Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Canning Jar Snow Globes

My dad has been in a huge purging mode and gave me over 100 canning jars to keep and/or sell. I haven't gotten around to selling them yet, but they are all cleaned and organized. Some I've decided to keep, but I really need to start posting these for sale. In the meantime, it seems that re-purposing them is a better use of my time.

I've already set a bunch up with markers, pencils, scissors, etc for our craft area, I plan to make some into hanging lights (no idea where I will hang them) and I just ordered pumps to make a few into soap dispensers, but this past weekend I decided to make some into snow globes.

Making snow globes is relatively easy and there are a lot of sites with instructions, but I did find that there was some trial and error with the process. If I make these again I feel like it will go even smoother.

To start with I selected four jars that didn't have a lot of decoration on them. I wanted something where I could see my creation clearly. I cleaned the jars and lids, and then sanded the lids down a little to help with paint adhesion.

In the future, I will likely use spray paint and/or wait until the snow globes are together before painting them. They got a bit nicked up during the process - mostly you can't see this since it's on the bottom, but I still like to know that it looks good.

I put a couple coats of acrylic paint on the lids and once dry started gluing objects to the lids. One site suggested using styrofoam or molding clay with canning jars to get them higher than the lip of the jar, but this probably isn't necessary if you use something like a sauce jar or baby food jar where the lip is smaller. I had styrofoam on hand so I used that, but I'd be interested in trying the clay next time.

All sites talked about gluing the items, but only one site I read mentioned what kind of glue they used and it was Elmer's. I didn't trust this would last so I used a hot glue gun and Gorilla glue. Turns out I needed them both as the Gorilla glue didn't work very well when it came to securing the styrofoam to the lid fast. The hot gun glue worked fast, but melted the styrofoam a little bit.

I eventually got all the items I wanted secured to the lid and once dry I was able to start the next step of putting water and 'snow' in the jar. I picked up a number of 'snow' items: a couple versions of glitter and fake snow. One site used grated PVC so that might be an options if you have some sitting around. I also added glycerin as it was supposed to help the snow from falling too fast. I found that two capfuls was about right for the smaller jars and 3 capfuls for the larger jars. Baby oil or corn syrup can be used for this as well. I found the glycerin in the baking isle at Michael's. I also found that the fake snow did not work well and just floated to the top. Glitter for the win! I used two different kinds as seen below and used about a teaspoon of each glitter per jar.

Now it was time for them to come together. I lowered each lid into the water and secured it with the screw top part of the lid.. and then tested it. This is where a lot of trial and error came in. This is where I discovered that the fake snow just floated to the top and that the glitter worked best. Also? The tree that I really wanted to use turned the water blue after just a few minutes. I decided to remove it since I figured it would only get worse.

I tested each jar to see if I could get away without gluing them, but they each leaked a little. I tried the glue gun here, but it didn't work so it was Gorilla glue to the rescue. BUT, I used too much and it oozed out the sides. I kept cleaning it off, but wasn't able to get it all and now I have dried glue bubbles around the edges. I think I might pick up some ribbon and wrap it around this area and call it a day.

Here the glue is curing - you can see it oozing out of the lids.

Overall this was a fun project and even though I did most of the work, my almost 4 year old was able to help a little bit. Now, to actually put some canning jars on Craigslist to sell. That, or I need to perfect my snow globes by making 97 more of them.

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