Thursday, 10 December 2009

Snow globes

I've always admired those little glass globes you can buy, with a christmas scene inside, and a whirling snowstorm when you shake them. However, since they have no real use - merely decorative is all they are - I find it hard to justify spending my hard-earned cash on them. So this year, I decided to see if we could craft an equivalent at home.

It was hard to photograph them with the snowstorms in full swirl!

Ds and I made these together, using small, clean glass jam-jars with screw-top lids, plastic christmas cake decoration figures, plasticine, glitter, waterproof glue (we used UHU plastics glue) and glycerine - which you can buy in small bottles in shops which sell cake-decorating supplies. (Ours came from the wonderful kitchenware specialist that is Lakeland).

Tips for making your own snowglobes:

  1. Make sure you start with clean jars. If you can't wash them in a dishwasher, try sterilising them by boiling.
  2. To raise the figure inside the jar for maximum visibility, use a folded piece of plasticine inside the jar lid.

  3. Glue the plasticine to the inside of the jar lid, and glue the plastic christmas figure on top of the plasticine. Giving the glue sufficient time to set is important, as the glued figure will eventually be immmersed in water.

  4. Put a spoonful of glycerine in the bottom of the glass jar. The glycerine slows the fall of glitter within the water making for a more satisfying snowstorm effect. Pour the glitter into the glycerine.

  5. Holding the jar over a sink, fill the jar right up to the top with cool boiled water (using boiled water will also help prevent the formation of mould or development of cloudy water). Now invert the lid with the figure attached, and screw it tightly on to the jar. Some water will probably be displaced as you close the jar. Gently shake the jar to test the seal is watertight - if any water escapes, try re-screwing the jar top closed, adding more water first if necessary.
We made two of these little snowglobes, and even though they are obviously home-made, ds absolutely loves them.