At our October Flour Sack Farmgirls meeting, a chapter of the Mary Jane’s Farmgirl Sisterhood, Angel showed us how to repurpose old bowling balls into adorable ladybugs and bees for our gardens.
Even if you don’t have a “spare” bowling ball lying around, you can find them in secondhand stores. I found mine for only three dollars at a Goodwill. Apparently these are in high demand in my neck of the woods. The lady who sold it to me said she couldn’t keep them in stock. I wonder what else people are doing with old bowling balls, or maybe there are lots of gardens with hand painted critters like these.
Since I only made the ladybug, I can tell you how to do that, but just by looking at the bee photo below, I bet you can figure that out as well. For the bee you will do similar things, but you will need some wiring for wings and a funnel for the stinger.
Here is how to make the ladybug, and I apologize about the poor quality of these photos. My camera phone wasn’t really up for the job.
1. Sand and prime the ball using an outdoor primer. To prevent the ball from rolling, use a roll of tape or some cut PVC pipe for a stand.
2. Use a Sharpie or painter’s tape to outline the design for the ladybug or bee. The two holes in the bowling ball that are close together should be facing you. They will become the antennae. Keep in mind that you will be painting over any marks, so the outlines don’t need to be perfect. I used tape first, and then outlined the tape so I had a steady circle.
3. For the ladybug, do the red first. I applied three coats. We used a hair dryer to speed up the drying time since it was a cool evening. Each coat dried in about five minutes.
4. While you are waiting for the paint to dry, use copper wire and pliers to create the antennae.
5. Paint the rest of the ladybug black. Use a steady hand to make the spots and body. This step also took three coats.
6. Finally, use black caulk to fill in the two holes. Allow the caulk to harden slightly before placing the antennae. I used some painter’s tape to keep them in place overnight until the caulk dried.
You’re finished! Angel suggested that we keep these bugs inside until Spring to prevent too much weathering.
Thanks for showing us how to make these, Angel! And a big thanks to Missy too for welcoming us into our home each month. I look forward to each of our meetings!
I shared this post in the Little House in the Suburbs Linky Party #21. Click over there for some awesome DIY ideas!