5, 2020

      Been making these for several years now...I've added some basic acrylic craft paint to the slurry and had no problems. Provided a nice tint, so I'm sure you could use a dye. Maybe you could even mix in some RIT powdered dye.

  • Tina
    Tina
    on Aug 23, 2020

    I would like to try making these with a stem. Like allium flowers. Any ideas how to attach a stem? I have some green plastic coated metal garden stakes which I could use but not sure how.

    • Ellen Morrison Kelley
      Ellen Morrison Kelley
      on Oct 4, 2020

      I have been making flowers using a piece of rebar or a large drill bit as a stem. I would put the “stem” through the “flower” and attach it with concrete or glue.

Join the conversation

3 of 64 comments
  • Kathy Brady-O'Brien
    Kathy Brady-O'Brien
    on Jan 13, 2018

    I love this idea! Planning to try this out as a family project--cant wait to try it! Thank you for sharing!!!
  • Debi
    Debi
    on Feb 20, 2020

    Great Project AND cheap!!!!

    • MadeByBarb
      MadeByBarb
      on Aug 23, 2020

      Yes, there are so many ways to use up what we have, colour/pattern does not matter!!!

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