Friday, February 15, 2013

Snow Inside and Out

homemade snow globes from empty jars

After two feet of snow and almost 48 hours with no electricity last weekend, I had to dump the contents of the refrigerator and freezer, despite having done a full cleaning only a month ago (sigh). This, however, will not be a post whining about what rotten luck that was. This is a post about making lemonade from lemons.

By Monday, we had electricity but the kids were still off school. After much badgering by the small folk, I agreed we would go sledding. We suited up, got the sleds out of the basement, went to the car, and it began to rain. It began to pour, actually. Although my six-year-old thought that sledding in the pouring rain still felt like a fabulous idea, I begged to differ and called off the trip. It was a difficult recovery period for some of us.

Scrambling, I remembered a craft project my daughter had asked to do that required an empty jar. Seeing as how I had about twenty jars of various shapes and sizes--formerly the fridge contents--in the recycling bins, it seemed like the perfect time to let her know I'd (secretly) purchased (previously forbidden) glitter to make snow globes.

empty jars

I hadn't printed instructions and had no Internet access. My daughter didn't completely understand why I didn't "just look it up." I relied on memory as best I could with a decent degree of success. If nothing else, it kept all three of us happily entertained and working together for quite a while, which is all I need to deem it a success.

We rummaged through the recycling bin, choosing our favorite jars (and fighting about who got which, of course). We cleaned the jars and lids thoroughly, peeled off the labels, and used Goo Gone to remove the last of the label adhesive.

I sent the kids to the basement to find a small plastic animal or other toy they were willing to sacrifice to the project. After we'd spent some time arguing about who got which of those, we matched them with jars and confirmed that the chosen lid/jar combination would fit the chosen critter.

First, we used a hot glue gun to glue the critter's feet to the inside of the lid. One of our four snow globe creatures already has detached and is now floating free, so I would use super glue if we do this project again.

animal glued to jar lid for snow globe

Next, we shook a pretty decent amount of silver glitter into the bottom of the jar to serve as our snow.

jars of glitter

We then filled the jars nearly to the brim. After that, we added several drops of glycerin to the water. The glycerin will slow down the falling snow.

I screwed on the lids as tightly as possible, turning them upside down to test for leakage. The final products looked like this.

snow globes from empty jars

When shaken, the zebra was in a storm of glittery snow (kind of like our weekend sans glitter).

glitter snow globe

The kids enjoyed it so much, they each made a second round. My son wanted something bigger and better than the little animals, so he added a whole clump of trees from one of his many dinosaur sets.

homemade snow globe with tree

Here is our new collection in its entirety (unshaken and at rest):

homemade snow globes from empty jars

My daughter liked hers so much that she took them in to share at school the next day. I enjoyed the somewhat-on-the-fly nature of the project, as well as the fact that we used trash. Around here, we seem to like craft projects from trash. It somehow made the effort of emptying and expense of refilling the refrigerator ever-so-slightly less annoying. And we made zebras, cheetahs, and palm trees in snow, which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever, and therefore is fairly outstanding in my book.

1 comment:

  1. I love it. Making lemons from lemonade. :) I kid. I especially love the palm trees in the snow.