The Leaky Igloo and Other Snow-Globe Making Adventures


You can go to Anthropologie and buy a snow globe for forty dollars.

anthro snow globe

OR you can make one for under $5.  Last year I made snow globes for the first time after finding a tutorial on Pinterest.  This year I stepped it up a notch and experimented with a couple of new materials.

First, here is the cast of characters:

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I went to Michael’s and bought some white polymer clay.  I made little stands for each snow globe so that the animals would be raised up more in the globe.  I baked the clay and let it cool.
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While the clay was baking, I cut some branches off of a faux green wreath that I had.  I trimmed the branches into little trees and painted the tips with white acrylic paint so it would look like snow.

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When the clay stands had cooled, I sealed each stand with a layer of acrylic matte medium.  I’m sure there are other sealers that would have worked even better, but I was just using what I had lying around.  I was hoping that sealing the clay would protect it from the water.  Time will tell!  I used hot glue to attach the animals and trees to the stands.  After making sure that the stands fit inside each jar, I glued the stands to the jar lids…or in this case, the bottom of the jar.  IMG_5661 IMG_5673IMG_5664 IMG_5668For the seal, I painted the white base with black and blue acrylic paint, and glued river rocks to half of the base.  I wanted the other half to look like water, so I make a water-like texture using the hot glue gun.
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At this point, I took a break until the next day to let the hot glue dry thoroughly.

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Now for the liquid!  I used distilled water, glycerin (to make the snow fall a little more slowly), glitter, and some white plastic that I ground up with my cheese grater.  Have I mentioned that I like to use whatever I have lying around?  IMG_5679 IMG_5680

Each jar was filled (almost to the top) with distilled water. Then I added about half a teaspoon of glycerin to each jar.  Then came the glitter and the ground white plastic.  Don’t add too much glitter or it’ll just cover everything at the bottom of the jar when it settles.  Also, using too much glycerin will make the “snow” clumpy and it’ll usually stick to the sides and top of the jar.

When you have a ratio that you like of water, glycerin, and snow, seal the lid onto the jar.  Set the jar lid-up so that the glue can dry.  I used hot glue to seal the jar, but I think in the future I’ll go back to using epoxy.
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After that, I used some twine that I had and wrapped it around the base of the jar and set it in place with hot glue.

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Finally!  Here are the finished products:IMG_5684
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The igloo snow globe was the biggest disappointment because it leaks.  In the future, maybe I’ll just stick to jars with lids that screw on.

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I haven’t decided what to do with these guys yet, but if I don’t sell them or give them away, I might put a couple in the baby’s winter-themed nursery.

About Melody

My name is Melody Martin. Check out my art blog, and learn all about the steps and techniques that go into oil paintings.
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10 Responses to The Leaky Igloo and Other Snow-Globe Making Adventures

  1. elliot says:

    Wow. I like the seal. I wouldn’t have thought of him as a snow creature but I guess he is

    • Melody says:

      I don’t really know much about white seals, but this one came in a little bag of plastic snow creatures so I’m assuming he’s from the great white north. haha

  2. Holly Niphakis says:

    They all look really nice, Meli…..the thin tall one is cool with the tall trees….I like them all….and the pictures came out really clear! nice work.

  3. dawn nelson says:

    I love them, you are so talented.

  4. Renee' says:

    Such a creative lady, you are, Melody. Thanks for sharing the process. Very cool! No pun intended.

  5. octobop says:

    I was about to ask where you found the glycerin, then I noticed the giant RITE-AID logo on the bottle. People asked us for that a lot at Michaels, for the purpose of making snow globes. *sigh* if I only knew then, I’d have been a hero…

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