Make a Wintry Snow Globe

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)
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)

How to Make a Snow Globe

 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.

How to Make a 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.

How to Make a Snow Globe

 

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)

How to Make a Snow Globe

 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.

How to Make a Snow Globe

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.

Make a Snow Globe for Christmas

Here’s how my snow globe looked in its unshaken state.

How to Make a Snow Globe

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.

Make a Snow Globe for the Holidays

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.

Make a Snow Globe

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.

Make a Snow Globe for the Holidays

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.

Make a Wintry Snow Globe

 

Here’s a printable version of the above tutorial.   Have fun making these!

5.0 from 1 reviews

Make a Wintry Snow Globe
 
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Ingredients
  • 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.)
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Once you know the jar will fit properly over the item(s), glue them in place on the lid and let dry overnight.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Using a spoon, gently mix the glitter and glycerin through the water.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. Enjoy your snow globe!
Notes
You can also make snow globes with baby food jars, using tiny figures from the dollar store. Get creative and try out different looks for your globe.



Comments

  1. Mary from Virginia says:

    Too cute! You are lucky to have found the E6000 glue. I have looked EVERY WHERE for it where I live, and no one has any. I’m not going to give up looking!

    Love the tutorial, you always do such a nice job with explaining your ideas. You need to publish a book.

    • Awww, thanks Mary! You are a sweetheart. Have you checked Home Depot? That’s where I found it. Michaels had it, tool. I bet you can order it online if both those options fail.

    • Hi Mary,

      If you can’t find the E6000 locally, try Amazon. I have seen it locally at Michaels, Walmart and Home Depot.

  2. LOVE This!!!!!!!!!!!

  3. Anna Starner says:

    I have a collection of baby food jars I saved just to use for snow globes. Finding small items to use in them is the trick. I may have to start collecting olive jars to make these for next years children’s table. I will need 11 snow globes for all of the kids. Love the ice cubes and personalizing them. Thanks for the great idea.

    • Anna, I saw tiny figures, like the kind you use in snow villages, in Dollar Tree about a week ago. You got three “scenes” for just $1. They would be perfect for baby food jars. I thought seriously of buying them to use in baby food jars. They were so cute…children playing in snow, all kinds of cute scenes.

  4. Nice tutorial, Susan. Thanks for sharing.

    Merry Christmas!

  5. Susan,
    I really enjoy your blog and all the wonderful tutorials. Would it be a lot of trouble for you to put this type of tutorial in print friendly form for those of us that do not wish to print the pictures. Just a suggestion and request, not meant to be critical at all. :)

    Thanks a bunch, Merry Christmas to you and your family.

    • Mary, I’ll see if I can use the recipe plugin I have for that. I thought about that when I was writing the tutorial. I’ll see if that will work for this like it does for recipes. Wonder if there’s a plugin for crafts. I should check into that.

    • Mary, I used the plugin I use for recipes to create a printable tutorial. Hope it’s complete. If you notice anything missing that’s in the post, let me know and I’ll add it. I think the important stuff is in there.

  6. Susan, these snow globes are adorable! Thanks for your clear, precise directions. I’ll start buying my olives in those jars and save them in order to make these.

  7. Wow! Wonderful diections and super cute polar bear! Thanks for sharing!

  8. What a clever idea, and a nice party favor to send home with each guest. I have been making sewing kits with small mason jars. I covered the flat lid with scrap material stuffed with batting for the pin cushion and then filled it with a tiny tape measure, buttons and a pack of needles, some pins, and what ever else I can think of; then just screw on the ring. It is see-through so you can see what you need. I am loving jars. :)

  9. Susan, That is so cute! Last year, when I saw these around Blogville, I told myself I was going to make some. Now Christmas is almost here again, and I’ve yet to do it. Thanks for the directions. laurie

  10. Susan,
    Thanks so much, it worked just dandy when I printed it. You’re the best!! Big, big thanks again.

    Mary L

  11. Too cute! Luv it.

  12. I missed this post. These are the cutest!

  13. What a great idea! Fun craft for kids to make too :)
    Thank you for the tutorial,
    Bj

  14. pam ~ crumpety cottasge says:

    What a cute idea. :) I love the way the bear looks in his snowy habitat. The addition of the red Christmas ornament makes it more festive. You come up with such fun projects, Susan. :D

  15. Rosey Owings says:

    Can’t thank you enough for this idea!! I collect Christmas snow globes. Just last night one of my little grandsons was at my house & wanted to see one that I had displayed for winter. He LOVED it & I had the idea about making one with him & VOILA, here are the instructions!!! Thank you so very much for ALL your wonderful ideas!! Hope you have a healthy & blessed 2014!
    Nana Rosey

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