DIYdiy projects

diy project: shannon’s concrete garden spheres

by Grace Bonney

one day when i’m lucky enough to have some outdoor space in which to garden, i hope to be able to fill my green space with decorative elements that i make with my own two hands. so when i heard from shannon from design gal, i was excited to find out about her handmade decorative elements. using some quick-dry concrete, $3 glass light covers from a thrift store, and a little non-stick cooking spray, shannon created these beautiful garden balls. the possibilities are really endless with this project- if you’ve got the space to work with concrete, you can easily find all sorts of different light covers that would give each ball a different look and style (it certainly makes me look at cheap light covers in a new way). shannon has been kind enough to share her project steps with us, so be sure to click “read more” below to view the full post. click here to check out more of shannon’s work on design gal.

CLICK HERE for the full project instructions after the jump!

Decorative Concrete Garden Balls, by Shannon of Design Gal

What You’ll Need:

-Quick-setting concrete (you can buy a bag or bucket of this at your local hardware store or Home Depot/Lowes)
-Lighting covers (try a thrift store or hardware store for cheap options) Make sure there are no cracks in them or they will break when you fill them with concrete!
-Non-stick cooking spray
-Small garden shovel
-Safety Glasses + Gloves (for when you break away the glass)


1. Spray the inside of the lighting covers with non-stick cooking spray- it helps in breaking the glass away from the ball at the end!

2. Set the glass ball in a pile of dirt or sand so that it can’t roll away while you’re filling it and as it’s curing.

3. We used a quick setting concrete found at most hardware stores. I like the ones with fine gravel. Pour the dry mix in the bucket (we poured about 1/2 the bag in) and then add water until it reaches the consistency of peanut butter…or maybe a little bit runnier. You don’t want it too runny, but not too hard either. Play around with it!


4. Use a small garden shovel to fill the balls. After every scoop, give the ball a shake or twist to help it settle and break up any air bubbles.


5. Fill the ball to the top and try to make it as level as possible. We had a little bit extra so I used an old baking pan to make a little stepping stone & used gravel (from our soil- it’s so rocky!) to make the heart pattern (see shannon’s post for heart pattern piece).

6. Let the balls sit for at least 24 hours to set up!

7. When the concrete has turned light, use a hammer to lightly tap the glass and break away pieces off the concrete ball. Make sure you wear gloves & safety glasses so you don’t injure yourself! Throw away the glass and you’re done!

The balls will be heavy, so be careful when you lift them! They add great detail to your garden and they’re so easy!


Suggested For You


  • I made three of varying sizes last weekend and they look fantastic in the garden “island” we made for our atrium!

  • just love your ideas. I am a mosaic artist but find difficulty in getting concrete spheres to mosaic! I would really like to be able to access lighter material for mosaicing. Anybody got any ideas? thanks Anne

    • I just to do containers made of concrete, perlite and peat moss, all equal parts, but my brother in law told about adding zonolite, and I like it, make the containers waterproof, you can do your one experiments adding perlite or peat moss for less weight. Good luck, if you find something different let me know, Thanks.

  • Oh, my lord…Just saw these on Pinterest and repinned myself. I’m chomping at the bit for this WI winter to be over so I can hurry up and get these done and in my gardens. Love, love, LOVE this. Thank you!

  • OH, I have been looking for how to make these forever! When I think of all of the glass globes I have thrown away or broken over the years, ugh! Thank you gor sharing this!

  • I love this project! Gonna make some this weekend! I am going to try to add some interesting rocks or marbles into my concrete mix :)

  • I love this idea and can’t wait to try it. I think I even have a globe that I can use already at home.

  • Doing this with hypertufa (i hope thats correct) a mix of cement and light weight materials such as vermiculite, and organics. A great thing to grow moss on! Out to the store again! Great ideas

  • What about using water soluble glue to secure broken glass bits, broken china, stained glass, etc. to the inside of the globe or flat mold first, then pour concrete. Voila, hopefully any sharp edges would be concealed within the concrete pour. Then put the globe in a box of some kind and gently break the mold off as much as possible then soak the rest in a bucket. Check JoAnns or Hancocks for water soluble glue. I think some teacher supply places have it too, just has to tack the color piece in place long enough to pour.

    • Lynnette – what I did worked. I actually poured in some dollar store, shiny glass rocks and made sure they were all laying flat. Then I added the concrete mix. Mine have a lovely top of color and shine when the sun hits the glass. I wanted color in mine, but the process was actually easy. P.S. I found my globes for 25 cents each at a thrift store! Also I found a clear round vase there for 50 cents and I plan to try a cylinder clear glass vase – another cheap at .25 just for a variation of sizes. Have fun!

  • Hi. We made these balls but didnt use the quickcrete, just regular concrete. They set and we broke the glass. But, they seem to be taking forever to dry. Its been 4 days now. Do you think they will ever dry?

  • to make lighter/less heavy globes find a smaller size and fill with soray insulation foam. Let dry, break glass and insert in larger globe and use the process described

    • Maybe plaster, or polyclay? And, you could put in a little of the concrete, then place small styrofoam balls in the center and then pour more concrete in around the balls and then covering them up to the top

  • Another GREAT idea for this is to paint them with the new rust-o-leum glow in the dark paint and line your driveway or sidewalk

  • I just did this but I used a basketball. It works just as well. I just taped it closed after filling it. I used scrap Styrofoam in the center. The only downside is whatever side it’s left on will be a bit dented.

  • I just made one using plaster of paris, I didn’t have any concrete on hand so I figured I’d give it a whirl. I also added food coloring so it’s a pretty Robins egg blue. I used foam in the center and mixed in some gravel for texture. The only thing I’m worried about is 1-I forgot to spray cooking spray and 2-the only globe I could find is pretty thick. I hope it still turns out. I’ve been wanting to try this forever. Will let ya’ll know how it turns out:)

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