DIY: Mason Jar Snow Globes

IMG_2603 copyChristmas is only a little more than a week away. And my festive mood is kicking into high gear (and so is last minute Christmas gifts heh). I thought to share with you my current obsession. My friend Andrea got very enthusiastic about making snow globes and now it is rubbing onto me. I know it’s been plastered all over Pinterest but here is our take on this popular DIY.

First off, supplies:

  • A glass jar (mason jars work perfectly)
  • Decorations, small ornaments  (possible places: craft stores, dollar stores, Etsy, Target)—best if plastic or ceramic. Metal will rust!
  • Glitter or Faux snow
  • Glue (superglue, E6000, hotglue, your preference. Just have to be water proof)
  • A base (I used a cheap latex caulk found in hardware stores—just makes sure it’s waterproof!; my friend used erasers from the dollar store)
  • Thickener (I used glycerin)
  • Water (distilled water if you have hard water)
  • Optional: Waterproof sealer (Modpodge, acrylic sprays, or sealer of your choice) <-you only need this if your decorations are not water friendly

[For reference, linked are the exact products I used for this project, see tips for what I prefer using next time at the end]

I could not find many decorations or ornament pieces I liked that were 1) small, 2) inexpensive, and 3) waterproof. So I did the one next best thing: I made them myself. Best of all, whatever you make will truly be a unique piece. Here I made a Christmas version of Chibi Totoro (a character from a popular animation) in glow-in-the-dark polymer clay.  My friend was able to find some trinkets she liked from Target. The glitter trees I got from the Dollar store.

DIY: Mason Jar Snow GlobesHere’s the time consuming part: waterproofing . Everything going inside the snow globe that is not water friendly needs to be sprayed or painted. We used an acyclic sealer; remember to spray on all sides! Let this completely dry before going onto the next step. Best if you prep this ahead of time.

After playing around with placement, it is time to put everything together. For my base I used hot glue then surrounded it with caulk. I like the caulk because it looks like snow and it is waterproof. I even put some on my glitter tree to make it snowy. I would recommend using it around a base because it takes a long time to completely dry. If you want a less messy route, my friend used erasers to elevate her pieces. You want the base to go up to or higher than the neck of the Mason jar or else you cannot see your lovely creation. Glue all the pieces together to your liking.

DIY: Mason Jar Snow GlobesAfter everything dries, you are almost done! Fill your jar almost completely to the top with water. Sprinkle in your desired glitter or faux snow. Put the lid tightly on and you can enjoy your lovely creation! Seal the lid with glue if you are happy with your results. Here’s our creations before we put them into the mason jars.

IMG_2605 copy

Here are some of my tips from my mistakes:

  • The Bali mason jars maybe great quality jars for canning, but none of them have completely smooth surface (there are always words on them). They are also not the clearest jars. I really did not like how it distorted my figurines.  It gets even more distorted after you put in the water as you can see below.
  • IMG_2606 copy
  • The clear white glitter does not really show. However, this may be due to the glass jar. I prefer the chunky glitter.
  • Make sure it’s not crazy cold; that really changes the time required for things to dry. The acrylic spray took many many, and I mean many times longer to dry. The caulk did not fully dry until 3 days afterwards. A good tip is to have something else bulky as the base and put the caulking over it.
  • Lots of sites says to use baby oil to make the liquid more viscous. However it does not blend with water so when you shake your snow globe, it forms little beads. It actually looks like little snow balls but if you do not like that, I suggest using glycerin instead.
  • MOST OF ALL, plan what you want inside. The height and mouth of the jar plays a big part in this. Our biggest challenge was the neck of the mason jar. Anything above the neck of the jar gets distorted and cannot be seen. You will need a base to elevate your decorations. That base also needs to be waterproof and attached securely onto the lid. As I said before, I used hot glue in the middle and then went around it with caulk. The hot glue served as a base and my glue. My friend used erasers.

Enjoy! P.S. these makes great customizable gifts for your love ones! This one is going to my boyfriend. I will update with a glow-in-the-dark picture soon!

Check out Andrea’s post for her snow globe. She has lots of yummy recipes on her site too.

.:~*Happy Holidays Everyone!!*~:.

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4 thoughts on “DIY: Mason Jar Snow Globes

  1. Don’t use bottle brush trees – their colors bleed into the water & stain the decorations & caulk, as do their twisted metal wire tree trunks which rust. Had to redo several, the ones I could salvage.

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