Garden Art: Styrofoam
Have a ball recycling odds and ends for a DIY work of art.
One of my favorite things about garden spheres is that they can be decorated with an endless combination of bits and pieces: broken china, crockery, ceramic pots, rocks of all kinds, tile, glass, mirrors and more. Anything durable you can adhere to a form can be used to personalize them. Once you get the basic idea, youʼll want to make lots of these with all kinds of materials. Let your creativity roll!
Tile adhesive or hot glue
Tile, broken dishes, rocks, etc.
Sanded indoor-outdoor tile grout
Newspaper or paper towels
Clean, soft rag
Grout sealant (optional)
STEP 1. Select the size of foam sphere you’ll use. For beginners, a ball with a 5- to 6-in. diameter is a good choice.
STEP 2. Decide on your design. You can wing it, or you can sketch a plan on the sphere with a marker to guide the placement of the tiles.
STEP 3. Either apply the tile adhesive to the ball in small sections, or apply the adhesive to the back of each tile, whichever you prefer. Leave a small grout gap between tiles. Work in sections from the top, allowing each section to dry before moving to the next. (If you’re in a hurry, you can use hot glue, which adheres almost instantly.)
STEP 4. Once the sphere is completely covered and allowed to dry (check adhesive manufacturer’s instructions for drying time), put a portion of the dry grout in a bowl and slowly add a small amount of water. Slowly add water, continuing to stir, until the mixture is the consistency of loose icing.
STEP 5. Put a dollop of grout on the sphere. Wearing gloves, work it well into the crevices between the tiles.
STEP 6. Working outdoors or over a protected surface, use crumpled newspaper or paper towels to remove most of the excess grout from the surface of the tiles.
STEP 7. Allow the grout to set up for 15-20 minutes.
STEP 8. Clean the remainder of the grout from the tiles by wiping with a slightly damp rag.
STEP 9. Polish the tiles to remove any haze.
STEP 10. Let the grout cure completely for at least 8 hours. If you like, you can then apply grout sealant to improve water resistance for outdoor use.