What Is The Best Craft Glue For My Bowling Ball Project?

Not All Craft Glues Or Adhesives
Work For Every Type Of Project

I recevied an email from Jayne who asked:

Hi Claudia, I would like to know what type of adhesive is best for making ‘mosaic’ garden balls using bowling balls. I tried silicone but the mosaic pieces loosen after a while. I need an adhesive that will survive freeze/thaw cycles … I live in Ontario, Canada.

Any suggestions would be great. I currently subscribe to your newsletter which I enjoy very much. Your website is the best! Thanks! Jayne M.

My reply:

Hi Jayne:
OK, let’s talk about craft glues and adhesives. I do understand how your cold climate can make any glue or adhesive basically harden up and just not “work”. This is the reason why the silicone didn’t work – it was the wrong adhesive to use. Not just because of the cold temperature factor, but also because it just isn’t the right adhesive for your project. The surface of the bowling ball necessitates a different kind of product.

Let me say here too … I am not going to nick-pick about the dictionary terms for “craft glue” or “adhesives”. To most of us, when we’re doing a craft project we don’t care what the gooey stuff is called … just as long as it works and keeps things stuck onto our item for a loooooong time. 🙂

Mosaic bowling ball My suggestion would be to use one of the appropriate commercial grade glues/adhesives (there are many different kinds geared to specific materials and/or surfaces) from the “Liquid Nails” product line or better yet, “Rhino Glue”. I would think these products are available in Canada.

Read about Rhino Glue and make sure to click on their FAQ page. Click here to read about the Liquid Nails products.

I can buy these products at the big-box DIY stores … like Home Depot which I know you have there in Canada. Here in the USA Home Depot keeps the Liquid Nails products and the Rhino Glue in one of the paint department aisles. If these brand name products are not available in Canada, I am sure you’ll be able to find something similar that will do the job for you.

Now, here’s a product I recently learned about – Weldbond Universal Space Age Adhesive. Wowee! I think this stuff just might be the answer to many crafter’s dreams for the craft glue-to-end-all-glues!! I have read of mosaic artists raving about the stuff … so I will encourage you to contact these folks. I don’t know where it is available in stores in the USA or Canada. But they take online orders. 😉

This information should help you be successful with your next bowling ball craft project. Oh! I should mention that I am sure you know that no matter what surface you want to use a craft glue on … that it has to be clean of all dirt and grease. With your bowling ball, you might want to scuff up the surface with some coarse sandpaper to make an even better surface for the glue to adhere to.

Good luck!


  1. Generally I dont post on blogs, but I have to say this post force me to. Really nice post.

  2. I have used Weldbond for years, and yes it is a good adhesive for mosaic. I would however, say in an area with freeze/thaw cycles I would bring my art into a garage or other inside area. Stepping stones also. The only problem I have had with this adhesive is when I glue transparent or clear color glass, it takes FOREVER for the Weldbond to dry and you can see it still milky through the glass. I had a piece that took years to cure. I would say to use thinset morter if you want to make sure your pieces stay on for the long haul. HTH Pam

  3. Claudia says:

    Hi Pam:
    Thanks for taking the time to share great info about using Weldbond with everyone. It’s people like you who help all of us have more successful projects vs. failures when using new products we’re not familiar with for the first time. Thanks again! 🙂

  4. Claudia says:

    Thanks Paul. 😉

  5. Just found your website and it looks great! I am a mosaic artist and instructor. My most popular class is the bowling ball mosaic gazing ball.

    Living in Indiana we have a lot of freeze thaw days in the winter. I have bb gazing balls that have been in my yard for 10 + years now and have never had a problem. For anything where the teserea will slip I use Liquid Nails for small projects. Unfortunately it has been pulled off the market by the EPA. I am now using the new version and don’t know how well it is going to work yet.

    For flat projects I use the Weld Bond and totally agree with the last post about dry time. I have tried using it on bb’s but to get pieces to stay it has to be taped, not fun when you are wanting to get something done.


  6. Hey Deborah – thanks for the good info. I appreciate you taking the time to share your expertise.


  7. Sarah Sabbe says:

    What great information! I just found your website and I have always wanted to do a mosaic bowling ball! I do steel and glass garden art as well as concrete pieces. I am definitely going to give the bowling ball a try!

  8. Hi Sarah:
    I wish you fun and success with the mosaic bowling ball – please send me a photo when you’re done with this project as I am sure my blog visitors would love to see your creation and to read any tips you might care to share that you learned along the way. 🙂

  9. I make mosaic gazing balls using bowling balls and I use Liquid Nails.

  10. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Thanks for the information, Janet. 🙂

  11. Polly Williams says:

    Have tried glueing glass pebbles on a rubber ball. Using silicone,kept sliding off and not drying. Have two basketballs to use, but what kind of glue do I use? Thanks for any info you all have.

  12. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Polly: I guess you didn’t try using the Search feature on my website – please do in the future as you’d be surprised with all the topics I’ve written about, including the best types of glue to use for many garden art projects. Please go to http://www.artistic-garden.com/what-is-the-best-craft-glue-for-my-bowling-ball-project/ and I do believe you’ll find some good glue suggestions.

    Best of luck with your project!

  13. I have made many mosaic balls with E6000 glue which are left outside all year without any tiles/glass coming loose. I do grout them.

  14. Claudia Brownlie says:

    Thanks, Beth. Yes – E6000 does seem to be a pretty dependable go-to choice. **For those of you trying to find it, I will say I’ve seen it at Hobby Lobby (no – I am NOT remunerated for saying this) and probably the big-box home improvement stores might have it. Also online, I’m sure.

  15. I use E600 as well but have the tape as I go for slippage. Faster dry time than weldbond. I’ve used silicon too and it sticks and stays better but still longer dry time than the E600z I’ve also tried thunder which probably structurally best for big changes in outdoor weather but better but by far the messiest of all but pieces stick better in the process.

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