Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Penny Ball - Tuesday Tidbit


A Penny For Your Thoughts...



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Have you ever made or seen a penny ball?  I saw these images when I was rambling around Pinterest and thought how clever!  I have always loved spheres in gardens, but most of the ones I have been drawn to are quite expensive.  This one piqued my interest, because it could be made with pennies.  All you need are a bunch of pennies and an old bowling ball to make a beautiful garden sphere, that not only repels slugs, but also makes hydrangeas blue?  I think this could be a fun summer project!  The pennies don't patina like 100% copper does, but what a great looking sphere to add a little interest to your garden.  You have to use a really strong glue like Amazing Goop in Home and Garden or marine formula because it is UV resistant and waterproof according to Beth Evans Ramos of a Greener Life.  House of Hawthorne has a tutorial here.  I am going to start saving my pennies now so I can make a penny ball with my kids this summer!  Of course we have to find an old bowling ball too but that shouldn't be so hard, right?  

Finally, a purpose for a penny other than weighing down my purse!  


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63 comments:

  1. What a fun idea, thanks for passing it on, Lisa!

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  2. Can you get introuble for doing this though, bc your defacing money? I was just wondering bc cool idea.

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    1. Pennies cost the government more to mint than they are worth.

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    2. No. You cannot get in trouble for defacing coinage...and this would not be considered defacing.

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  3. Well, many places have penny smushing machines...so probably not.

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  4. In Canada we are retiring the penny so go for it!

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  5. Technically it is defacing money, as is putting them and other coins in the pressing machines but I don't think anyone cares. I think it looks pretty neat. Go for it!

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    1. you don't have to press them to do this. many coins are retired so you can use those

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  6. I am determined to do this, and today I found variety of old bowling balls at my local thrift store. I bought o medium-sized one for only $3.95. I'll buy the glue tomorrow and by Saturday I should be done! So cool!

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  7. Check with your local Bowling Alley....sometimes they have to throw out balls that get too dented up so they may be willing to let you "dumpster dive" would also be a cool idea to use maybe an old metal mixing bowl...you could turn it upside down to look like an orb or use it as a bird bath. just another idea.

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  8. Anything under $0.05 is not considered defacing money, which is why those machines are legal. And this looks like an awesome project!

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  9. Love this idea! Be sure to glue all the Pennies face up for good luck!

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  10. I love this, thank you. I have friends who will love this, aaaaand....I will make it for myself ;)

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  11. This is so cool! I have a hydrangea out front that I'd like to keep blue AND this just looks neat anyway! I am definitely doing this one.

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    1. How does putting it out near a Hydrangea keep it blue?

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    2. The acid from the pennies changes the ph of the soil.

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  12. Pennies from 1982 and older are solid copper, they are actually worth double .02 cents

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  13. This sounds so fun. I have had slug problems with my hostas. I am going to try this.

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  14. This sounds so fun. I have had slug problems with my hostas. I am going to try this.

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  15. So I got all of the materials together, and then realize that there is a problem with this… After 1983, US pennies have been 97.5% zinc, 2.5% copper. Copper is good for your garden, but excess zinc can be very bad. :-(

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  16. Julia as you see in my post these are decorative and not near plantings however I and several of my readers have a penny ball in our garden with no problems.

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  17. Lisa, a penny ball or two is probably fine. I was so disappointed at having to forgoe the project that I continued to research on the web...and got very little guidance regarding the danger of zinc leaching into the garden, and nobody seems overly concerned about using galvanized (aka zinc-dipped) containers in the garden. (I realize this is WAY more info than you wanted :-)).

    Anyway-I think I can safely make my penny ball. :-)

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    1. Good Julia! I am now interested in doing research about zinc so you have opened a new door for me! I thank you for that and for the information you have shared!

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  18. A penny saved is a penny earned....

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  19. As an avid bowler I have plenty of bowling balls that I retired to use. This project is another idea to add a sculpture element to my flower garden and help with the slug problem at the same time. What kind of glue is the best to work with?

