River Rock Bowling Ball Garden Art

This garden craft uses river rock to create “strike-ing” bowling ball garden art!

My hobby is, quite literally, a ball. I’m not a seasoned bowler, but I’ve used more bowling balls than Walter Ray Williams Jr. That’s because bowling balls are perfect for this garden craft, easily customizable to your own taste. Even if I can’t get a spare ball while I’m bowling, it’s easy to find them at rummage sales from people who have given up on their hopes for a perfect 300 game. And if I can’t find the rocks myself, I’ll buy them from the dollar store. River rocks not really up your alley? Try this bowling ball garden art project with glass gems or mirrored tile instead!


  • Bowling ball
  • Silicone caulk
  • Tile adhesive
  • Polished river rocks, glass gems or mirrored tile
  • Grout (any color)
  • Acrylic grout additive
  • Putty knife
  • Sponge

Step-By-Step Instructions:

Step 1

Fill the finger holes with silicone caulk.

Step 2

Spread adhesive on the bowling ball with a putty knife and place rocks onto the adhesive, leaving 1/2 inch between the rocks for easy grouting. (Remember to leave an area on the bottom open if you are setting it on a stand or right in the garden.) Let dry for 24 hours.

Step 3

Mix the grout, using grout additive, to the consistency of a thick cake mix. Using grout additive instead of water will allow grout to weather better.

Apply the grout with a sponge, wiping off any excess, and let it dry. Place the ball on a gazing-ball stand or right in your garden for a strike-ing work of art.

Step 4

Another option: Mirror tiles. Use the same steps as above. Tile cutters will help if you need to snip tiles to size.

Step 5

For sparkle-lovers: Try oversized gems. You can skip the grouting for this option if you like.