DIY Gazing Ball

6 Materials
1 Hour

Do you have a gazing ball in your yard? They are a fun garden accent! If you don't have one but would like one, you are going to LOVE this DIY project! Quite a few years ago, I bought a black bowling ball at the thrift shop. I planned to mosaic it and use it as an accent piece in the garden area. Well, I never got around to doing it so it has just been sitting, as is, in the garden. Recently, I read about a DIY gazing ball made from a bowling ball. Now, that sounded faster and way easier than doing the mosaic technique. Instead of pulling out the black ball from the garden, I went in search of a new ball. I ended up finding two at two different thrift shops so I bought them both. One was $10 & the other $5 - so $7.50 for each.

This project is so quick and so satisfying that you'll want to make several gazing balls! They also make great gifts! Once you have a bowling ball, the first step in the project is to clean it.

Since the ball probably has oils from being held, you'll be using rubbing alcohol for the cleaning. Pour a little bit of the alcohol onto a soft cloth, I used an old washcloth, then wipe down the entire surface of the bowling ball. When it's wet, you'll have an idea of what it'll look like once it's done.

I did decide to grab the black ball from the garden and it was VERY dirty so I wiped it down with soap & water first. Then I used the alcohol. The black ball didn't shine up with the was as much s the other two. I think that being out in the weather for years made a difference.

To get a really nice, glossy finish, you'll want to buy the right brand of sealer - Rust-Oleum 2X Ultra Cover in Clear Gloss. That is the brand that was recommended by My Repurposed Life (; however, I had another clear gloss spray on hand, Krylon, so I used it on the first bowling ball. BIG mistake!!! Instead of giving the ball that really nice, glossy look, it came out splotchy. After seeing the results, I went to the hardware store and picked up a can of the right sealer.

One of the bowling balls I bought came in a bowling bag. In that bag, there was a metal stand that held the ball. I used the stand to hold the ball in place while applying the sealer. Starting with the side of the ball that has the finger holes, I sprayed a thin coat of the sealer. The directions said to apply a 2nd coat, if wanted, after 30 minutes.

Once the 2nd coat was dry, I turned the ball and applied two coats to the top side of the ball. I allowed the ball to dry overnight.

Since I had decided add the correct sealer onto the green ball and it was using the bag stand, I needed another way to hold the black one in place. I had some plastic tubs from cottage cheese and one of those worked perfectly! Adding Rustoleum over the Krylon helped but didn't give the green ball the same glossy effect as the Rustoleum on it's own did with the other two

You can see the difference on the black ball even with the 1st coat of sealer.

A gazing ball does not need a stand. You can set it directly on the ground. If you prefer a stand, you can get something that will work at the thrift shop like I did. I found a metal basket that I thought would work well, it was $3. Since it was shiny, I thought it would compete with the gaze of the ball so I painted it matte black.

Because it was a basket weave, I had to spray it from all sides to get good coverage.

For the 2nd ball, I used the stand that came with the bowling bag & also sprayed it with the matte black paint.

Since it was rusty, I first scrubbed it down with steel wool. For the black ball, I used a little metal trash can that I already had but wasn't using.

See how fast this project is? It can be completed in an hour as the sealer is dry to the touch by then. I let the first one dry overnight but didn't do that with the other two.

They will be a nice addition to the garden areas!

The cost for all 3 gazing balls was $27....and I have lots of sealer left to do even more! I had looked for gazing balls and they start around $27 but are usually much more.

I love how much the gazing balls reflect the light, even the green one!


Clean bowling ball with soap & water

Wipe down bowling ball using a soft cloth and rubbing alcohol

Apply sealer to the side of the bowling ball that has the finger holes

  • Allow to dry

Apply 2nd coat of sealer

  • Allow to dry

Turn ball over and apply sealer to the top side

  • Allow to dry

Apply 2nd coat of sealer

  • Allow to dry

Suggested materials:

  • Spray paint - Matte black   (On hand)
  • Rustoleum 2X Clear Gloss   (Ace Hardware)
  • Rubbing alcohol   (On hand)
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Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!

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  • Valerie Burge Valerie Burge on Jul 24, 2021

    Oh you are clever!!! That's amazing! I'm definitely trying this.

    • Jeanne Jeanne on Aug 01, 2021

      It's so easy! I actually found the idea on someone else's blog and thought how fun it would be to do. 🙂