Materials and Tools:
Recycled bowling ball -- available for free from most bowling alleys
Tiles (flat-backed marbles, tile nippers, tile adhesives, white sanded grout)
Mixed shaped and colored tiles and plain mirror tiles
Apple Barrel acrylic paints -- a palette of your choice
Outdoor grout sealer
Cosmetic or small pieces cello sponge
- Obtain a used bowling ball from your nearest bowling alley. Clean the surface with soap and water and fill the holes with wood putty. Allow it to dry overnight. Set the ball on a bunched towel to keep it from rolling.
- To do a pattern on the ball, tape off the ball into sections with narrow painter's tape.
- Lay out all of the various mosaic pieces and begin gluing pieces or working colors as you go. If using broken china, be sure to break it with a rubber mallet while it's between newspaper sheets and then nip it down into smaller pieces.
- Cover the entire ball with mosaic pieces. Let adhesive dry.
- Mix grout to a fudgy consistency in a disposable container. Put on latex gloves and begin smearing on the grout, packing it in every available space. Allow the grout to set for 15 to 20 minutes.
- Use a dry cloth to wipe away most of the excess grout. Then, using a hard-bristle brush or an old toothbrush, remove the rest of the grout. Wait another 15 minutes and then wipe away any film still left on the tiles. Polish the pieces with a soft cloth.
- Choose your palette of colors to dye your dried grout. Use one part acrylic paint to three parts water. Dip a small piece of cello or cosmetic sponge into the diluted color. Squeeze out excess color to prevent drips, and dab the sponge onto the grout where you would like the color. Chose about six colors that coordinate with one another and blend well, overlapping each other. Allow to dry overnight.
- Using a sponge brush, cover the ball with three coats of outdoor grout sealer.
Tip: Place the ball on a very special pedestal in your garden -- and remember to bring it inside when the weather turns cold to avoid cracking.