Knock-Off Pier 1 Letter Balls

Knock-Off Pier 1 Letter Balls
Several months back I found these “decorative spheres” at Pier 1. (Pier 1 likes to call them “spheres,” I just call them balls).
Pier 1 Typography Spheres
I immediately liked them, but seeing as I don’t have any J’s, Q’s or X’s in any of my names, I was having trouble finding the letters I wanted. Plus, at $2/each, even if I could find all the letters I wanted, I would have burned up a good portion of the $30 gift card I was hoping to use.
Fast forward a few months when I was scrambling to come up with a game for my Seminary students to play. I ended up with a bunch of ping pong balls after the game and it didn’t take long for me to start seeing those balls in a new light.
See, ping pong balls are pretty much the same size as the “decorative spheres” that Pier 1 sells. They were perfect for me to try my hand at my own letter balls.
I improvised a holder for the balls so I could paint them.
How to Spray Paint Ping Pong Balls
I put some duct tape on a box with the sticky side up. Then I placed the balls far enough apart so I could spray all sides.
I busted out my Heirloom White and started spraying the balls.
How to Make Letter Spheres
Next, I used my Silhouette machine to cut out some letters for the balls. I used a font called Rough Typewriter for the letters. I made the letters all 1” tall and cut 6 letters/numbers for each ball.
I found it was easiest to hold the ball on the top and bottom of the ball and place the letter in the center section facing me. Next, I rotated the ball 90 degrees and put the next letter on. It helped to keep the spacing even, but you may find an easier way. I repositioned several letters and numbers to get them evenly spaced.
Once I had the vinyl on, I sprayed on a glossy clear coat. The Pier 1 “spheres” are very shiny and I wanted that same look on mine.
If I were to do it again, I would have put the clear coat on before the letters. The vinyl held well for the most part, but it did curl up in a couple of places. I was able to stick it back down, though.
Pier 1 Ping Pong Number Balls
In my anxiousness to complete a project, I ignored the high humidity levels of the day and sprayed the balls with the clear coat. Most of them did just fine, but the 8-balls rebelled against such treatment.
I have extra ping pong balls so I could make more, but truth be told, I probably won’t. I have other projects on my plate and you can’t really tell once the balls are in the cloche.
Plus, the cracks give the balls a vintage look. Yeah. That’s it. I like their aged look!
Pier 1 Letter Balls
I have all the letters of our last name, plus the numbers for the year we were married. They work better in the smaller embossed cloche that I knocked-off from Allison at House of Hepworths.
Ping Pong Letter Balls
Here it is on my console tables. Yes, I need to redo this table. I’ve only had it for 8 years now. It has not looked this rough for all 8 years, but the three moves in that time have taken their toll. It’s moving up the project list.
Since a 2 mega-pixel cell phone camera only captures so much detail at a distance, here’s a closer view of some of the items on the table.
The old crock and the vintage croquet balls came from Hub’s parent’s house. They are authentically aged to perfection. They are so aged, it’s hard to tell their colors any more. I guess no one ever liked the brown because that one is in the best shape. The red one spent a winter under our lilac bush in Idaho. Oops.  I also have the mallets and the metal holder for the set. I’m trying to find a fun way to use them.
The Chinese checkers board was made by Hubs a few years ago. He always played Chinese checkers whenever he visited his grandmother in Kansas. When we inherited a boat load of marbles, Hubs decided to make a board for us. I want to paint the board and give it a vintage treatment but Hubs won’t hear of it. The real checker board below was made by Hub’s grandfather.
That’s a picture of Kiddo wearing his Daddy’s shoes in Troy, Ohio. There’s also a picture of Hubs, taken by one of the kids in Yreka, California. The foot picture was taken by a friend of mine in Meridian, Idaho. I love it, but Hubs…not so much.
When Hubs started working for newspapers, he have to shoot pictures for the paper, as well as every other job on the paper. He’d roll his own film and develop it, so whenever he needed to develop the roll, he’d burn off the rest of the roll by shooting pictures of the kids.
That’s baby girl in a dandelion field in Quincy, Washington. Baby Girl and I are kissing as I push her on a swing in George, Washington. Man Child and Baby Girl are holding hands and walking with fishing poles in Hermiston, Oregon.
Again, sorry for the crappy photo. But, hey, I’m getting a new cell phone and it has an 8 mega-pixel camera on it! Woot. I’m moving up in the world.
The chairs, lamp, pillow, cloche and plant holder all have their own posts. If you’re interested in finding out more about them, be sure to check out my Projects Page.

Knock Off Pier 1 Letter Balls

Cost Breakdown

  • Ping Pong Balls – Stash on hand ($1.46/6 at Wal-Mart)
  • Spray Paint, Vinyl – Stash on Hand
  • Glossy Clear Coat – $3.98

Total Project Cost – $3.98

Total Project Time – 2 hours, give or take for paint drying time.

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