I’ve had so much fun checking out all the “Before and Afters” linked for yesterday’s Metamorphosis Monday party!
Yesterday for Met Monday, I posted a garden transformation. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is beautifully illuminated now for their Garden Lights, Holiday Nights event. Today’s post is about another transformation, one you can make and give for Christmas or use for an upcoming dinner party.
Do you make any of the gifts you give? I have to confess, normally I do not. When I was first married, I crocheted snowflakes and made macrame Santas, etc… But over the years life got really busy and handmade gifts got lost in the rush. If you still like to make some of your gifts, or you’re looking for a special way to mark each person’s place at your Christmas dinner table, you’re going to love this. Did I mention it’s super fast and easy to make? That’s always a plus!
Last year I received the 2011 Christmas with Southern Living as a gift from my sister. Inside I found a tutorial for making a wintry snow globe. I couldn’t wait to give it a try. I changed my version up a bit and in this tutorial, I’m sharing some additional info that wasn’t mentioned in the book that I think you’ll find helpful.
Pssst: There’s a printable version of this tutorial at the end of the post. I used my recipe plugin to create it so it says “ingredients” instead of “supplies or materials.”
To make your snow globe, you’ll need:
An empty jar, with lid (I used a 7 oz, Great Value, olive jar from Walmart. Olive, pickle and jam jars work well)
Glitter (I used 2 kinds: Coarse Glitter and Tinsel Glitter…found in Michaels)
Glycerin (found in Michaels)
Waterproof glue that dries clear (I used E6000, available at Home Depot and Michaels)
Acrylic Ice Cubes (found at Michaels)
A decorative piece (I chose a polar bear and a small ornament)
The longest part of this process is waiting for the glue to dry. If you plan to make several of these, it will go quickly if you do it in batches, completing each step for all of the globes at the same time, as opposed to making each globe in its entirety, one at a time. You may wish to make one globe to try it out, then make all the others you wish to make in batches.
The first step to making your snow globe is to glue the “faux” ice cubes down to the inside of your jar lid using your waterproof glue. The cubes aren’t necessary but they are going to give the object you’ve chosen to go inside a bit of a lift for better viewing. I chose a cute polar bear for my snow globe.
Important: In order to determine where the ice cubes and Mr. Polar Bear needed to be positioned, I tested positioning the cubes and Mr. Bear and placing the jar down on top of the lid. You don’t want to get everything glued into place on top of your lid and find Mr. Bear’s nose is sticking out too far for the jar to fit down onto the lid. Hope that makes sense.
I placed tape on the bottom of my cubes and onto Mr. Bears feet and “test placed” them all onto the lid, placing the jar onto the lid before actually gluing him into place. Once I knew the jar would fit properly onto the lid, I un-taped Mr. Bear. Then I un-taped the cubes one at a time, gluing them back into place where they had been. Then I glued Mr. Bear back atop the cubes. I also glued a little red plastic ornament in front for some extra Christmas cheer. If you add an ornament to your snow globe, don’t use one that has a metal cap because over time that could rust.
Here’s how Mr. Polar Bear looked attached to his polar ice, with everything glued into place. Be sure to let your water-proof glue dry at least 24 hours, 48 is even better.
The jar I used for my snow globe was an olive jar. It was Walmart’s brand of olives. If you want to use the same jar, the jar was labeled: Great Value® Pimento Stuffed Manzanilla Olives, 7 0z size. Whatever jar you use needs to have a wide opening so it will fit over your the objects you display inside.
If you don’t like the lid color of the jar you’ll be using, paint it any color you wish with a spray paint that’s is recommended for metal. You may wish to prime it first so the paint won’t chip. I kind of liked the blue color of my olive jar so I left it, as is.