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  21. Can you use a flower pot? I'm thinking of covering a pot for strawberries.

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  22. Really want to do this, like, this weekend! But what glue is best?
    Also not sure if I can find bowling balls, thinking of alternatives: terra cotta pots, or even some kind of wood box. But I have no idea what glue works best on what materials! Anyone have suggestions?

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  23. So the pennies do not need to be only copper in order to work?

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  24. It feels so nice to find somebody with some original thoughts on this subject. Really thankful to you for starting this.
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  25. Hi, you make mind blowing ideas and a spectacular article heremoving companies california

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  26. cant wait to do this! What kind of glue works best?

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. P.S.. thanks for commenting!!!!

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  27. I am going to make lots of penny balls for my garden ;) ;) Where can I get the old bowling balls. Please advise,

    I love your blog.

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  28. what did you fill the hole with?

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  29. Isn't a bowling ball kind of heavy for this project? What about a styrofoam sphere, or volleyball or something? Help! I love the idea, but won't use a bowling ball.

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    1. I think the idea is to use a bowling ball so it won't blow away but if you try something else and it works do let us know

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  30. I joined this site just to find out about this penny globe. approximately how many pennies do you need? I have a bowing ball and we Penny Ball metal detect so I have a lot of pennies. I just wondering how many I need to clean up.

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    1. you will need a couple of hundred to start...

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  31. Does this actually work to keep slugs away from the plants or just the ball itself?

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  32. thank you for showing this. In my memory garden I have something that represents each Angel in my life.....butterfly bushes for my daughter-in-law, stepping stones for Mom and Sis, refurbished weather vein for my Dad.....but I have been looking for that special "thing" to show in honor of my father-in-law....and he collected those "WHEAT BACK PENNIES" for ages. I know I would never find all wheat back pennies needed to cover a bowling ball, but this is great....and he would love it no matter what I used. I'm still thinking of just the right things for some of my other special Angels who deserve to be recognized and honored. Thank you again for the exact directions......and if anybody out there wants to take some of those "wheat backs" and turn them into a few dollars....I would truly be grateful....but really if I don't have even one on it.....I would smile because it would remind me of one of the biggest blessings God brought into my life. xoxoxox

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    1. I like to collect those pennies for some reason lol so if I collect some do you still need them? it's a really wonderful idea you are using them for and would love to help and for selfish needs could use the money don't know how many I can get but will try if you still need, please respond and let me know either way

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  33. I am working on mine today. I am using E-6000 glue. You could glue a bumper on with this stuff! Just do it in a WELL VENTILATED area!

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  34. You could use any round object for this, a kids ball would also work as the weight of the pennies would keep it secure.

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  35. Has anyone yet determined if the pennies need to be copper to benefit the garden (avoid slugs, etc.) or will the zinc work? I use pennies in my bird bath to keep algae from forming on the bottom and it only seems to work if they are copper.

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    1. Thank you Mark and Teri for the idea of using pennies in the bird bath to prevent algae. In fact, gluing them in would be good too. The copper will not hurt the critters that drink the water, I am presuming?

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  36. Won't the copper leach into the soil and kill the surrounding plants?


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  37. Garage sales are great for finding spheres, not just Bowling balls. We have always saved pennies, bu this is a great reason!

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  38. To clean up old tarnished pennies, soak the in catsup for 15 minutes or so.

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  39. love the penny ball. it's the only sphere i have seen that i would actually use. love it...........Rena' of East Texas

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  40. Cant believe all the NEGATIVE post's on this idea. I think its amazing so if you don't like it then don't do it simple as :/ . Good idea Lisa : )

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  41. Cant believe all the NEGATIVE post's on this idea. I think its amazing so if you don't like it then don't do it simple as :/ . Good idea Lisa : )

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  42. I really like this idea...Thank you for your share. Have a great day

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  43. Perfect feng shui idea for a missing wealth sector

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