Custom Antenna Balls

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Intro: 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!

Step 1: GET THE ANTENNA BALL!!

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

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.

Step 3: 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!

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.

Step 5: 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!

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 either.....you've just created a masterpiece!

Step 7: 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!

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    35 Discussions

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    Thejesterqueen

    2 years ago

    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!

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    RussellV1

    3 years ago

    How did you fasten the helmet thingy on Marvin the Martian

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    vader406

    7 years ago on Introduction

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

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    kmiranda

    7 years ago on Introduction

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

    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.

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    kevaustin

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

    IMG_1464.JPGCartman 001.jpgBoobies 002.jpg
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    kevaustin~INVENTOR~

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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!

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    Treelan

    10 years ago on Introduction

    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?

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    Dr.PajTreelan

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    TreelanDr.Paj

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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!!

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    Dr.PajTreelan

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    Dr.PajDr.Paj

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

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

    antenna8ball.jpg
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    TreelanDr.Paj

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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).

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    Dr.PajTreelan

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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.

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    kevaustin

    10 years ago on Step 7

    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!

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    Treelankevaustin

    Reply 10 years ago on Introduction

    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?

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    Charles IV

    10 years ago on Introduction

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

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    drummonkey92

    10 years ago on Step 7

    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.