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How do You Make a Snow Globe?

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  • Written By: Marco Sumayao
  • Edited By: Lauren Fritsky
  • Last Modified Date: 26 September 2016
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A crafter can make a snow globe by first selecting a proper bowl and base. A model is glued firmly to the base, and the bowl is filled with glitter and water. The bowl is then held upside-down while the base is attached securely to the bowl's opening. Any openings in the snow globe are sealed to ensure that the project is watertight.

Choosing the bowl and base is the most important step in making a snow globe. The bowl should be made of glass or some other transparent material sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the contents and vigorous shaking. Moderately-thin glass is recommended, as it ensures clarity of the image inside. The base should be slightly wider than the bowl and thick enough to grasp as the main handle. If materials aren't readily available, any empty glass jar will be enough to make a snow globe.

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While most snow domes present holiday-oriented scenes, it is not unheard of to make a snow globe that depicts cityscapes, farmlands, and even beaches. A crafter can make a snow globe based on toys or models that are readily available, or design one based on personal preference. It is best to choose a model that covers the top surface of the base, leaving just enough allowance to fit the bowl's opening. The model should then be secured firmly to the base using a waterproof adhesive. The crafter can make a snow globe even prettier by adding a design to the base itself.

The bowl of the snow globe should then be filled with glitter and water. The color and shape of the glitter depend on the scene of choice. For example, a winter scene will use white and silver round pieces of glitter to simulate snow, whereas a crafter who wants to make a snow globe with an autumn scene should use large red and orange pieces that look like falling leaves. The bowl should be filled to about 10 to 20 percent of its capacity with glitter, and the rest of the space should be filled with water. It is important that the glitter is put in first, so that it doesn't float on the water's surface.

Once everything is ready, the bowl should be fastened to the base, again using waterproof adhesive. During this step, the snow globe should be held upside-down by the bowl until the two pieces are firmly stuck together. This can be tested by lightly pulling on the base. When everything is secure, a thin layer of sealant should line the opening of the bowl to protect against leaking.

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irontoenail
Post 3

@Fa5t3r - I imagine it's not the figures that give artists pause. It's the glass sphere. It just doesn't look the same if you use some other shape, but a sphere isn't all that useful in other applications, so you're unlikely to find a spare one lying around the house.

They are also a problem to transport, because they are quite delicate. You can't take them in hand luggage these days because they contain liquid. I got in trouble for that at the airport once and had to go back and buy an extra bag just to check my snow globes. It would cost a lot to package and ship them safely, so an artist would have to either sell them in person, or deal with the high shipping costs.

Fa5t3r
Post 2

@pastanaga - It seems like most of the time they are either extremely elaborate with an emphasis on decoration on the outside of the globe, or very simple, without much artistic value. I would love it if more artists started making homemade snow globes using more unusual designs. It seems like it could be a very interesting dynamic if taken on by the right person.

And the figures or scene in the middle wouldn't be very difficult to make with polymer clay.

pastanaga
Post 1

I've always loved snow globes but they seem to be more and more difficult to find these days for some reason. You can still get the horrible touristy ones made of plastic with a bit of glitter, but a beautiful collectible snow globe seems to be a rare thing.

I guess maybe they aren't that easy to make or people just don't want to buy them anymore.

I usually get them for my sister, since she's got a small collection going. Most of the time the scene depicted seems to be related to fairies or unicorns.

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