Let it Snow! DIY Snow Globe Style!

I love Christmas and this time of year! I get to be creative and put up a tree and decorate it! I start crafting and sewing like crazy around this time. Technically I should start doing the crafting and sewing stuff before December, but I get so busy at work or with other projects that I actually almost forget what month it is or it just doesn’t quite register in my brain that certain holidays are around the corner. Now I have to hustle and bustle to make Christmas gifts for the family!

This year I am tackling a Christmas craft project I have never done before. What is it, you ask? Well, I am attempting to make professional looking SNOW GLOBES! Not the mason jar type snow globes, but round snow globes with a nice wooden base.

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Snow Globe Kit

I found a company, National Artcraft, that sold a variety of snow globe materials online. This site is great because they offer discounts when you buy in bulk and I needed about 20 to 24 snow globe kits. Lucky for me the lowest possible cost per kit requires buying a quantity of 24 plus. Woohoo! I think the hardest part was figuring out which size I wanted to get. They offered 6 different sizes, so I ended up getting the second smallest snow globe kit that they have, the 2-3/8 inch diameter. I will say it now, I kind of wish I got the next size up, the 3-1/8 inch diameter or even the 4 inch diameter globes so I can fit more inside. I still made it work, but lesson learned, if you want to fit more inside the snow globe get a larger size.

GATHERING THE MATERIALS.

  • Snow Globe Kit (I used 2-3/8 size but you can use any size you want)
  • E6000 Glue or other waterproof/flexible adhesive
  • Silicon Adhesive (optional)
  • Deionized Water or Distilled Water
  • Propylene Glycol or Glycerin
  • Figurines and/or decorations that are non-metal
  • Snow Globe Snowflakes and/or Glitter
  • Fine Mesh Strainer or Tulle Fabric
  • Zip Ties or some type of string (optional)
  • Toothpicks (optional)

The fun but slightly hard part was finding figurines and/or decorations to put inside the globes. When selecting figurines and decor you have to consider what material they are made out of. That means you don’t want anything that has any type of metal in it. Over time certain metals can oxidize (corrode or rust) and will deteriorate the look of the lovely snow globes you make. We don’t want that to happen, now do we? Nope! I looked for plastic/resin/acrylic type of figurines and decorations.

I couldn’t really make up my mind right away on figurines and decor I wanted to add to the snow globes so I bought twelve 1-1/2 in H x 3/4 in W penguins, ten 1-1/2 in H x 7/8 in W snowmen, four 1-3/4 H in x 1-1/2 in L deer and twenty-four 1/2 in gift boxes, 1/2 in ball ornaments, 1 in candy canes and 3-3/4 in H x 1-1/4 in miniature fir trees from Factory Direct Craft. Now I have plenty of options to choose from. Fun Fun!

Note: Before I made multiple snow globes I started out with a test snow globe so I can work out any kinks or issues that may arise. It was a good thing that I did a tester because I definitely ran into a few issues, which you will later find out…

PREPARING OF FIGURINES & DECORATIONS.

I decided to go with the penguin, tree, and gift box to be the victims of my tester globe. I started out by reducing the size of the tree so that it could fit inside the globe. The trees that I got can separate in the middle so I removed the bottom piece of the tree and took the white post out and placed it in the top piece.

Lesson learn from the tester piece is I had to cut a bottom layer off the rest of the trees and cut about 1/4 inch off the white posts so that they can fit better inside the globe.

 

CLEANING!

I rinsed off the figurines, decorations, gaskets and globes to make sure there wasn’t any dust or chards that may come off and float around while inside the globe. If you want snow or glitter inside your snow globe you will need to wash these too. All you need is a fine mesh strainer or if you don’t have one, like I didn’t, you can soak them in plain water this helps make the snow or glitter settle properly inside the globe. Allow them to soak overnight in a piece of cloth, multiple layers of paper towels, or in a cup of water.

ATTACHING FIGURINES TO GASKET.

To glue the figurines on the gasket I used E6000 adhesive since it is flexible and water resistant, but you can use any adhesive that has the same properties. You can use a toothpick to help apply small amounts of E6000 to little items. I also suggest laying out multiple layers of newspaper while you work so cleanup will be a breeze.

When I did the tester, I found it hard to keep the tree to stay up while the glue dried, so the rest of the globes I made I ended up using a zip-tie to tie the trees and figurines together (you could probably use string to hold them together too). Once I zipped tied the tree and figurine I glued them to the center of the gasket. This really helped keep everything together

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Make sure you do not glue the figurines close to the edge of the gasket. You want to leave about a 1/4 inch from the figurine to the edge. I found out with the tester globe that the penguin went crocked since I had him right against the edge of the gasket and he didn’t look the best. When I glued the figurines to the center of the gasket they magnify a lot. If I had a bigger globe, I would have been fine. Just keep this in mind when you are choosing and placing figurines and decorations inside the globe.

Once you glue the figurines and decorations you need to set it aside and let it dry. Make sure you read the label of the adhesive you use and follow the manufacture instructions on dry times. E6000 adhesive requires about 24 hours to dry. Once they dry, don’t forget to remove zip ties or anything you used to hold pieces together then rinse the figurines off with some water.

INSERT SNOW AND GASKET INTO GLOBE.

Remember the snow bits and/or glitter you let soak overnight? Now is the time to grab them and place them inside the globe. My hubby placed a 1/2 teaspoon of snow bits and 1/8 teaspoon of glitter inside the globe.

