“Gazing Balls” just doesn’t sound right, does it? I mean, I have a spam filter and all, but dang. Gazing balls? I almost wrote “Glitter Balls” but oh my goodness that’s worse. So “Gazing Balls” it is.
Overlook the name. Ahem.
Because this craft is a really fun and simple one to do outside with your children this fall.
Everyone loves the cooler weather and the bright, vibrant colors that fall brings, right? Why not capitalize on all this fall freshness and add some sparkle to your fading garden beds, getting them beautiful for the darker, colder winter months ahead.
Enter, the gazing ball:
You’ll love your gazing balls so much more knowing:
1) your kids made them (or you did!)
2) they are plastic, so if gusts of wind or drifts of snow knock them over this winter, there are no sharp shards of glass to pick up
3) they cost only a few dollars each
4) you can customize them to whatever colors you love best!
I think I originally saw this idea a while ago on the Family Fun website or something, but I’m not really sure. All I know is this wasn’t my idea… just sayin’. I filed it away in my brain to do some day with the kids… when I saw the holiday plastic ornament balls out at my local art shop, I grabbed them, remembering this idea. So I feel badly that I can’t credit the original source for this craft… but does one really want to be credited with “Homemade Gazing Ball?” I’m sorry, no matter how many times I type Gazing Ball, it’s hard to do. And adding in the “homemade” just makes it worse.
All you need to do is get ye down to Michael’s or some other craft supply, and grab one (or several) of the abundant clear plastic holiday balls that they are putting out en mass right now! You know those large plastic ornament balls that you snap together?
Also grab some glitter paint in whatever colors you are loving this fall, and if you don’t have any wire at home, some craft wire too. The last thing you will need is a stick… could be a fallen branch, and old dowel, wooden stake, left over bamboo rod from trellising your tomatoes… anything you can recycle is great!
Basically all you do is:
1.) Open up the ornament balls and drizzle whatever color paint you or your child likes… mixing several colors together is even more fun!
2.) Close the two halves of the ornament ball together — snap it tight! — and let your child rotate it around and around until the entire ball is covered.
3.) Open it back up and let it dry. Ours took several days because we really piled on the paint!
4.) Find a wooden dowel, broom handle, stake, stick or post to put it on top of… we happened to have some very inexpensive bamboo wooden tomato stakes left over so in the spirit of recycling I sawed them in half and put one ball on top of each half. I put a dollop of hot glue gun onto the top to hold the ball in place for a few minutes while I wound some craft wire on the ball itself. Long term, it will be the wire that really holds the ball in place, not so much the glue, so that part is optional.
Just wind the wire around the base of the stand, up around the ball, back around the base, etc… over and over until secure. You can add some more glue if it makes you feel better, but it’s really not necessary. You can use any wire… old steel garden wire works great and if you have it on hand in your garage, all the better!
Have fun dressing your yard up for fall. I am loving this cooler weather, and so are my kids. Check out their super cute and hilarious expressions as they are swinging super high in their PJ’s… I love it!
Happy fall to you! xoxo