How can I reuse or recycle marbles?

The other day on Things To Do Today, I mentioned marbles in passing and it made me think of the stash of marbles we have in our board-games-and-assorted-toys chest. You know, the stash we’ve probably touched once in five years.

They could, obviously, go to a charity shop for another generation to enjoy but since the orbs were so fiercely won in many heated battles over the years and hold fun memories, it would be nice to reuse them from something around our house or the like.

My ideas so far: jewellery (albeit heavy jewellery) with the marbles held in bead cages, on display in a clear glass vase or somehow made into a lightshade.

Any other ideas?

What about the really really bashed up ones that won’t look so nice on show? I imagine they’re handy weights – any good uses for them?

(Photo by asolario)

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22 Responses to “How can I reuse or recycle marbles?”


  1. Kerry says:

    You can smash the ones up that are already kind of yucky and place them into cement for stepping stones outside. You can do this with ones that aren’t ‘yucky’ either – it would be a cool way to show off you collection!

  2. Alice says:

    Get a really huge washing-up bowl or similar, put loads of marbles and similar things (small roundish stones, big beads etc) in it, fill it with hot water and whatever essential oils, soap or bubble bath you like.

    Then soak your feet in it and massage them by rolling them over the marbles in the bottom. Aaaaaaahh….

  3. blackic says:

    I used to have a load of marbles mixed in with the gravel at the bottom of my goldfish tank…

  4. mum says:

    use them in the bottom of a tall flower vase to add height to not so long stems.

  5. Condo Blues says:

    Put them around the bases of potted plants as mulch. I saw this done with seashells and it was very pretty!

  6. sami says:

    to mix your lampshade idea with your bead cage idea… put each marble in a bead cage (the kind with two eyes/loops) and (using wire hangers perhaps?) string them on wire hoops to make interlocking (concentric maybe) circles. this would make a cylinder of sorts that you could hang on a lamp fixture with some tweaking/structural craftiness. maybe it’s a huge project but it would definitely let the “light shine” on your childhood treasures :) i hope someone gets what i’m trying to say..

  7. Dani says:

    I don’t have a suggestion, just a entertaining story. My Mother passed away last year and my father had a psychotic break (not the entertaining part) they could not find a room for my dad so they took him to a mental health facility over 9 hours from his home and about i8 from mine. I set out for Big Spring TX. and it was very late when I arrived, fortunately the hospital provided lodging for family of patients. A welcome respite after a frantic week. After I managed to spring him, I went over the room before leaving to make sure I left it the way I found it especially since it is supported and maintained by volunteers,and I wanted to make sure I had left nothing behind,. Under the dresser were three marbles, of course I was frazzled from the tumultuous trip and they prompted a much need laugh. I had to wonder if I could find their rightful owner would they make him whole and allow him or her to be released as well, hey we could even car pool! I ended up keeping them as a reminder to lighten up, so your caption provided with a giggle. Thanks.

  8. Nicole says:

    Part of a mosaic? Or stained glass window?

  9. Moneypenny says:

    Use them instead of (Hydroton) Clay Peblles. I have used clean rocks and pebbles in a glass jar before and it worked fine. Place some off cuts from another plant (co-workers plant that was getting to big :-) ) between the marbles, fill it up with water and you have a new plant.

  10. gale says:

    years ago there was a craze with putting marbles in the oven? and making little creatures out of them. It was in the 80′s. I was not at that time ready to “ruin” my trophys of being a marble champ, so I didn’t really pay attention to how it was done. I just remember thinking ” what are you nuts???” Miss playing marbles still have a few in my possession today. Sort of like Dani,, reminds me to lighten up and when I think I can’t cope with some of the Chaos in life,,I always check to see if I still have all my marbles and life is good again.

  11. angela says:

    I saw them glued to a small side table top, it was really pretty – a true marble topped table.

  12. Use them as game pieces in a congkak/mancala game (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Congkak). You can easily make the ‘game board’ using margarine tubs hot-glued together. 2 rows of 7 round tubs, with one rectangular tub on each end.

  13. dfghji says:

    Got all your marbles (a US company) sells pretty jewelry that holds marbles. Their jewelry is silver and you can take the marbles out and switch them if you want

  14. Laurie says:

    I have been wondering about an idea for using a marble for another “pretty” purpose also, but am nIt having much luck finding anything online besides the more common ideas of vases etc… I have a lot of old ones I’ve found on the beach over the years, and today had a revelation about maybe trying to turn one of my bigger red ones into a small cardinal somehow-like adding a head and wings, with the marble being much of the body/belly. I’ll just have to experiment I guess, go to the craft store and look around seeing what materials might be best. The last time I was in that store, I was in there so long having a hard time making up my mind and walking in circles, I think the manager in there thought I was either nuts, or trying to stuff arts and crafts in my pants…

  15. Synthia says:

    you can fry marbles in a pan over the stove and after they get really hot dump them in ICE COLD water. They crack in the inside so they look like little round crystals. (you can then make them into jewelry)

  16. brendan says:

    Hi louisa I was just looking for more ideas for things to make with marbles and come across your site. I have just finished making a table lamp using 500 marbles and I think it looks great would love to show you. so maybe you could try making one. I’m marble mad right now lol got too many lamp ideas going round in my head.

  17. Tardis says:

    I dunno dude.

  18. tonya says:

    I saw where someone made holes in their priovacy fence & put marbles in the holes very neat idea & it looked fantastic

  19. Anonymous says:

    I am making a marble tree.

  20. Victoria says:

    Don’t laugh but I was with a friend and we went by someone who had just remodeled his kitchen and bathroom. Well, I remember seeing the white bathroom sink filled black marbless covering the bottom of sink. ?? I always wondered when I think bath if that was for real or for show?? It actually looked vwr neat.



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