[Updated February 2019]
I’ve been determined to make a set of concrete orbs for the garden ever since I first noticed the project on Pinterest a couple of years ago.
I’ve not had a lot of experience with concrete, so I think that’s why I put it off for so long. Happily, I discovered that mixing and pouring concrete was easier than I expected. I could not be happier with my trio of stone spheres that now decorate my landscape 🙂
For months I thought about the project, stock-piled glass globes for molds, and even bought two eighty pound bags of concrete mix at a garage sale. Finally, the right mood hit me and I gave it a go.
Note: This post contains affiliate links for [the same or similar] products used to complete this project. This is both for your convenience as well as to support my website, since I receive a small compensation whenever you click on a link and make any sort of purchase, for which I thank you 🙂 See my full disclosure here.
Materials for Making Cement Orbs:
- Concrete mix (~ 25 lbs)*
- Glass globes
- Bucket (to mix cement in)
- Drill attachment to stir the concrete
Pro Tip #1: I wouldn’t recommend buying concrete online since it weighs so much. Concrete mix can be picked up at any hardware or big box store.
Pro Tip #2: To save some moolah, look for glass globes at Habitat stores and estate sales.
Step 1: Prepare the Glass Globes
Nestle the glass globes you’ve been picking up at garage sales and thrift stores into a cardboard box with wads of newspaper to hold them upright.
NOTE: In the end, I used the two globes on the left and another plain one slightly larger than the smallest one. I’m saving the ribbed one for another time.
Step 2: Mix the Concrete
Mix your concrete. Start by scooping about a third of an 80 pound bag (about 25 pounds or so) into a container.
Add water a little at a time and mix until your concrete is pudding consistency, as shown in the photo.
NOTE: If you have an electric drill with a concrete mixer attachment, the job would be a lot easier. I mixed with a trowel and it took me a good 15-20 minutes to thoroughly combine the concrete and water.
Step 3: Fill the Globes with Concrete
Scoop the concrete into your glass globes, filling them right up to the top. You can tilt them to drain off any excess water and/or mop up the excess with paper towels. (Yes, it’s a little messy.)
Step 4: Allow the Concrete Orbs to Dry
Let your orbs dry for a couple of days (or you can go four or five days, if you’re forgetful, like me).
Step 5: Crack & Remove the Glass Globes from the Concrete Orbs
Wearing gloves and goggles (this advice comes from personal experience), gently tap the glass globes with a hammer until they begin to crack and the glass falls away from your orb. Some of the glass will stick to the concrete, but you can use a putty knife to scrape those pieces off the orb and into the box.
Give each orb a final brushing off with your gloved hands, so later on you don’t cut yourself when picking them up with bare hands (like I maybe did).
And there you have it: three lovely, flat-bottomed concrete orbs. I’m hoping to get some moss growing on them, and plan to use a method I heard Martha describe.
She spread yogurt on the concrete wherever she wanted moss to grow. Then she took a piece of moss and kind of crumbled it in her hand and sprinkled it over the yogurt.
Thoughts: There are some pock marks on my orbs, which are faintly visible in my slightly blurry photo. I suspect that if I had shaken the globes a little after filling them with concrete, then these little depressions might have filled in better. But in the end, they don’t affect the look much, and certainly, when they have moss growing on them, you won’t notice them at all.
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