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Project

Snow Globes

The shimmering magic of snowfall is always transfixing, whether it's outside your window or inside this classic toy. Homemade globes let you create a wintry scene straight out of your own imagination.

Introduction

Almost any jar works for this project: Baby-food, pimiento, and olive jars are good choices. Look for plastic or ceramic figurines (metal ones are prone to rust) at flea markets and hobby or model-railroad shops. Synthetic evergreen tips are available at many floral-supply stores.

Materials

  • Synthetic evergreen tips
  • Plastic or ceramic figurines
  • Glass jar
  • Oil-based enamel paint (optional)
  • Sandpaper
  • Clear-drying epoxy
  • Glitter
  • Glycerin

Steps

  1. Step 1

    gt065_snowglobes2.jpg

    If the jar lids are not in seasonal colors already, paint them with oil-based enamel paint.

  2. Step 2

    Sand the inside of the lid until the surface is rough. With clear-drying epoxy, adhere the figurine to the inside of the lid, and let the epoxy dry.

  3. Step 3

    Fill the jar almost to the top with distilled water; add a pinch of glitter and a dash of glycerin (available at drugstores) to keep the glitter from falling too quickly. Don't add too much, or the glitter will stick to the bottom of the jar when it's flipped. Screw on the lid tightly, being careful not to dislodge the figurine. Turn the jar over and back again -- and let it snow.

  4. Step 4

    Screw on the lid tightly, being careful not to dislodge the figurine. Turn the jar over and back again -- and let it snow.

Source
Martha Stewart Living, December/January 1998/1999

Reviews (56)

  • 23 Mar, 2014

    This is like an all time BEST project! It's fairly inexpensive and easy as well. This project is the reason I almost never toss out empty food jars....never know when you might reuse them. And there are so many nice ones! I made mine about 10 years ago but never commented. My husbands sits on his desk. Since he is a conservationist, I also did the pine tree with 2 deer. Plus, the project came in handy for our family reunion......hubby has 12 siblings! Just remember to use EPOXY, and not glue!

  • 11 Dec, 2013

    I made this and it turned out great except for one thing. The tree, well in water, the green dye comes off and now I have green men and a green dog. Just an fyi if using the trees I would suggest soaking them in water prior to putting them in the snow globe.

  • 3 Sep, 2013

    I have tried building my own snow globes before but it did not cross my mind at all to use silver glitter as snowflakes. I had used tiny specks of styrofoam remnants that float too much and look more like clouds instead. I guess I was too keen on finding something that is white because snow is generally white from our point of view. Nonetheless, silver glitter is obviously a good alternative.

  • 31 Jul, 2013

    You can find real snow globe "snow" and vintage style plastic and glass snow globe kits at global shakeup snowdomes.

  • 25 Mar, 2013

    If the jar lids are not in seasonal colors already, paint them with oil-based enamel paint. Sand the inside of the lid until the surface is rough. With clear-drying epoxy, ein zahnklinik in basel adhere the figurine to the inside of the lid, and let the epoxy dry.

  • 25 Mar, 2013

    If the jar lids are not in seasonal colors already, paint them with oil-based enamel paint. Sand the inside of the lid until the surface is rough. With clear-drying epoxy, ein zahnklinik in basel adhere the figurine to the inside of the lid, and let the epoxy dry.

  • 18 Dec, 2012

    I love this idea. This would be fun with the grandkids, they would love this. Can't wait to get started.

  • 14 Dec, 2012

    I found good miniatures at Walmart in the Christmas section. It's what you would buy to make a village scene. They were under $2. Slightly more than what I was expecting to find in my town but they work perfectly!

  • 9 Dec, 2012

    Snow Globes make great Christmas presents to teachers from kids. I make them with my niece she love it.
    www.kidsplayandcreate.com/how-to-make-a-great-teacher-christmas-gift-snow-globe-for-kids/

  • 6 Jun, 2012

    Hello! We're making a "memory jar" (aka "snow globe") for Father's Day. Can you recommend a good sealant for the jar? I'd like to "glue" the lid on to keep from leaking and from little boys unscrewing it! :-) Thank you!

  • 27 May, 2012

    I start making my Christmas gifts in June. These will make wonderful gifts. Thanks for the project!!!

