How to make a fairy snow globe
Here's how to make a snow globe for fairies or whatever little ornaments you have.
If you click on any picture, it will pop up with a larger version in a separate window.
Firstly, choose your trinket, maybe a plastic ornament, or perhaps a ceramic fairy like mine and select and clean your jam jars. Remember that they have to look good upside down so those which are wider at the lid, or an interesting shape, will be best. You can also make fimo shapes to surround your ornament, but remember that they will have to fit together on the lid of the jam jar, with room to close it.Test your trinket fits, and isn't harmed by water.
Ceramic fairy, jam jar and testing the water. In practise I made several at the same time.
Next, decorate your jam jars with decorative outlines. I've used Vitrail mock lead and silver outliners, to create three scenarios: a fairy bedroom, looking in between curtains; a forest, glimpsing between the trees; and an underwater scene, peering in through a porthole.
Beginnings of a fairy bedroom, the start of a forest, and a glimpse of a sea world.
In an hour or so when the outline is dry, you can paint the jars - remembering to leave a clear area so that you can look in to see the scene. I chose blue, gold and green for the underwater jar, gold and purple for the bedroom, and green with red / purple to make up brown trunks in the forest. Remember to paint the top so that any air bubbles are hidden from view. You can also scatter glitter on the top, and it will stick to the wet paint.
Underwater scenes, forest front and back, and fairy bedroom - curtains front, wallpaper backdrop.
The next day, once the paint has dried, test the layout of your ornaments. Secure them with blu-tack to make sure that everything fits together and looks good with the jar closed. Because jars can close in several different alignments, you might want to make a small mark so you can line up the lid correctly in future.
Testing toadstools in the forest, and finding not all the starfish will fit.
Now, secure all your ornaments to the jar lids, using silicone adhesive. You can reposition them for a good few minutes while you test that the jam jar will still fit around them, and that everything is lined up right, but then you will need to leave them to dry for a couple of hours or so.
Gluing down heart shaped cushions for the bedroom, checking alignment in the forest jar and perched fairy, ready to look out of a portholei - without starfish.
Finally it's time to fill and seal the jars. First, wipe the ornaments with a damp cloth - this will stop little air bubbles from forming on them when you add the water. Next, add the glitter - I like enough to form a thin layer across the whole of the bottom of the jar. If you mix in a little plastic irridescent confetti it will add a twinkling effect. Next, add the liquid. This should be a mixture of 80% distilled water, 20% glycerin: distilled water so there won't be any bacteria to cloud the water in your jar, and glycerin to slow down the glitter and make it fall more slowly. Make sure the liquid is pre-mixed otherwise the glycerin will stick to the glitter and cause it to clump. I like to add a little liquid, swirl it until the glitter has got wet and sunk to the bottom, then top up the jar. Finally, place and tighten the lid. You'll want to do this over the sink!
Once the jar is screwed on tight, invert, wipe dry and squeeze silicone adhesive generously into the join, then use your finger to wipe it in a smooth motion, pushing the adhesive further in, and making a smooth seal. Wipe off excess. You'll need to leave the jar for a full 12 hours to be sure the adhesive has dried and the globe is watertight.
Applying glue to the join and wiping glue to make a tidy seal.
Then leave the jar on kitchen towel for 24 hours while the seal dries; if any water bubbles up simply wipe it away and add a little more adhesive over the top.
Glitter storm in the forest; click to see a close up of the seal on the underwater scene.
That's it! Your magic fairy globe... or whatever you have created... is ready to shake, and give to a friend or keep on your desk. I hope you have better craft skills than me for a beautiful scene.
Click on the video below to see a 50 second video of three of the finished jars being inverted.
And here's a final view of all the finished globes.
This page last updated: 12 February 2011
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