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Not Your Typical Dollar Tree Snow Globe


  1. Snow globe (I purchased the larger snow globe from Dollar tree)  
  1. Water  
  1. Glycerin, baby oil, other similar products to help thicken the water and make the glitter fall slower.  
  1. Glitter. I used faux snow and extra fine glitter.  
  1. Hot glue or gorilla glue  
  1. Figure or figures to put inside. I 3D printed a piece.  
  1. Sandpaper 
  1. Optional: spray paint or ribbon to decorate the bottom of your snow globe.  
  1. Optional: polycrylic if you need to protect your figure from the water. Plastics should be fine, but since I painted my piece, I used polycrylic to protect the paint from running.  
snow globe

I started out with deciding how I wanted my snow globe to look. At first I bought some mini figures from Dollar Tree to go inside my snow globe, but then realized my figures looked way too small for my snow globe. So, I then tried to think of other things I could put inside my snow globe, but would be safe submerged in water. The bottle brush trees are dyed and thus will bleed and change the color of your water. So, I would not recommend putting any of those in your snow globe if you plan on putting any type of liquid in your snow globe. You also do not want to add anything made out of wood.   

I decided to have my fiancé 3D print me a piece to go inside my snow globe. This would allow me to make the piece as big or small as I wanted. The 3D filament plastic is fine in water. I did decide to add a little color to my 3D printed piece. I just painted the piece with acrylic paint. The paint was not going to last in the water, so once my paint was dry, I covered the entire piece in polycrylic. This seemed to work well, and even after almost a week, I have not noticed in bleeding of colors. I found my design from thingiverse. It is a website where people post their 3D creations for others to like and make. My fiancé made a few modifications to the bear, and printed him in white filament.  

The white base to the snow globe is a little plain. I spray painted mine a pretty red/maroon color. The spray paint does scratch off from the plastic pretty easily. So, I recommend covering the spray paint with a protective layer. You could use the polycrylic for this. You could also leave the base white and wrap a pretty ribbon around it.  

Once my bear was properly painted, protected, and dry, it was time to assemble my snow globe. The instructions that came with the snow globe recommended sanding down the base so that the figure would stick better to it. Making the smooth plastic a little rough with the sandpaper gives the surface more traction, and thus makes the piece stick better to it. I decided to use gorilla glue instead of hot glue. I thought gorilla glue would hold better. I applied my gorilla glue around the entire base. I then placed my 3D printed bear on my base. I then sprinkled on some faux snow all around the base, and shook off any extra. I thought this made the base look nicer, and you did not see the clear plastic bottom.  

I then let my bear and faux snow dry. Once it was dry, I placed the top of my snow globe upside down on top of a coffee mug. This kept my snow globe from rolling around while I tried to fill it. I first added some water to my snow globe to determine how much water would be needed to fill this large snow globe. It was about 3 cups of water. I also added some vegetable glycerin to help slow the glitter and faux snow fall slower after the snow globe has been shaken. You should do about 2 tablespoons of glycerin per cup of water. This does not have to be exact. You will also want to mix some glitter, and/or faux snow into your snow globe. I added to much, so it clumps at the top of my snow globe. The faux snow also floats. So, this may not be the best for a snow globe. When filling your snow globe you want to fill it almost all the way full, but you also need to consider the figures that will be going into the snow globe, and thus taking up some space/disperse some of your water mixture.  

I recommend putting the bottom of the snow globe, where your figures are glued down, on over a sink or container with edges, to catch any extra water mixture that may come out, if you over filled your snow globe. Once the seal was on my snow globe it seemed to work well at not allowing any water to seep out. I still applied some glue around the seal just to ensure no water would leak out. Then I put the bottom of my snow globe, the piece I spray painted, on, and gave it a shake.  

I like how the water makes my polar bear look even bigger than he actually is. I think he fits nicely inside my snow globe. The red of his hat and scarf match the red spray paint I used for the bottom of my snow globe nicely. The only thing I would do differently next time would be to not add as much faux snow or maybe none at all. I think I would also get the smaller snow globe from Dollar Tree, because with the water, the snow globe is quite heavy and can be hard to shake.  

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