Winter Snow Terrariums

5 Jan

Recently, I was browsing Anthropologie for holiday party-wear and I stumbled upon mason jar snow globes (pictured below on the left). They are so simple, yet elegant, and reminded me of a seasonal version of the currently trendy terrarium. However, at $28 to $40 a pop, they seemed a little steep for what is basically a mason jar, a few miniature trees, and some glitter. Admittedly, I bought one but with the full intention of making a few of my own. Then, as fate would have it, my December issue of Martha Stewart Living featured instructions to make “Snowy Dioramas“, pictured below (on right).

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Armed with inspiration, I set out for Michaels to procure supplies. I picked up two mason jars (one large and one small), white modeling clay to build up a snowy base, snow village trees, round mirrors (for icy ponds), two jars of glitter (fine and coarse grain), white glue, and inexpensive paint brushes.

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First, for the large mason jar, I removed the flat part of the lid to be replaced with one of the mirrors.


Then, I built up modeling clay around the edges of the mirror to look like banks of the icy pond (mirror).  For the small mason jar, I built up the clay on the flat part of the jar’s lid, creating a hill in the middle. I kept a bowl of water handy to keep the clay smooth.


The trees I purchased had a snowy base to allow them to stand on their own in a Christmas Village. Since I wanted to stick the trees into my clay snow drifts,  I used wire cutters to snip of the base and stuck the wire end into the built up clay alongside my pond. I wanted two trees of varying heights in my small mason jar, so I used the wire cutters to snip the tree in half (viola – smaller tree).


Then I left the whole operation to dry over night. The next day involved glitter application, jar assembly, and trouble-shooting. I started with the big mason jar. I painted the banks of the pond with white glue and sprinkled it with glitter. I also poured additional glitter in the bottom of the jar itself. I turned the base (mirror with pond and tree) upside down and screwed it on to the jar. When I turned the entire assembled jar upside down, snow globe style, the glitter fell down obscuring the pond completely and stuck to the sides of the jar. I opened it back up and dumped out the extra glitter so the pond would be visible, but it was hard to get it off the sides of the jar, as pictured below.


Overall, the small mason jar came out better. The trees filled out the space a lot better and unwilling to be burned by Martha’s sticky glitter again, I used granulated sugar from the pantry for the snow.

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Photo bomb!


2 Responses to “Winter Snow Terrariums”

  1. Stephanie January 5, 2013 at 9:34 pm #

    How cute! I love how great the little one turned out. And very clever to use sugar! It really looks as good as the anthropologie one. I’m excited to see your future projects!

    • shannzav January 9, 2013 at 11:17 am #

      thanks, Steph! Here’s an update on the sugar: it melted in my overly heated apartment. Use salt if attempting.

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