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Family Craft Ideas

with Leah

I'm Leah--wife, mother, editor, writer, photographer, and rickrack apologist. There's craftiness in my DNA, but between the kids and my work and the house and the television and my blogs (http://www.agirlandaboy and http://www.workitmom.com/bloggers/workingonmotherhood, among others), I have to keep my projects quick and easy if I hope to finish them before my boys (born December 2008 and July 2012) graduate from college. You're a working mom and you're busy too, but if you still want to get your craft on, join me here for some fun projects!

DIY Snow Globes

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I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, where it snows maybe once every twenty years, but I grew up in Utah, home of the Greatest Snow on Earth, so perhaps that explains why I’m obsessed with snow globes. They usually come and go with our Christmas decorations, but this year I decided to make some generic “winter” ones that I can keep on display until spring.

Have you ever made your own snow globes? It’s easier than you think.

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What you’ll need:

  • an empty jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • waterproof figurines (I found mine in the miniatures area of the craft store, but you can find packs of little plastic animals at the toy store too)
  • glitter
  • glycerin, or gel hand soap that contains glycerin
  • a hot glue gun
  • a plate
  • a small spoon
  • decorative paper and ribbon (optional)

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All you’re really doing is gluing some figurines to the inside of a jar lid, filling the jar with glittery water, and then sealing the whole thing tight. It really is easy, but here are a few tips I have that will make the process go even more smoothly.

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Make sure your figurines fit inside the globe (I had to cut the trees down a bit) and can fit on the inside of the lid without affecting the jar’s ability to close tight. (I got my jars in a two-pack for $1.50 at the dollar store, and although the shape is great, it was hard to get more than one figurine on there without some finagling. I’d definitely recommend something with a wider mouth, like a recycled pickle jar, which you can then gussy up by adding decorative paper and ribbon to disguise the outside of the lid.)

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Use hot glue to affix the figurines to the inside of the jar lid. I experimented with superglue as well, but the hot glue worked best for the materials I was working with.

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Fill the jar with glitter. I used about two teaspoons full, but if you want a glitter blizzard, go nuts. (Adding the glitter before the water = less mess. Trust me on this one.)

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This is a great step for the kids to help with if you don’t mind glitter everywhere. (You could even try that fake plastic Hollywood snow in place of glitter and see how that works.)

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Now you’re ready to fill your globe with water. Add about a marble-sized glob of glycerin to the water to make the glitter swirl more slowly. We didn’t have any glycerin, but some gel hand soap did the trick.

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With the water filled all the way to the top, screw the lid on tight and place your finished globe lid-down on a plate, just in case you have any drips or leaks.

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Now, don’t expect this to turn out like a store-bought snow globe. There will be air bubbles in yours, and the glitter isn’t going to stay suspended for more than a few seconds, but it will also be homemade and custom and fun to have around every winter.

If you make one of your own, be sure to let me know!



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