Monday, November 14, 2011

Holiday Idea of the Day – DIY Snow Globes

Snow Globes are a fantastic gift…when I was a child, my very first "collection" was of snow globes. In recent days, I have seen DIY snow globes at the drug store where you can insert your own pictures and, of course, I thought…there has to be a better way! So after much experimenting and adjustment, here is the finished product:


Materials List:

  • Glass jar (baby food jars are GREAT). My community has a recycle center and I find a variety of glass jars there.
  • Distilled Water
  • Glycerin (you can find this at your local drug store in a very random spot, usually on the bottom shelf near the lotion)
  • Spray Paint
  • Sandpaper
  • PVC pipe (optional)
  • Glitter
  • Clear shipping tape
  • Laminating supplies (optional, if you don't have this see above item)
  • Epoxy glue


You can go a couple of different directions with this project…a fun variation is to use photos. This is where laminating supplies come in. I happen to have a laminator but not everyone does. I bought mine years ago and I must say, I'm amazed at how often it comes in handy. These days you can purchase one for as little as $30 and let me say, I highly recommend having one!


For this project I used a combination of snow and glitter. To make snow, I used PVC shavings. I happen to make a lot of things out of PVC so this was not hard for me to obtain. I have seen where people have used a cheese grater to make PVC snow…I tried this (with a cheap grater from Dollar General or somewhere similar) and didn't have much luck. If you have a piece of PVC pipe and a saw, I would use the saw and, believe me, you'll get shavings from just cutting it. My porch used to look like a snow globe until I figured out how to replace a missing "shaver catcher" on my chop saw.

So here goes:

  1. Gather your supplies together.
  2. Clean your jars and remove any glue/labels. Best way to accomplish this is by soaking them. I tried spraying them with one of those goo remover sprays and soaking worked better.
  3. Paint your lids with whatever color you want.
  4. If you are putting items in your snow globe and don't want them to be floating around…sand the inside of your lid until it is rough and textured.
  5. If you are using photos in your snow globe, measure the height and diameter of your jar and make a collage or use a single photo that will fit. On the photos, I recommend making a circle out of them (like a toilet paper roll). Laminate your photo by either using a laminator or shipping tape. Make sure you get a tight seal. I laminated my collage and immediately rolled it into a toilet paper roll to make sure it didn't get too stiff and I would be able to maintain the shape of it. I used shipping tape to seal the ends together after the round shape was formed.
  6. Using an epoxy/waterproof glue, glue any items you are going to put into the globe onto your sanded lid.
  7. Fill your jar almost all the way with distilled water.
  8. Add glitter and/or snow.
  9. Add a few drops of glycerin.
  10. Screw the lid on tightly…however, give it a trial run first to figure out if you need to add more snow, glitter or glycerin. The glycerin is what makes everything drift around rather than floating to the top. Do this FIRST and then screw the lid on really tight.
  11. Enjoy!

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