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Make your own Snowglobe

I’m not usually a fan of crafts but this little number had me at the first shake. For my daughter’s annual Winterfest, we set up a table and allowed children to make their own snowglobes. I bought some jars online to get just the right ones. If you have mason jars at home, they’re fine, but the patterns on the bottle make it hard to see the insides. Large baby food bottles are the best, but there hasn’t been a baby in this house for ten years. So…I ordered the jars at 50 cents a pop.

You’ll need some little figurines or decorations to put inside the globe. I dug through a bunch of bins to find bags of discarded christmas ornaments at my local thrift store. Our thrift store business in Santa Barbara is booming so I found great stuff.

I tried to take as many photos as I could, but some of the best pictures are of my daughter making her snowglobe after the tornado of kids had passed through.

Definite thumbs-up for this project!

Here are the basic instructions for making a snowglobe:

Scratch inside of jar lid with sandpaper. This makes the clay and glue stick better.

To make sure your figurines stick to the lid really well, I hot glue the clay onto the lid. Most clay will stick well on it’s own, but a little glue doesn’t hurt.

Select items to place on top of clay. I like to hot-glue the items to the clay and press down so it sticks well.

Fill up jar with distilled water leaving about 1/8″ at the top (you might have to experiment here). Add a few drops (about 1/2 tsp) of glycerine (found in any drugstore near the first aid supplies. About $3 a jar) and 1/2 tsp of glitter.
Screw lid to jar and glue the edges shut. This provides a good waterproof seal.Decorate the outside with stickers, ribbons, markers, etc.
Shake and enjoy!


  1. Hi there!
    What kind of clay did you use? Thanks for being so awesome and generous!


    December 15, 2010

    • Hmm…it was a regular block of modeling clay. Can’t remember the brand but I really don’t think it matters. As long as you glue the clay onto the lid, you should be good. I wouldn’t use play dough due to it’s crumbling tendencies. Hope this helps…


      December 15, 2010

  2. Perfect! I thought you probably used modeling clay but just wanted to make sure. Have a wonderful holiday!


    December 15, 2010

  3. I saw some great directions for this on google. I another way to modify this project is to put plastic animals, you can get them at any thrift store or discount store for a couple of dollars. So if you wanted to make snowglobes in the winter months, after Christmas, this would be a great way to learn about animals, and make awesome snowglobes.


    December 17, 2010

  4. Our 5th grade class used sculpey clay and we made tiny little villages on the inside. I took them all home and baked them right on the lid and glued them down. It was a pain but I still have one from a year ago. The red clay tinted the water a slight pink. Instead of glycerin we used half caro syrup and half water. It was a tad pricey making 25 but the kids really loved them. We put their school photo (a sticker) on the bottom of the lid with a ribbon I believe.

    Amy Floyd

    December 19, 2010

    • Hello, I am thinking of doing this with my Grade 4/5s as well, and I wanted to confirm that you baked sculpting clay in the oven? Sorry if this sounds silly, but I just want to make sure all their little creations don’t crack/break in the heat! Thanks!

      Jenn T

      November 30, 2011

      • NO oven is required! Repeat…do NOT put in oven. Good luck and have fun!


        November 30, 2011

        • Oh…just re-reading these comments and I realized the last comment wasn’t meant for me! Yes, if you are going to make your own figurines, do what Amy says! Sorry, Jenn T!


          December 5, 2011

  5. Finally, a use for the baby food jars I have been saving! 🙂 What kind of glue did you use to glue the edges at the end? | love all your projects and ideas. It is fun just to look at what the children have created. Thanks Patty!


    December 1, 2011

    • I used my hot glue gun.


      December 2, 2011

  6. I am just wondering why you glue in clay instead of just hot gluing the item to the bottom of the lid.


    December 4, 2011

    • Hi Bleu,
      You don’t have to, but the clay enables the child to manipulate the positions of the figurines. Also, it gives the figurines some height so that they can be seen over the screw cap.


      December 5, 2011

  7. We are making these in my 2nd grade class Thursday — so excited to try! I bought a bunch of bright, sparkly, glittery, plastic holiday “greenery” on sale today. Crossing my fingers — these will be gifts for the parents!


    December 20, 2011

  8. Hi all, I have been making snowglobes with my third-graders for many years. I send home a wish list for parents with babies, and start collecting the middle size jars the year before. I buy the little plastic figurines that come in blister packs (meant for mini xmas trees), and simply cut off the cord. Craft stores sell bricks of florist clay which work wonderfully inside the lid to keep the figurines in place. I also add a drop or so of glycerin to the water to keep the glitter from falling too quickly. the lids are spray painted gold or silver before the kids begin!

    Deb Tonsoline

    September 6, 2012

  9. Where can you get plastic jars with the screw on cap because the glass jars seem dangerous with small hands??

    Stacey Wescott

    January 12, 2013

  10. Hi! I am planning to make one snow globe for my friend.. is there any way i cn use play-dough to make the models and then pour glycerin or water in d jar? i dnt have a microwave or oven to bake the model 🙁


    December 17, 2013

    • Not user if Play-Doh will work or not. I used the type of modeling clay that doesn’t require heat to set.

      Patty Palmer

      December 17, 2013

  11. These instructions will not make a permanent keepsake. Do NOT use modeling clay–it will deteriorate in liquid. Instead, spend a bit, get a small toaster oven for your class and use Polymer clay, which cures hard and is permanent when baked. Teacher, YOU handle the baking–this way will leave you with no staining of the water, and create real, keepable objects that will stand the test of time. Sealing the pieces with a coat or two on Krylon Tripple Thick would be a nicety, but unnecessary in this case.


    February 8, 2014

    • I’m not sure what brand I used, but I got it through our school district. It hasn’t deteriorated in water. In fact, after a couple elf years, my samples are still going strong. Can I ask what modeling clay you use that you know doesn’t work? That way, we can eliminate the bad brand from the supply list.

      Patty Palmer

      February 9, 2014

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