Penny Bowling Ball

Here’s a simple garden art project, that is wonderfully mindless.  Use a strong glue to attach your surplus pennies to a thrift store bowling ball.  It would be a great project to do with your kids on a rainy day.  For the glue, my favorite is made by Amazing Goop, and I use the Home and Garden or Marine formula, because they are UV resistant as well as waterproof.

This is an idea that has been around for ages.  I certainly didn’t think it up.  I put my penny bowling ball by our front door after our recent move.  So many visitors comment on how much they like it.  I like it because it requires zippo maintenance.  Although, during the move, it rolled out of my car onto the driveway (thank goodness, it didn’t damage the brand new paving), and three pennies fell off.  Not bad.  And gluing them back on went lickety-split.


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52 Responses to “Penny Bowling Ball”

  1. Nia Says:

    LOVE this! I think I will try this with the kiddos. It’ll go great next to the wireframe globe that my husband welded for one of our son’s school projects.

    • Beth Evans-Ramos Says:

      Lucky you having a husband that welds! Your wireframe globe sounds like it will be perfect company for your bowling ball. I am a big fan of most metal garden art for its organic texture and looking good outside year round.

  2. pobept Says:

    I like the idea of using my few thousand penny’s setting around in tin can’s in unusual art projects.

    • Beth Evans-Ramos Says:

      The pennies weather so beautifully outside as well. Living near Canada, we acquire a fair amount of Canadian pennies, and I like to use them showing that great maple leaf side. Thanks for dropping by my blog.

      • Theresa Says:

        I wish I had your Canadian pennies. I love the idea of the maple leaf showing!! We have a bowling ball we will be doing this. How many pennies did you use on yours? the kids are going to love this.

      • Beth Evans-Ramos Says:

        Hi Theresa,

        Sorry, I’m not much help estimating how many pennies I used for this project. Maybe 250 – 300 pennies. But I’m just guessing. It’s been ages since I made my penny bowling ball. The good news is you can use the leftovers! Have a bunch of fun doing this project with your kids.


  3. Bonnie Skeers Says:

    Cool garden art project that is also a lot less expensive than garden art at local nurseries. Appreciate the instructions. I miss seeing you at Salvage Studio. I loved that place and you always brightened my day with your kindness and great sense of humor. Love this blog.

  4. Cathy Chapin Says:

    Were all of your pennies already dull and worn or did you use new pennies too? I’m just wondering if the new ones have weathered fairly quickly.
    Love this !!

    • Beth Evans-Ramos Says:

      I started with pennies that were around the house, which were sort of tarnished already. I also went to the bank to buy a couple more rolls of pennies and some of them were shinier. So I used a mix of the two and let nature create the patina. If you wanted to speed the process up, I bet you could spray your ball with vinegar and get the copper to darken quicker.

  5. Sticky Business: Posts We Liked This Week | An Eclectic Blog Says:

    […] An old bowling ball, pennies & Amazing GOOP make a unique garden art project. […]

  6. Tea Cup Tidiness « Everyday Green Girl Says:

    […] Evans Ramos has many other great ideas for greening your life and particularily your decor.  The Penny Bowling Ball and Slightly Tacky Wreath are personal favourites. LikeBe the first to like this […]

  7. Barney Says:

    What kind of Glue did U use??? ???WERE there “300”Pennies??? THANX Barney

    • Beth Evans-Ramos Says:

      I used clear bathroom silicone glue, which has held up well. Now I would use Amazing Goop’s marine or garden formula because they are UV-resistant and meant to be used for outside use. I didn’t count how many pennies it took. I bet 300 would do the trick.

  8. Interesting DIY Garden projects « The garden bug Says:

    […] You can find the DIY project here: […]

  9. claudette rateau Says:

    And this actually repels slugs?

  10. Kimmy Says:

    Do you think the same could be done with Nickels?

  11. Donna Criswell Mollaun Says:

    Where to do put them? Next the plants being plants being attacked by slugs? How close?

    • Mama Knows Her Cocktails Says:

      Hi Donna,

      The penny bowling ball really doesn’t repel slugs. That piece of info got attached to the pininterest picture somewhere along all the reposting of it. It does make a wonderful and sturdy piece of garden art though. Thanks for your interest.


  12. Dana Says:

    I’ll admit that I followed a pin on Pinterest that mentioned slugs, which are plentiful here in Indiana. However, the link on the pin(s) just went to a picture of the ball. I went on a hunt for a good link because I really like the look of this! Too bad it doesn’t work on slugs–oh, well.

    So, now I’m subscribed to your blog! Love your style!

