Create Your Own Concrete Orbs in 5 Easy Steps
Updated February 2019
Hi everyone! I hope you’re having a great week. It’s pretty hot here in the Northeast, but last week, during one of our beautifully cool days, I decided to try a project I’ve been determined to complete since I started blogging almost two years ago: concrete orbs for the garden.
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 to make garden globes was easier than I expected. I could not be happier with my trio of stone spheres that now decorate my landscape 🙂
Other garden-related posts you might enjoy: vintage spoon garden markers, homemade terrarium, and garden signs.
I’ve been completely fascinated with the idea since a college friend of mine posted a picture of the ones she made on Facebook. So for two years I’ve talked about it, 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 was able to give it a go.
* This post contains affiliate links. If you click on one of them and make a purchase, I will receive a small compensation that does not affect your cost.
Materials for Making Cement Orbs:
- Concrete mix (~ 25 lbs)*
- Glass globes
- Bucket (to mix cement in)
- Drill attachment to stir the concrete
* I wouldn’t recommend buying concrete online since it weighs so much. However, you could try a Quikkrete product if you’d like, though you’d have to buy a couple in order to make three globes. Concrete mix can be picked up at any hardware or big box store.
Step 1: Prepare the Glass Globes
Nestle those 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.
They look fantastic. I certainly want to make some for my garden.
These are awesome, Diana! What a fun project! Thanks for sharing!
I love the project. Was thinking of making a water feature by placing a piece of conduit through the center of the globe. What do you think!?!
I think that’s a great idea Michael! Would love to see a photo of it when you’re finished 🙂
What a clever way to make your orbs, they look great! Thanks so much for your recent visit, glad you enjoyed my latest finds.
Have a great week,
I love this idea. Thank you for the inspiration.
Great idea. Thanks for the hint on how to get moss to grow where you want it too. Now to find the glass orbs or something similar.
Great idea! Will you paint some?
I could put the in the garden along with the painted bowling ball…….hhmmm…….
Plenty of these globes in the thrift stores these days…….
A pile of concrete balls next to the snowman–painted–on-a-board in the yard? The mind busies itself…….
I hadn't thought about painting them Marje, but that's a great idea. I like the way your mind thinks…
I made some of these a couple of years ago, they were so fun and easy! I’m glad you gave it a whirl! I’m excited to see if the moss works out for you.
I love this repurpose project. Wonderful idea and a great way to add interest to the garden frugally and beautifully! Have you tried the yogurt moss technique yet? I bet that would work wonders on these, and bring them even more dimension.
Love your orbs Diana … the pock marks just add to the beauty. I have also made some concrete orbs and I love decorating with them and hope to grow moss on them too.
Thanks for sharing the tip.
Audrey Z. @ Timeless Treasures
These are pretty cool. I’ll have to show them to my father. He’s the gardener in the family, and I think he’ll love this idea.
in other molds I heard of using like pam cooking spray and that will help it not to stick. do not know if it would work on the orbs.
Love the orbs but better than that I love your creative molds. Thank you for sharing them with Share It One More Time. Cathy
LOVE this idea! This would be a great Christmas present for my sister who loves to garden. Thanks for the idea!
Diana, I have a couple of these in my yard that I made years ago. I love them and would like to make some more some day. Thanks for sharing the great tutorial with SYC.
Diana – Thank you for sharing at the Thursday Favorite Things Blog Hop. Stop by today and check out my Tuesday Treasures where you will see your Cement Garden Orbs featured! I love your creativity! I will start looking for these old glass globes at garage sales now! I want to make some for my garden!
I think these concrete orbs make really cool garden accents! And I love the grouping of three different sizes. I definitely need to make some! And I’ll be curious to see how the moss turns out. I tried Martha’s technique on some pots a few years ago and they got black and kind of yucky. I hope you have better luck! … If you have a chance, I hope you stop by and link up to our August Garden Party – http://www.elizabethandcovintage.com/2015/08/august-garden-party.html … And here’s your trivia for the day – cement is the dry powder ingredient and when mixed with water it creates concrete. So you now have concrete orbs. My husband owns a concrete company so I’ve heard him explain that many times!
Re: trivia… not exactly.
When the cement powder is mixed with water, it makes a paste. But it’s not considered concrete until the cement paste is combined with rocks and sand.
Interesting…thanks for the insight Tom!!
Hi Diana, just hopping back to let you know that I will be featuring you at SYC this week.
Thanks so much Jann!! Much appreciated 🙂
Thanks for sharing the the cement orbs at my last Fabulous Friday, I am taking a break from this party and doing another party where I co host and its called Dream Create and Inspire. Stop by if you have a few minutes.. I also think your orbs were featured at one of the dream create and inspire parties! by one of my co hosts!
I also have wanted to make cement orbs for the garden and love your ideas but I want to make even larger pieces than the glass balls I see here and in my thrift stores. Any suggestions on what to use and how to execute this idea?
Thanks…..diana. Love our name!
I would try a cheap plastic ball from Walmart. Cut a circle out of the top and then pour in the concrete. They come in a variety of sizes. It’s worth a try! [Love our name, too!!]
Did you use just plain old cement?
Yep! From a huge back I got at a garage sale 🙂
These are really cool! I’ve been wanting to trying making something with cement for a while now. You’ve inspired me.
The orbs would look really cool with moss on them! But I’ve actually tried the yogurt method (along with a bunch of others) and it did not work =(
To my understanding the only actual way to get moss to grow on a surface like that in a reasonable amount of time is to transplant it. You have to be very careful to maintain the moss feet when transplanting. This can be tricky but I was able to grow moss on rocks and a rail using this method. Good luck!
Hi Kandy! I hope you get the chance to try out this project 🙂 Thanks for the heads up about the moss!
Are these heavy? I’ve seen other methods that wrap cement around a ball for example and the finished product is hollow. I love the way yours look. and it seems pretty easy.
Yes, they are very heavy and yes, it’s a pretty simple project, esp. if you use your drill to mix the cement 🙂
Would you please provide a link that explains how to wrap cement around a ball? I’ve been pondering the idea of making a fountain out of a moss ball; I’ve come across this blog by lucky chance.
Hi Debbie! I’m not familiar with that process. I’ve only made the orbs by pouring cement into light fixture globes as described in the post. I imagine it would be difficult to adhere cement to round surface.
I love these homemade Orbs! How do you make the top of the Orb to come out round? The opening of the round bowl is flat and the bottom of any bowl is also flat, so it does rollover. Maybe I’m missing something on this?
Hi Deborah–I don’t use bowls to make my orbs; I use round glass (globe-shaped) shades (for light fixtures). Good luck with yours!
I made some orbs a couple years ago and sprayed the inside of the glass with Pam. Hope to make more this summer.
Great tip Sue! Thanks for sharing 🙂
Yes, it’s a great decoration and so easy. I used cheap balls. cut a small hole, put concrete in, let dry. Ball cut off, done. Now I want to make one with mosaic.
Great alternative Evi! Thanks so much for sharing it with us 🙂
Can you color concrete? Like put something in to change the color?
Yes you can Caron. It’s a special concrete dye. You can find it in home improvement stores and probably on Amazon.
Does the concrete ball crack in freezing temperatures?
Mine didn’t Kathryn!
Try using dollar store rubber balls instead of glass. A lot safer.
Hi Debbie, Thank you for sharing your tips and tricks. I am ideally want to make a larger set of spheres. Do you think ball moulds would work? I had read in one article that they don’t hold their shape as well. Wondering what your thoughts are on this?
Going to try the plastic Bouncy BALL to make a fountain !!!
Thank you for sharing!