Thursday, March 5, 2009

DIY How To-A Glowing Crystal Ball

Everyone needs a crystal ball but one that is halfway decent size costs a fortune! I wanted a Madame Leota sized ball but without a head in it, something that was beautiful. Maybe I should have consulted one back in September before I lost my retirement...couldn't have been any worse advice than what I got from my broker! I saw this idea a few years back but I don't remember whom to give credit so I salute the unknown haunter who I got this idea from (however, adding the glow is my idea:{))

First of all, we need a glass ball and believe it or not, this is perhaps the easiest thing to find, especially right now...a glass gazing ball. We want one that is smooth and shiny, and this time, cheap is the best way to go. No mosaics, no fancy swirls, no colored glass, just plain and shiny. Look in Hobby Lobby, Michael's or my favorite, Big Lots for them. If you see a cool gazing ball stand that you like, go ahead and get one.

When you get the gazing ball home, carefully pull the rubber stopper from the bottom. You'll see that it's hollow inside, like a glass Christmas ball. Save the stopper, it keeps the insides clean when you're done. Put the ball in a bowl in a sink (to keep it steady and the opening pointing upward), and pour about a cup of household bleach into the ball. Fill the ball with water to the top of the opening (I use warm water, not hot) and leave it overnight. The bleach fairies will scrub the coating away and in the morning, you will have a crystal clear glass ball, no kidding. If you see some spots that didn't get cleaned off, dump the water out and repeat until no metallic coating is left on the inside. I should say that utmost caution should be used in this process, bleach is toxic, and broken glass is ouchie, do all this at your own risk and use common sense and if you don't have any, find someone who does and let them do this for you.
When the ball is cleaned out and clear, rinse it thoroughly and wash it out with some dishwashing detergent, rinse well and then lastly, pour some rubbing alcohol in and swish it around over and over. Pour out and let dry completely.

Now you have a crystal ball! Put the stopper back on the bottom to keep the insides clean and display on the stand that you bought.

Let's kick it up a notch...I wanted mine to glow in the dark and since I tried SEVERAL different methods on SEVERAL different balls, I will save you the time and trouble by giving you the best method I found.

Buy 3 cans of Krylon Glow in the Dark spray paint (any hobby store should have it). Wearing rubber gloves (to hold onto the ball and to keep your hand from getting glowy) spray INSIDE the globe LIGHTLY to keep drips from forming. Let dry about an hour. Repeat, repeat, repeat, repeat ad nauseum to build up the color. Go slow, your efforts will be rewarded with a flawless looking glowing ball. When done, allow to dry for several days and then put the cap back on.

The glow on mine is incredible, very bright when you use a black light and it glows for hours later. Another idea is using glass frosting spray inside, apply just like the glow paint and when finished, install a small light bulb through the bottom
to look like there is a power going on inside...

Have fun kiddies!


DeadmansLog said...

brilliant! I'm deinitely looking into this...

The Captain said...

Very creative! I may have to do a gypsy theme in the future.

Dixie said...

Very nice tutorial, and seems easy enough... this might be something to consider! Thank you :)

Ruthie said...

Yes! I am going to do this for my Haunted Mansion hallway.

I do want Leota's head, so I would probably would use fishing line to attach the head to the stopper inside and hang from the ceiling. Or place some colored tulle to have the head resting inside.

Great idea! Thanks!