How to make ladybug bowling balls

Retiring an old bowling ball? You can turn it into a ladybug ball for the garden in your 'spare' time — it's as easy as 1-2-3.

Turning old objects and items into yard art is a great way to save money — as well as add a whimsical flair to your yard along the way. Here's how to turn your old bowling ball into a ladybug to use as garden decor.

How to make ladybug bowling balls

Before getting started

  1. Have the copper wire "antennae" cut at a hardware store; you'll save time by not doing it yourself.
  2. Use caulk to secure the beads onto the wire, but polyurethane glue works, too.
  3. The smallest can of mixed paint you can buy at a hardware store is one litre (one quart), but craft stores sell smaller quantities of acrylic hobby paint. If you wind up with extra paint, use it to make a colony of bugs - or gifts for envious neighbours.

What you need:

  • Bowling ball
  • Black silicone caulk
  • Two 22 cm (8.5 in) lengths of #6 copper wire (have the hardware store cut it for you)
  • Two 2.5 cm (1 in) round wooden beads1 L (1 qt)
  • Exterior primer
  • 1 L (1 qt) red exterior latex paint
  • 1 L (1 qt) black exterior latex paint
  • Painter's tape
  • Utility knife or scissors
  • Stencilling brush or sponge


  1. Prime and paint the bowling ball (ideally, three coats of red paint). After the paint is dry, apply painter's tape in the desired pattern. Stipple on black paint with a stencilling brush or sponge for texture.
  2. Make your own stencils by cutting differently sized circles from two pieces of painter's tape put top to bottom. Try six centimetre (2 1/2 inch) and three centimetre (1 1/4 inch) diameter dots. Stipple the dots. After the paint dries, remove the tape.
  3. Fill the thumb hole with black caulk. Set in two antennae made from lengths of copper wire with painted wooden beads affixed to the top. They need to dry for 24 hours. You may need to prop them up so they don't droop.
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