Introduction: Custom Antenna Balls

Picture of Custom Antenna Balls

Make your own customized antenna balls. Fun Cheap Easy, a great gift when you're broke or when you're saving money for beer!



Get the antenna ball....any antenna ball. I got mine from a radio station, they have promo stuff all the time. Some of the balls have a raised center line from where they were joined together being made, It took me a couple of times before I figured out that I could sand it off really easy to have a smooth surface all the way around.

Step 2: Prep the Ball

Picture of Prep the Ball

I used Acrylex gesso to prep my antenna balls, the same stuff I use to prep canvasses. I like to use this because then it gives me a nice surface to draw on and I can erase pencil lines when designing the picture.

It can take up to 3 or 4 coats to get nice even coverage, make sure to let them dry in between. I used a sponge paint brush (the kind you use to do corners of walls) really cheap dollar store ones.


Picture of DRAW YOUR BALL!!

This is the fun part. I used a pencil to draw my antenna balls since I can easily erase it. Make sure you have a good eraser, it sucks when the eraser smudges more than anything!

Have fun with it, you can make it anything from an 8 ball to something hatching from inside it to a Rastafarian smokin' a fattie. Erryting gwan be eyrie!

Step 4: Paint!

Picture of Paint!

this part is fun too. I've used Acrylic paints, Steadler Lumicolor Permanent markers (use medium tip not fine, fine will dig into the gesso and block the flow of ink, pain in the @ss to clean off constantly) and I've also used enamel model paint!

I combine my mediums lots too, easy to make fine lines & definition with felt pens!

I started by outlining my definition with the felts on this one, and coloring in the Iris. Thi spart is easier to do because you can hold the ball in your hands while doing it.


Picture of PAINT SOME MORE!!!

Now that I have it all outlined I started to paint in the colour. Since paint needs drying time before it can be handles, I used a chopstick from Hodo's Chineese food down the block. You can use apencil or pen or whatever you can stick it on. It has to be on the chopstick or whatever TIGHTLY!! or it will just spin when you try to paint.

****Just a note.......when painting the bottom of the ball be careful the ball doesn't pop off and leave a nice little trail of paint on the carpet as it rolls away!! *****

Step 6: Finishing Touches!

Picture of Finishing Touches!

After I finished painting my balls I sprayed them with a few coats of Krylon Triple-Thick Clear Glaze.

This gives them a nice shiny look and protects them from the weather (at least that's my theory...I don't knnow the long term durability of these since mine always get stolen within a week or two!)

Don't forget to sign them've just created a masterpiece!

Step 7: IN CONCLUSION......

Picture of IN CONCLUSION......

That's it, that's how I make them. Be creative, use your imagination, and who knows what'll come out.

I used an old toothbrush head painted gold to make Marvin the Martians helmet thing, brush, dongle or whatever you call it. I'll probably use push pins for Frankenstein's neck bolts (in progress)

Have fun, hope you found this at least entertaining!


Thejesterqueen (author)2015-11-25

Never think that you aren't as talented as someone else. Different artists use different mediums and some people who are very artistic couldn't paint what you have! Very Nice Work!!

p.s. I wouldn't put these on my car out in the elements!

RussellV1 (author)2015-06-14

How did you fasten the helmet thingy on Marvin the Martian

vader406 (author)2011-09-09

how can I come into possession of one of these toppers?? Track down the location of a radio station? 3:

kmiranda (author)2011-06-20

how much would you charge for about 1000 antenna balls for our small home town radio station?

Tape-structable (author)2009-09-27

Wow. They look so great. I would never put these on my car, since they are probably too precious. I suggest making a whole collection, and displaying them somewhere in your home. Great instructable.

kevaustin (author)2008-06-06

I've made a few more since the Instructable. Thought I'd sahre!! Show me the ones you've made! ~roach

bassclarinet23 (author)kevaustin2008-10-10


~INVENTOR~ (author)2008-09-15

you are a great artist. or a great cartoonist. have u thought of making it a profession??

kevaustin (author)~INVENTOR~2008-09-15

I've thought of it but to earn a living would be difficult I think. I really don't think I'm that good of an artist when I look around at the work of others. Thanks you for your comment, makes me want to do more!

Treelan (author)2008-03-21

Thanks for this instructable, it's great! I used to have a Marvin the Martian one. It was SO COOL, since Marvin is my fave toon character. Naturally, it was stolen. :( "Indie art" movement or not, is there a way to keep these from being stolen, anyone? Is it possible to glue them onto the antenna or something?

