When does your garden “rock” and “roll”? When you’ve made a Pebble Mosaic Garden Ball! Yes, today’s joke is lame but these Mosaic Garden Balls are anything but. Rocks and pebbles have a subtle, natural beauty that’s right at home in a garden display. Kathleen George, mosaic master extraordinaire, is sharing several of her ideas for DIY pebble mosaics this week. (Don’t miss the fabulous pebble mosaic tile she made for her own garden.)
Your Pebble Mosaic Garden Ball should last in your garden for years, just like the one in my garden.If you don’t have a stash of pebbles on hand, you can also buy bags of pebbles and river rocks at the craft store.
To make a Pebbled Garden Ornament, you’ll need:
- STYROFOAM™ Brand Foam: 5” ball (or other size of your choice)
- Small, river-washed pebbles (available by the bag in craft stores)
- Latex ceramic tile adhesive
- Sanded tile grout
- Acrylic exterior satin varnish (optional)
- Tools needed: Fine-line black permanent marker; ruler; palette knife; small disposable bowl; bucket of water; household sponge; soft rag; rubber gloves
To make a Pebbled Garden Ornament:
1. Sort pebbles into dark and light piles.
2. Using marker, draw a spiral line around the foam ball. Or, draw a design of your own choosing.
3. With the palette knife, spread a 1/8”-thick layer of tile adhesive along a small portion of the spiral line.
4. Place dark pebbles closely together along the spiral line, pressing them firmly into the adhesive. Repeat till the entire spiral line is covered with black pebbles. While you work, you can place the ball in a small bowl to keep it from rolling away.
5. Using more tile adhesive, fill in the remaining areas with the lighter pebbles. Let sphere dry.
6. Follow manufacturer’s instructions and mix grout; always wear rubber gloves when working with grout. Use the tip of a damp sponge to rub grout into the spaces between the pebbles. As you work, wipe away excess grout from the stones using the clean end of the sponge.
7. When ball is completely grouted, use the damp sponge to wipe the pebbles clean. Let the ball dry slightly, and then if needed, repeat the sponging till the pebbles are free of grout. Let dry thoroughly.
**Do not dump the bucket down your sink; pour it outside. Also wash your tools in a bucket of water and not in the sink. The grout is a concrete product and it can dry solid in your sink or your drain pipe.
8. Rub the dry ball with a clean, dry rag to remove the grout residue and restore its shine.
9. If you’re going to display your mosaic sphere outdoors, apply a coat or two of sealer.
Here’s another variation, with the pebbles added at random instead of in a pattern.
These pebble garden spheres are made with larger, polished river rocks and tinted grout. Very dramatic!
Wait till you see what Kathleen is sharing with us tomorrow . . . See you then!