So today I (Andrea) have decided to share the story of my home made snowglobes- all the trials and tribulations, and trust me, there were many.
Basically a two Christmasses ago, I saw in various places home made snowglobes, and was told by various sites that all you needed was a jar of some sort, something to put it said jar, fake snow, distilled water, glycerin and glue.
Oh so simple! Or so I thought….Here are pictures of my first attempt.
Oh so beautiful, you say? Why thank you! Because, it didn’t last!!! Here I have my beautiful glass birdie sitting on it’s “nest” inside of a re-purposed pickled red cabbage jar.
And here, a range of cute characters. The Santa I had for years before and the other characters are those from the traditional Rudolph story. The little jars with snaps came from Michaels, but you can see a re-purposed relish jar peaking out there.
The adorable scene in this jar was actually picked up from the dollar store, it’s supposed to be for one of those Christmas villages scene. But I re-purposed it and the candle jar it ended up in for this project. To add to the pressure of getting this wonderful craft right, this gift was for the parents of my (now) fiance as it was the first time I was going to be meeting them!
Oh, if only they had stayed so wonderful. Unfortunately, almost none of the sites online could tell me specifically what glue to use, and those that did often were the waterless snowglobe type (which by the way also means they don’t have to worry about using only materials that won’t be ruined by prolonged water exposure). So I guessed, and I had to guess not only glues that would hold in water but those that would stick plastic and glass together. But, glue guns, jewelry glue, “cement” glue, model glue, krazy glue, super glue, gorilla glue…yea you guessed it…they ALL failed!!!
After waiting/doing my homework, I found that all these glues lose their hold after a certain amount of time in water…I found out the scientific-y reasons why, but really, when you’ve made about 6 snowglobes that are so beautiful and they have inevitably failed or will fail, you really don’t care WHY. So, I started on taking them apart, which wasn’t so easy when I had super glued the lids shut and because of lack of water around the lids, that glue actually wanted to hold! Which is how, my wonderful birdie snowglobes ended up in pieces all over my basement floor. It was a mess! A watery, glassy, glittery mess! If you’ve never cleaned up glass and fake snow in water, I’ll tell you now you really don’t want to!
So resigning myself to the fact that all glues suck and Christmas was coming, I decided to do the waterless thing, and stuck with my krazy glue.
Aw, so purty! And after days (because by the way, this process takes days when allowing for the glue to dry entirely!) I was very content with my waterless snowglobe gifts. And the in-law’s gift did actually remain waterless. In a way waterless are really good if you’re giving them as gifts and transporting, or just really paranoid about when you pack them away until next year, because you can be sure they won’t break and spill everywhere. And, you can still achieve the same snowy effect as the glitter sticks to the glass jars when it’s shaken around.
However, when this past Christmas came around and I was unpacking my ornaments etc, my desire to beat (yes, beat) this project overwhelmed me, and that is how my dad ended up hearing my rant about the craft and how I discovered the solution from the most unexpected place! Now, some of you may be thinking you already know the solution, and to be honest, I feel I should have thought of this before and on my own, but I guess I was just having one of those mental blocks.
So, in any case it was my dad who just simply looked at me and said, ‘well why don’t you use silicone?’! DING DING DING, the lights go on! Silicone, bathroom, glue, water, humidity!!! And I’m sitting there just wondering why the heck I hadn’t thought of that by myself sooner! I both love and hate these moments.
Thus, with a vengeance I went to the store, found myself a small container of silicone (you know, not what you would use for caulking in the bathroom or anything), got out my jars again, all the little figurines and set to work (because this project was also going to take a few days with silicone drying time factored in).
Since I just packed up my Christmas things not that long ago, I can tell you the silicone holds up, unfortunately, I should have also taken the time at the store to get distilled water like I had the first time. My snowglobes now look yellowy in comparison to those first pictures you saw because of my choice of straight tap water. So, for anyone else, use DISTILLED water, it does look noticeably better.
Here is a picture of how my birdie snowglobe ended up.
I kept him out all Christmas long because of the hardship it was just to get to this point. But he’s really not all that good. When he smashed on the floor originally, he got a little hole in his head (see pic on right); I’m actually amazed he just didn’t smash to pieces like his container. Because of the hole in his head, when I filled this jar with water and turned it over most of it filled the hollow glass birdie up, hence the low water line on the snowglobe. As I had already glued the lid shut I couldn’t really just fill it up more, thus he looks like this and will be getting thrown out now. At least, the other ones I did worked out, though slightly yellowed. And now I know for the future.
So for those who would like to give this a go, whether for Christmas or something else, here is what you need.
-A plastic or glass container
-a figurine that fits said container (and won’t be ruined by water)
-glitter/fake snow (optional)