Dr.Paj (author)Treelan2008-04-04

You could always just take them with you when you leave your car (if thats where it is). If you want to make sure it doesn't come off when you are driving you could always add a little clay into the hole of the ball so it will be more difficult to come off when you are diving on the highway. If someone really wants it, glue will not stop them from stealing it, they will just rip it right off.

Treelan (author)Dr.Paj2008-04-07

That is definitely the best way to keep it, I'm sure! I'm afraid, however, that I don't have the memory function to remember to do that every time I park the car. Well, Meat, I've started two of them. They each have a coat of gesso on them, but I haven't decided on a design. Decisions, decisions!!

Dr.Paj (author)Treelan2008-04-07

I mentioned this because I've had neighbors get their radio stolen every other week it seems, mine is just fine (it is new and cost $130) I just remember to take the face plate off so it wouldn't be functional. I also learned that people can get into your car without getting into trouble as long as it's parked in the street, as long as they don't steal anything. If its on your driveway its private property so its considered trespassing if they get into it. (A year ago a whole seat was stolen from my neighbor's car.) It's a crazy world.

Dr.Paj (author)Dr.Paj2008-04-07

For a new design try this 8 ball design. It's sure to be stolen!

Treelan (author)Dr.Paj2008-04-07

LOL that is hilarious... a flaming 8 ball! I'm really wondering where in heck you live, Paj. Sounds like a scary neighborhood. I live in the country, so the main place I'd have to worry about losing it is when I'm shopping. I think my workplace is safe (there's a checkpoint coming in here with a security guard).

Dr.Paj (author)Treelan2008-04-07

My neighborhood is not bad, but the people who break into the cars are under 18 so they don't go to jail and they are usually drunk. They usually just try to get the speakers out of the car, and sometimes the stereo because it is harder to get out because of all the wires.

kevaustin (author)2008-03-26

Marvin & the Rasta are my faves for now too. Painting the bottom first is a great Idea, but I always ended up going back and adding some detail, or finishing touches.....once you do a couple you fighure out what works best for the one you're working on! Glad you like them!

Treelan (author)kevaustin2008-04-07

Can I borrow your drawing talent for a little while, Meatroach? I promise I'll give it back when I'm done with my antenna balls! :-P Anyone else have some design ideas?

Charles IV (author)2008-03-26

Very Cool. I'm thinking about making a mushroom from Super Mario.

drummonkey92 (author)2008-03-26

realy great! marvin the martian and the rasta are my faves! also, u said to be carefull when painting underneath so it doesnt drip off...if you painted that part first the you could still hold on to the (unpainted) top parts. after that, stick it on the chopstick and finish up.

jjay10 (author)2008-03-25

Those designs are awesome

kevaustin (author)2008-03-21

I'm sure you could glue the antenna balls onto your antenna with some silicone or something, i thing it would just make it harder to take off, not prevent it from coming off. As for the Gesso I picked mine up at a Loomis art store, but any art store would carry some.

Treelan (author)kevaustin2008-03-24

Thank you! I think I'm going to try one of these. It looks like a lot of fun. Plus, I love weird antenna toppers.

Bor (author)2008-03-22

Wouldn't it be great to combine this with this instructable?

Treelan (author)2008-03-21

Where do you get Acrylex gesso?

Kevvixx (author)2008-03-21

What is so special about those pens you use? Are they weatherprooof?

kevaustin (author)Kevvixx2008-03-21

they are drysafe meaning if you leave the end cap off the won't dry out & become useless, the have great pigment color, and are lightfast as well, meaning they won't fade in the sun. UV resistant. and I just like them, but I would reccomend the medium tip ones not the fine tip.

darkmuskrat (author)2008-03-21

Lol, someone should make one of these into a "Haro"(From Gundam)

kevaustin (author)2008-03-20

Thanks for the replies everyone, I had a website administrator ask me if I could make 50 of them wit her site logo on it. I don't know if I'l ldo that but I sure have fun making these. all your comments make me excited to do more! I'd love to see ones anyone else makes, If I've inspired anyone to make something creative like this then I'm stoked! Thanks for the feedback! This Instructables site is awesome!

deancp1 (author)2008-03-20

Very good!

"mine always get stolen within a week or two!"

Its like you are starting some kind of indie art movement where the creation is expected to be stolen!

GorillazMiko (author)2008-03-20

You're amazing. Great job. I've always loved these, now I can make my own! I'll try making a few, and I'll post some pictures if I can even do it. Great job! +1 rating.
(added to favorites)

By the way, just to reply to comments, hit the orange REPLY button.

duck-lemon (author)2008-03-20

your a freakin good artist!

kevaustin (author)2008-03-20


gmjhowe (author)2008-03-20

They all look cool! nice job

xboxteen01 (author)2008-03-20

very cool idea, the marvin one looks awesome

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