  • 27 May, 2012

    I start making my Christmas gifts in June. These will make wonderful gifts. Thanks for the project!!!

  • 16 Dec, 2011

    Dollar Tree has inexpensive ceramic or glass ornaments that will do perfectly for these globes. Some packages come with scenery - 3/4 items per package. You may need to build it up with florist clay for added height.

  • 11 Dec, 2011

    i have always loved snowglobes,
    i never knew you could accually make them
    though!
    i cant wait to try these with my kids^^

  • 29 Nov, 2011

    My son and I made these in 2006. We keep the one we made for ourselves out all year and shake it . It still has glimmer.. This year we are making more for teachers and family members...I bought a set of 14 figures and trees at Lowes for $10.00..

  • 28 Nov, 2011

    We made these today. They are super cute but the water is cloudy. We used hard foam on the bottom to look like snow on the ground, but otherwise stuck to the instructions (i.e., used distilled water, glitter, and glycerin). Any ideas why it would be cloudy?

  • 26 Nov, 2011

    I found plastic snow globes in the ornament section at Michaels today in the aisle with the clear plastic ornaments you decorate yourself.I also found glycerin in the Martha Stewart aisle also at Michaels..We found Lemax village people at Hobby Lobby that fit well in the globes....I also plan on using ribbon along the base of the snow globe..planning on putting them in my kids stockings this year...every year I make a Christmas craft / ornament to start there own traditions..hope this helps :)

  • 26 Nov, 2011

    Years ago I made one of these with a Pez dispencer but the instructions called for corn syrup. I would NOT recommend that. But I've also heard of it with rubbing alcohol instead of glycerin and water.

  • 26 Nov, 2011

    I also recall making these many years ago and appreciate the reminder! Thanks also for mentioning adding glycerin to the water as I had forgotten what we used to help suspend the glitter. Merry Christmas to all ~ !

  • 26 Nov, 2011

    I made one of these forty years ago in first grade. When my parents were gone and my sister and I cleared out the house five years ago, it was still there. We used moth flakes (yuck!) instead of glitter, and sealed the jar after the lid was screwed on with some smelly solvent based stuff. These days, for that kind of permanence, red tool-handle dip from a home center might do the trick. Adequate ventilation required!

  • 4 Nov, 2011

    We did this at a school carnival and used reindeer and christmas tree cupcake toppers. Just break off the stick part. Works great with baby food jars.

  • 12 Dec, 2010

    I am having a Christmas party tomorrow and am using these as little gifts for the guests! I got little glass spice jars and ceramic miniatures from the dollar store. They are super cute and of surprisingly good quality... I know the guests will love these cute little trinkets as presents...

  • 11 Dec, 2010

    I found some really cute miniatures at antique and thrift stores. I got them from a dollar each to 25 cents each. It took some time but I found them. Can't wait to make them.

  • 9 Dec, 2010

    I love this project, but unfortunately I had a hard time finding reasonably priced miniatures to put in the snowglobes. I wish a specific source and website had been included with the instructions. I looked online and a local craft stores. Model railroad pieces were expensive.

  • 9 Dec, 2010

    I love this project, but unfortunately I had a hard time finding reasonably priced miniatures to put in the snowglobes. I wish a specific source and website had been included with the instructions. I looked online and a local craft stores. Model railroad pieces were expensive.

  • 9 Dec, 2010

    I made these from baby food jars. We used hot glue and glued floral foam on the lids. I made snow men and trees from pipe cleaners. The end of the pipe cleaners stick right in the floral foam and dont need to be glued down. I used paint to make the eyes and buttons on the snow men. We used mineral oil as our liquid, this kept the pipe cleaners from rusting. I also had a hard time finding in expensive miniatures.

  • 9 Dec, 2010

    I wish I had, had these instructions when I was a scout leader.

  • 8 Dec, 2010

    You can also add a piece of styrofoam to the bottom first. It looks like snow and raises your other elements up a bit. This makes your scene more visible. I used silicon to glue the pieces as it is water proof and used in aquariums.

  • 8 Dec, 2010

    A good idea to glue your stuff to the lid before you have the kids help. It was a blast doing this with them but right now our Christmas tree is floating in the water instead of stuck to the lid. They don't care, the love watching the snow fall. Thank you for this great idea. Here's wish all of you a very merry and blessed Christmas.

