How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

24 July
Have you ever seen concrete garden balls? They are pretty pricey to buy (they run around $30 to $60 each).

But let me show you how easy and inexpensive they are to DIY.

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

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Here is how you can make your own!

Supplies Needed:
  • Fast setting concrete (1 bag makes about 3 balls)
  • A container to mix the concrete
  • A small shovel (for mixing and adding concrete to the globes)
  • Glass light globes
  • A box and scrap paper (newspaper, packing material, etc.)
  • A paper grocery sack
  • A hammer

Step 1 - Choose the glass globes

Glass globe light covers are pretty easy to find at thrift stores or garage sales (you may even have some in your basement or garage) but they are also fairly inexpensive at Home Depot (about $6 each) if you are having trouble finding them. 

You will need enough globes to make the number of concrete spheres that you want because you cannot reuse them.
How to Make Concrete Garden Balls
How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

It doesn't matter if they are white or clear, either one will work. Choose globes that only have an opening in one side and it's nice to get different sizes if you plan to display the concrete balls together.

Step 2 - Prepare your workspace

Crumple up the newspapers (or other scrap paper) and place it in the bottom of a box. Nestle the glass globes down into the box with the paper so that they stay in place with the openings facing up.

TIP: Use a box that you can throw out or recycle because this can get messy.

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

Step 3 - Mix and pour the concrete

Use a bucket to mix some concrete (I used Sakrete Fast Setting Concrete Mix). You want it to be pourable and not too thick... about the consistency of a smoothie or pancake batter.

TIP: Just mix about half of the bag of concrete at once so that you'll still be able to lift the bucket to pour it. It will be too heavy if you mix it all at once.

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

Pour the concrete mixture into the glass globes. Don't worry if it gets on the outside of the globes, (that's why we are using a box that we can just throw away when we are finished!)

You can use the small shovel to top off the globes with more concrete. You can pour the concrete all the way level with the opening lip (this creates a little pedestal for them to stand on) or stop so they are more rounded.

Let them dry for at least 24 hours. Two days is even better.

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

Step 4 - Remove the glass

Once they have cured for 24 to 48 hours, place one in a paper grocery sack and fold over the top of the sack.

Tap the side of the paper bag with a hammer to break the glass globe. Start with a gentle tap and then tap increasingly harder until the glass breaks. The concrete is still not completely cured and you don't want to damage your new spheres by hitting them too hard!

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

Wear gloves to remove each ball from the bag and pick off any glass that didn't come off in the bag.

Do this with each of your balls.

Once you have all the glass removed from the concrete balls, you'll have the broken glass neatly contained in the bag which you can just toss in the garbage!

Step 5 - Display your new garden spheres!

I made these at different times but the large one is what they will look like when they have completely cured.

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

I think they look nice grouped together.

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

You can also use them indoors.

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

Or just one next to some potted flowers is pretty too!

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):

Q. Do I need to spray anything inside the globe so that the glass will come off easier?
A. No, the glass will come off easily.

Q. Can I use globes that have two holes?
A. It's best to have only one hole but you can tape off a second hole if need be.

Q. Do I use concrete or cement and can I use other types of concrete?
A. You can use either one but they will have slightly differen looks. I used Sakrete Fast Setting Concrete Mix. The differences are listed below.
  • Most forms of cement are a dry powder composed of sand and other minerals. Garden spheres made with cement will have a smoother appearance.
  • Concrete will have these same properties but also contains an aggregate like gravel. Garden spheres made with concrete will have a rougher, slightly pitted appearance.

There is an excellent post written by Ellen over at Artsy Pretty Plants where she compares all the different kinds here: Making Cement & Concrete Crafts: Mixes & Sealers

**2023 Update: I have had these concrete garden balls for ten years now and they still look beautiful! I've had them outside the majority of these years and they have developed a beautiful mossy covering on them. Here are some pictures of what they look like now!

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls

I hope you enjoyed this post! If you did, I'd love it if you would share it!

How to Make Concrete Garden Balls
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  1. Love this idea! I already have several of the globes in my garden with a solar light under them so I have a glowing ball at night. But, I'm going to look for some more so I can make the cement balls~ Thanks for the idea!

  2. Wow, love this post. I have always used beach balls for doing an outside sphere and passed up those globes at thrift stores....NOW I thin I will be doing a few inside ones.

    Thanks so much for sharing this!


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