make your own snow globes

Making a gift for someone you love always means a little more. It says they are worth the time and effort to you.
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Making a gift with your kids is even better because you create a memory along with the gift. There is something very nostalgic about snow globes, which makes them an ideal project for the holidays. Even little ones can make something interesting and once you add water and glitter, a little magic just tends to happen.

Hunt through the condiment section of your grocery store to find interesting jars to create tiny scenes that will be treasured from year to year. As an added bonus, you can feast on roasted red peppers, capers and olives-all in the name of art–or just pick up a case of 1/2 pint mason jars.

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materials:

small glass jars with tight-fitting lids

polymer clay (such as Fimo)

glycerin

glitter

directions:

1.Plan your subject for the snow globe. You want to keep it pretty simple and make sure it will fit into your jar. Talk with your child about the shapes that make up whatever their subject is. (ie. a Christmas tree is a triangle or cone shape. A person is a sort of rounded square with 2 cylinder legs and arms and a circle head; etc.) To make sure the scene is well above the jar threads, flatten out a pancake of clay (about 1/4 inch thick) and use the jar like a cookie cutter to make a base for the rest of the scene. Then arrange your sculpture on top and it will sit higher in the finished jar.

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2.Now use the clay to make your snow globe subject. Keep it simple. If your artists are older, you may want to introduce them to color mixing, and other techniques, such as kneading in a couple of colors to make marbled designs. You can also roll out “snakes” of clay to make stripes or patterns; then roll it gently to flatten it into one solid piece.

3.Once you’ve finished creating the sculpture; bake it as directed. After it has cooled, you can secure it to the lid with a generous dot of hot glue.

4.Depending on the size of your sculpture, fill the jar almost full of water. Then hold over the sink and screw on the lid (with the sculpture attached.) Any excess water will spill over the sides and you will be left with the right amount in the jar.

5.Add glitter and 5-8 drops of glycerin (which keeps the glitter from clumping). Do not add too much, or the glitter will float on top of the water; however if this does happen, just pour out half of the water and add fresh water.

6.Now tightly screw on the lid. If desired, you can paint the lid or glue a ribbon or trim around it. You may want to write a message and date on the bottom of the lid. (If the lid is printed, write the message on paper and glue to the lid. It may be a good idea to spray it with a sealer or cover with clear contact paper to protect the message.)

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p.s. Come visit me at Leap Into Art to see the gift idea of the day and enter a giveaway to win it!

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