  • 8 Dec, 2010

    I've made these with the summer camp kids at the day camp I worked at only we used black fish tank gravel, and made top hats and carrots out sculpey clay and painted the lids with "snow" texture paint. They were melted snowmen for christmas in july

  • 8 Dec, 2010

    I've made these before.These are definitely not a kid friendly craft(as suggested).I would not let kids use the glue recommended or paint! Maybe putting drops of glycerin in or picking out the figurines.But the figurines are very pricey. Would be great if anyone had any suggestions to where to find inexpensive ones. I used the ones from village sets but not all of the figures lasted, turned green. I used spray paint in chrome and silver instead of enamel.

  • 23 Nov, 2010

    www.tinythingsarecute.com has a bunch of new and vintage miniatures that work perfectly for this project. i'm working on a handful of these to give as gifts this year myself!

  • 13 Nov, 2010

    I made these one year, out of baby food jars, and used them as place cards at Christmas dinner. Very easy, very unique and super simple. I recommend a tiny bead of silicone sealant around the threads of the jar to keep it from leaking--I did that and people STILL have them, years later.

  • 20 Mar, 2009

    try the kits at snowdomes.com for a very vintage, charming look that's easy to make.

  • 4 Aug, 2008

    I made a couple of these to give as gifts, but ended up keeping them because they leaked!! I suggest sticking a slim "ribbon" of plumbing tape on the jar threads before filling the jar with water. This way there is a sealant layer between the glass and the metal lid. By the way, I found great bottles at Container Store...

  • 4 May, 2008

    These snow globes are very unique and fun. My daughter collects them and the water has evaporated or discoloured from some of the larger commercial ones. Can the water be replaced? If yes, how difficult is the task?
    Maureen

  • 20 Feb, 2008

    Make sure the epoxy you are using is waterproof and made for sticking to multiple surfaces. If not that might be the problem you had with getting the figurine to stick.

  • 9 Jan, 2008

    I tried making these for my friend's children and I had trouble getting the figurines to stick to the lid. I followed the instructions and sandpapered the lid (but not the figurine). Any tips on the exact glue I should use or what I might have done wrong?

  • 5 Jan, 2008

    I saw the snow jars made on a Marth Stewart show years ago. I tried them out. I make them yearly with the children in my childcare. They are always a favorite. A decorative touch can be to put ric-rack trim around the lid or the jar as well.

  • 1 Jan, 2008

    my father-in-law gave my 4 year old some old ornaments to play with during a visit and allowed him to take them home, we made some into the snow globes and gave theme to POP POP for X-Mas , he loved them, great keepsake.

  • 27 Dec, 2007

    I was wondering if these can be made using the plastic peanut butter jars? I am
    concerned that the glass ones may get dropped and broken.
    Thanks.
    WVA Gal

  • 15 Dec, 2007

    I made one of these to entertain my kids and they loved it.

  • 15 Dec, 2007

    I made these for my grown daughters.
    They now expect one every Christmas!
    Thanks!

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    I Love this!!! Saw it on the Today Show, had to do it with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. Thanks!!!! A

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    I Love this!!! Saw it on the Today Show, had to do it with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. Thanks!!!! A

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    I Love this!!! Saw it on the Today Show, had to do it with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. Thanks!!!! A

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    I Love this!!! Saw it on the Today Show, had to do it with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. Thanks!!!! A

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    I Love this!!! Saw it on the Today Show, had to do it with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. Thanks!!!! A

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    I Love this!!! Saw it on the Today Show, had to do it with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. Thanks!!!! A

  • 14 Dec, 2007

    I Love this!!! Saw it on the Today Show, had to do it with my Brownie Girl Scout Troop. Thanks!!!! A

  • 12 Dec, 2007

    it's so nice to spend time with kids

  • 3 Dec, 2007

    my girl scout tr.71 made the snow globes , they were easy. the girls loved them.
    a happy troop . thanks

  • 2 Dec, 2007

    My son loves snow globes, this is a great project for him.

  • 27 Nov, 2007

    This is a perfect craft for the neighborhood children.
    We gather the children and make crafts for the elderly - This is a perfect little treat.!

  • 23 Nov, 2007

    This idea is so fun and cute for families! I love it!!

  • 21 Nov, 2007

    my God, it's fantastic.. absolutely, love it..