How do I make a snow globe?

The whole reason for the selfsufficientish website was to offer a place where anyone can ask, HOW DO I...? So who knows why it has taken us so long to have a HOW DO I? section, but here it is. So if you want to know how to do anything selfsufficientish then here is the place to ask.
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Rosendula
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How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262132Post Rosendula
Fri Jun 08, 2012 5:48 pm

My 6 year old loves snow globes and saved up to buy one, only to drop it on the floor and break it the same day she bought it. So she wants to make her own now, using a clear plastic tub. We tried it, super-gluing decorations to the inside of the lid and leaving it to dry for about 6 hours. We then filled the tub with water and glitter, put the lid on and watched as the heaviest decorations dropped off and went for a swim, and the glitter stuck to the sides of the tub so we can't see inside any more. So how do I do it properly? Is it because it's a plastic tub instead of glass? Or is there a heavier sort of glittery stuff I should be using? Should I be heavier-handed with the superglue, or is there a better glue for sticking things that will be submerged in water? Obviously, being Ish I don't want to buy a proper kit :geek:
Rosey xx

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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262134Post muddy boots
Fri Jun 08, 2012 6:09 pm

i think you have to add glyserine to the water if i remember correctly

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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262136Post little blue duck
Fri Jun 08, 2012 7:42 pm

distilled water & glycerine.

and water resistant models!

you can also seal the edges eg with bathroom sealant

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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262157Post GeorgeSalt
Sat Jun 09, 2012 12:18 am

Superglue doesn't dry, it cures. And it needs moisture to do so - so it doesn't need to dry before submersion, getting it wet helps it cure quicker. Under the right circumstances (slightly porous, slightly rough surfaces to be joined) it can be the perfect underwater adhesive. I used to use it for securing coral frags and the trick to getting it to stick was to get it into water as quickly as possible (which also dealt with the problem of it being an exothermic reaction and I didn't want to burn the coral tissue). If the decorations were stuck before the water was put in it, it suggests that the superglue didn't really want to bond with the materials you were using and the water capilliaried behind the join and pushed it apart (water just speeded up the failure of a bond that would have failed anyway). Roughening the surfaces can help, but there are some materials that superglue just doesn't want to stick to (and most of them are plastics). In which case, the fall-back stick (almost) anything to (almost) anything is a two part epoxy. The sort that comes in two tubes, you put a squirt from each together and mix witha plastic spatula before use (yes, there is a plastic that epoxy won't stick to - it's the one they use for the spatulas). If it's the right type of plastic (polystyrene) then MEK is the perfect way of bonding them - but both pieces have to be polystyrene.

A photo would really help - to get an idea of what sort of plastic tub you're using, to get an idea of the design of the decorations and to get an idea of what the decorations are made from.
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..

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Rosendula
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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262183Post Rosendula
Sat Jun 09, 2012 9:38 am

I'll get some glycerine then. Thank yous :icon_smile:

Wow GeorgeSalt! I now know things about glue I didn't know I wanted to know :iconbiggrin: Really interesting, thank you. I've never been much good at getting photos on Ish, but it's just a little plastic tub that some cheap honey had come in. See-through tub, white lid. I'm sure that doesn't help much :oops: . The decorations are a right old mix: a rubbery toy Smurf she 'won' in a 2p slot machine at seaside, a monster pencil topper that also felt quite rubbery, a plastic button, 2 googly eyes and a stone wrapped in a Quality Street sweet wrapper! Did I mention my 6 year old is a bit of an oddity?

I think I might try to persuade her to use a glass jar and stones, shells and possibly some cheap decorations you might find in fish tanks based on the info you have given me.

Thanks again everyone
Rosey xx

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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262185Post GeorgeSalt
Sat Jun 09, 2012 10:30 am

The description does help.. I'm guessing you're gluing to the lid which is probably a hard yoghurt pot style plastic? - if so, that's one of the awkward plastics to stick anything to. I sometimes use those lids as a surface when mixing epoxy glues and they just peel right off. Because it's thin plastic it also tends to flex when handled ad that will stress the bonds. I'm surprised superglue didn't work.

Two alternative approaches to try. The first is to try again with superglue:
[list=][*]Roughen slightly the surfaces to be glued with some sandpaper
[*]Apply a thin coat of superglue to each surface but do not put them together
[*]Let the superglue cure until dry, check that the glue has stick to each surface
[*]Now glue the pre-glued surfaces to each other and allow to cure[/list]

The second approach is slightly different:
[list=][*]Find a small piece of slate or stone or a shell that will sit flat inside the lid and still allow the whole to be assembled
[*]Build up the scene by gluing the components onto this platform and allow to cure
[*]Use silicone sealant to stick the platform to the lid - silicone is very sticky but probably too messy for the fine details putting everything together[/list]

If you go the glass jar route (a Kilner style jar would be interesting) you could just try using silicone selant to stick things down, but it will work best with larger items and not so well with fiddly details. It's very messy for fine detail work and will leave fingerprints everywhere.
Curently collecting recipes for The Little Book of Liqueurs..

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Rosendula
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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262203Post Rosendula
Sat Jun 09, 2012 1:34 pm

That's great, thank you :-)

We'll probably do more than one once we get the hang of it, so we might try the different approaches and see which work best.
Rosey xx

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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 262388Post the.fee.fairy
Tue Jun 12, 2012 3:08 pm

The homemade snow globes I've seen are usually from glass jars, like jam jars.

Have a look on instructables.com (warning: Set aside a few hours...Instructables is really easy to get lost in).

They're usually made using the lid as the base for the snow globe, so the ornaments aren't upside down.

I've never made one (yet) though, so I could be talking absolute b**l***s!

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Re: How do I make a snow globe?

Post: # 264050Post wolfhazel
Sat Jul 14, 2012 7:33 pm

I've seen one made on Kirstie's Homemade Christmas or something... there's a link to the website version here... http://www.channel4.com/4homes/how-to/crafts/how-to-make-a-snow-globe
I have started a blog about my own eco journey which includes tips and recommendations which I have tried out myself.
It can be found at http://www.ecojourney.blog.com

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