Once your figures are glued steadfastly into place, fill your jar almost to the top with distilled water. The directions in the book said to fill it to the top. I wondered how that would work since I knew the figures would displace some of the water. They did so I ended up pouring some out and found the optimal level for the water was about where the indention starts for the neck of the jar. (Note arrow below)
The book suggested using one teaspoon of glitter and adding more as you wished. The picture in the book showed two types of glitter but didn’t say which to use, if you should use both, or how much of each. What I found worked was using 1 teaspoon of each type of glitter. So I added 1 teaspoon of the Martha Stewart course glitter and 1 teaspoon of the Martha Stewart tinsel glitter. The tinsel glitter is fluffy and light, and bigger than the course glitter. I loved how both looked in the end.
After adding the glitter, add a few drops of glycerin to the water. I used 3 fat drops. Caution: Don’t use too much glycerin or it can gunk up at the bottom and your glitter will stick to it. Three drops was all I needed to thicken the water a bit so the
glitter snow would drift slowly down inside the globe. Once you add your glitter and glycerin, stir them up a little with a spoon. You won’t need to stir very much…just a little to mix it through the water.
Next, add a small amount of your water-proof glue around the inside edge of your lid and screw the lid down tightly to the jar. Give it another 24 hours for drying time. I was impatient to take pictures and turned it upside down right away without taking time to add the glue. It held for picture taking, but you wouldn’t want to leave it that way for too long.
Here’s how my snow globe looked in its unshaken state.
And here’s how it looked while “snowing.” It was tricky shaking it and then snapping a pic before it settled. lol It actually looks a bit snowier than you see here. I may add one more drop of glycerin since I haven’t sealed mine with glue, yet.
One thing you may wish to consider doing is using snow globes as place markers for your Christmas dinner or for a holiday dinner party. I played around a bit while making my globe just to see how it would look with a name written on the ornament. You could use gold or silver sharpie markers to write the name, depending on the ornament color.
Wouldn’t your dinner guest love peering inside and seeing snow falling down around their name? At the end of the evening they could take their snow globe home with them, a reminder of a special Christmas dinner.
Ya gotta eat a lot of olives if you’re going to make them for all your dinner guests. Know any good olive recipes? Maybe an olive tapenade that could be served as an appetizer before dinner?
Another idea: I saw these teeny, tiny figures/scenes in Dollar Tree and they would be perfect for making snow globes with baby food jars. They were three for $1 so very economical. They were similar to the figures you see used for snow villages. Have fun trying new ideas for your snow globes.
Here’s a printable version of the above tutorial. Have fun making these!
- A jar, with lid (I used a 7 oz, Great Value, olive jar from Walmart. Olive and pickle jars work well. Any jar with a large opening should work.)
- Glitter (I used 2 kinds: Martha Stewart Coarse Glitter and Martha Stewart Tinsel Glitter (found in Michaels)
- Glycerin (found in Michaels, also availabe in some drug stores)
- Distilled Water
- Waterproof glue that dries clear (I used E6000, available at Home Depot and Michaels)
- Acrylic Ice Cubes (found at Michaels)
- A decorative piece (I chose a polar bear and a small ornament. Do not use anything metal because it will most likely rust.)
- Test position your cubes and bear (or whatever item you'll be using) by taping them onto the lid of your jar to make sure the jar will fit down over them. Just roll up the tape and stick it underneath your object to hold it in place.
- Once you know the jar will fit properly over the item(s), glue them in place on the lid and let dry overnight.
- The next day, fill your jar almost to the top with distilled water. Add one teaspoon of coarse glitter and one teaspoon of tinsel glitter. You can add more later if you like a lot of snow in your snow globe.
- Next add a few drops of glycerin. Start with three and see how that works. You don't want to add too much because it can stick to the bottom and the glitter will stick to it. I used 3 fat drops for my 7 oz size snow globe.
- Using a spoon, gently mix the glitter and glycerin through the water.
- Next, screw the lid down onto the jar and turn it over to see how it looks. This is the time to decide if you want more glitter or another drop of glycerin, depending on how slowly the glitter falls/stays aloft.
- Once you're satisfied with how your snow globe looks, unscrew the lid and add glue around the inside edge so the lid will be well sealed once you put the lid back on and it dries.
- After your globe dries overnight, leave it on a surface that won't be damaged by water for a few days, just to make sure it isn't leaking.
- Enjoy your snow globe!