How to Turn Some Old Bowling Balls into Super Mario Garden Art

feo-blog-bowling-ballsI recently came into possession of a couple of old bowling balls, thanks to a friend on a clutter cleanse, and to my inability to turn down free stuff.  I like free stuff, “junk” if you will, no matter how weird or random it might seem.   Which brings me back to my original point.  Bowling balls.  Two of them.  The finger holes weren’t even a little bit aligned to my fingers, which incidentally, haven’t actually thrown a bowling ball since the early 2000’s.  I’ll get all kinds of use out of these guys! 

When thinking of what to do with my non-bowling bowling balls, I kept thinking of all of spherical garden art I’ve seen over the years.  All of those brightly colored, beautifully sparkly spheres people like to keep amongst the plants.  Those super shiny, gazing balls that you can lose yourself in.  But, I’m not beautifully sparkly, I’m not super shiny, and I don’t gaze as much as I should.  No, I need funk! I need fun! I need something with some personality!.  I’m gonna turn these two bowling balls into some Super Mario garden art for my front yard!

Specifically, I’m going to turn them into the Bob-omb and the Chain-Chomp characters.  First I had to give them a good scrubbing to scrape off years of all that wonderful bowling alley oil and grime.   Then I spray-painted them black.  I used craft paint to paint the details on the Chain-Chomp, as well as white craft paint to give the Bob-omb its two gorgeous peepers.

To give the Bob-omb its fuse, I started with an empty sausage can.  It’s not an exact, perfect match to the original character, but to be frank- I don’t care.  I used a hammer and nail to punch a hole into the bottom of the can which from here on out, is now the top.    This is the part you have to be careful with- hammers hurt poor little fingers.  I’m not ashamed to admit mine have ended up a little black and blue on occasion.  Also the metal hole I just made has sharp edges.  Proceed with caution, even better- proceed with gloves. 

We had some thicker wire laying in the garage that for the life of me, I couldn’t tell you why we had bought it in the first place.  But I only needed about six inches, so I used wire cutters to cut my length.  I carefully thread the wire through the hole, and put a little industrial strength glue around the hole to help keep the wire in place.  Then I put that glue all around the rim of the can and smooshed it onto the top of the bowling ball. 

For the Chain-Chomp’s signature chain, I used the removable chain strap from an old purse, and glued it to the back of the ball.  I thought about nailing it to a piece of 4×4, but I want my Chain-Chomp free!

Since I wanted these balls to go outside, I used a clear spray paint to coat them because I’m not about to be touching up these guys’ paint all the time. And yay! I’m done!


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