    • Mama Knows Her Cocktails Says:

      Hi Dana, Thanks for persevering to find all the info on the penny bowling ball. Even though it doesn’t have the magical abilities to repel slugs (which its’ Pinterest fame gathered and proclaimed), it is the perfect piece of garden art – sturdy and attractive. Plus it is fun and easy to create. Thanks for subscribing to that blog, but I’m no longer adding fresh content to it. I’m channeling my love for organic gardening and cooking and using vintage things into my newest endeavor: If you have a moment, I’d be so pleased if you would check it out. If it interests you, you could subscribe to that blog and/or follow it on facebook. Hope your gardening season is going well. I spent the day outside doing some planting and tidying up. It felt amazing!

  13. 10 Great DIY Projects for your Garden or Flower Bed | Handmade Future Says:

    […] DIY Penny Ball […]

  14. Jennifer @handmadefuture Says:

    Thanks for the awesome share! I’ve always wanted to make something using coins and this penny ball is perfect! I just wrote a blog post featuring 10 great garden projects and I included this awesome project.

  15. DIY: Pennies to Projects & A New Table in 8 Steps! | Says:

    […] [Image Source] […]

  16. Barb Says:

    Did you paint the bowling ball 1st??

  17. Top 10 Tuesday: 10 Ways to Decorate with Pennies (Literally) | Design, Dining + Diapers Says:

    […] 5. Penny Bowling Ball For Your Garden ( Via Beth Evans Ramos) […]

  18. Krissy Says:

    What did you do to the holes? My ball came from my FIL and his fingers were pretty big so the penny just falls right in the hole!

    • Mama Knows Her Cocktails Says:

      I didn’t worry about covering up the holes. I have that part of my penny ball be the bottom part that rests on the ground. It shows a little bit if you crouch down low, but it doesn’t really show otherwise. That’s fun that you have a family heirloom of sorts, to decorate!

    • CC Says:

      That’s where the slugs live, LOL!

  19. ptz plus Says:

    After I originally commented I clicked the -Notify me when new comments are added-
    checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get four emails
    with the identical comment. Is there any manner you may take
    away me from that service? Thanks!

    • Mama Knows Her Cocktails Says:

      I apologize for the duplicate comments you have been receiving from this blog. I have retired this blog, but comments are still being occasionaly left, especially about the penny bowling ball project. The comments/subscription feature is operated by WordPress. The easiest fix would be to unsubscribe from the notification of new comments feature. Sorry I don’t have any more helpful advice to offer. Thanks for letting me know about this.

  20. TXAngel Says:

    I believe that if you use Pennies from 1944-1981 (higher percentage of copper compaired with the more recent pennies), you may have better luck at detering the slugs. Here’s the link with the copper percentages in pennies:

    • Mama Knows Her Cocktails Says:

      Thanks for the useful link about which pennies contain more copper. I created the penny bowling ball just as a piece of garden art. It’s been a popular idea on Pinterest, and along the way has been given the added tagline that it is useful in deterring slugs. Oh well. Using the right, older pennies just might be a small slug deterrent. Thanks again for the info.

  21. Maggie Says:

    I read this on another Pinterest site: Copper strips produce a shock to snails and slugs trying to cross them. Wrap inexpensive, thin copper, found in craft stores, around pots, plants, and trees to create a protective barrier.

  22. Sherry Says:

    I too followed the pinterest link. I also, went on a hunt to find the real link and to find out about slugs. It turns out that pennies have to be buried in the dirt to actually repel slugs.

    • Mama Knows Her Cocktails Says:

      Hi Sherry,

      Thanks for tracking down my original link. My penny bowling ball has taken on a life of its own on Pinterest! Comments have been added by others, such as the copper pennies repel slugs. I created the penny bowling ball as a fun piece of garden art. Its’ main purpose is to be a decoration. I appreciate your comment and interest. Hope your summer gardening is going well!


  23. Tiff Says:

    Did anyone try using hot glue? I was just thinking of using what I had

    • Mama Knows Her Cocktails Says:

      Hi Tiff,

      Hot glue would work if you kept your penny ball inside, out of the weather. Otherwise, that glue is going to break down in the sun. For your penny ball living outside, you need to use a glue that is UV resistant. Most glues are waterproof. The marine glue isn’t too expensive. Mainly, look for a strong glue that has the UV resistant property. It’s a fun project!


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  25. Pam Douglas Says:

    I love this idea and plan on making one for my garden this year. Just one question, about how much adhesive is required? I’m going to use the Amazing Goop Marine formula as you suggested. Do you think one tube should do it? Thanks so much!

    • Beth Evans-Ramos Says:

      Hi Pam,

      I am not too good at estimating how much glue a project will take. I would think one tube should be plenty. If you have extra glue left, it is very handy for other projects. Have fun creating your penny ball!


  26. eva Says:

    i just finished your brilliant project, I couldn’t get bowling ball, so I used a giant xmas ball (plastic), same size as the bowling ball!
    Used 1 tube of glue and sprayed with clear warnish (we get a lot of rain where I live) it looks fantastic in the garden!Thank you Beth!

  27. 16538 Says:

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  28. DIY: Pennies to Projects & A New Table in 8 Steps! Says:

    […] [Image Source] […]

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