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Next step is placing the gasket into the snow globe. Hold the globe with one hand (or place the globe in your lap), and then place the rubber gasket at the top of the necklace opening of the globe. Slightly squeeze the gasket inward and gently push down on the gasket while turning it in a clockwise direction.

Go slowly and do not exert a lot of pressure or you might accidentally pushed the gasket all the way threw. May have happened a couple of times. Woops… The key is to be very gentle and patient.  You’ll know when you have the gasket seated properly when it is flushed to the bottom edge of the globe.

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Gasket flushed with bottom of globe.

Hint: You can place a little bit of water around the upper edge of the gasket to help insert the gasket easier. Also, placing the gasket in the freezer for a few minutes until it is cold and NOT frozen will shrink it slightly so it can make it a little easier to insert. If you take that route, like I did, you will need to wait for the gasket to get to room temperature so it can expand back to normal size. The gasket is designed to fit snuggly so it will prevent water to leak by.

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Placed gaskets on a plate and placed them in the freezer for about 4-5 minutes.

FILLING THE GLOBE WITH H2O.

This part really helps with a second person. I filled the globe with Deionized water, but you can also use Distilled water. I chose to use deionized water because hubby really wanted to and it also has no impurities and it doesn’t contain any metals and chemicals. Distilled water is similar but different. It can have some impurities, but it won’t affect your snow globe much but I do recommend adding a few drops of rubbing alcohol to help keep bacteria from forming.

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To add water and propylene glycol to the globe you need to pull a small edge of the gasket away from the globe neck. Hubby held the globe and pulled away the gasket enough so I can pour the water and glycol inside. I poured 1 tablespoon of propylene glycol (you can use glycerin if you want or none at all) and filled the rest of the globe with deionized water. Note: The propylene glycol or glycerin are completely optional, but if you are adding snow or glitter to your globe, these products will make the snow or glitter float around slowly like snow.

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Just a quick side note. Hubby found out that some snow globe manufacturers use antifreeze in their snow globes to make the snow float slowly, which is very dangerous for any of your fur babies to get their paws on. Sometimes globes can break, and if they do, you don’t want your fur babies to step in it since it can kill them. Well a good thing is, propylene glycol and glycerin are both super safe for pets and people. Now I’m going to go back on track, I promise.

Next, I filled the globe until it slightly overflowed over the gasket and that is when hubby released the gasket so it can reseat to the neck of the globe. By overflowing the water, it can help eliminate air pockets. Just so you know, you can still end up with an air pocket in the globe no matter how hard you try, but you can definitely try to eliminate huge air pockets. You can also let it settle for a little bit and try overfilling it again to eliminate as much air as you can. I ended up having very tiny air pockets in my snow globes but you couldn’t really tell they were there.

Note: If you added snow or glitter to the globe and put glycol or glycerin inside, you may notice that some of your snow or glitter are still floating around or hanging out at the top. Don’t freak out, it is normal. It can take a few days before all of it settles to the bottom. If after a few days they don’t settle to the bottom you can tilt the globe upside down, pull back a bit of the gasket and pour deionized water inside to overflow the globe and burb out the excess snow or glitter.

 

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Snow hanging out on the top. It looks like snow clouds inside!

 

SEALING THE SNOW GLOBE.

Allow the water around the gasket and globe to dry completely before you seal the edge. Once it is dried add silicone, E6000 or other type of adhesive to the edge where the globe and gasket are joined. Then you can use the same adhesive and secure the globe to its base. Let it dry for 24 hours.

LESSONS LEARNED

When I completed the test snow globe, the penguin decided to lean to the right. When hubby and I saw this, we noticed that we shouldn’t place anything near the edge of the gasket since the gasket pops up in the center of the globe. We decided to center all of the figurines, keep the designs simple and left a 1/4 inch gap around the gasket edge. This made a huge difference!

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Tester globe on the left and good globe on the right

Also, after a week of completing the tester globe I noticed that the gift box I placed inside started changing into a darker color. That is when I realized the gift boxes I ordered were made with a foil type material which has traces of metal. Ugh… It’s okay, it was a tester globe and I am so glad I didn’t choose the gift boxes as decorations in the other globes. Thank goodness!

FINISHED GLOBES

The finished globes turned out great and they look amazing and huge inside, compared to the tester globe I made.

NOW IT IS TIME TO CELEBRATE!!

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Preparation for a Crafty Christmas

This year for Christmas I wanted to attempt to make my own holiday decorations. Everytime I drive down my neighborhood I see almost everyone has a wreath hanging on their door, lights strung up, or various types of Christmas decorations on their trees and/or lawns. Some of my neighbors even have some nice decorations hanging in their windows or on their mail boxes. Sadly, the only thing I have for holiday decorations for the outside of my house are two inflatables. I have a cute 4 ft penguin holding a candy cane and a handsome 4 ft snowman inflatables that hubby and I sat on top of the two rocking chairs on the front porch.

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There is nothing wrong with just having inflatables as Christmas decorations for outside, but I’m a crafter, why have I not created anything to decorate the outside of my house? Oh silly me, it is probably because I’m always busy making beautiful and awesome Christmas presents for my family during this time of year. I love making gifts for my family and receiving handmade gifts because I believe it is very thoughtful, sweet and personal. Mystery solved for no outside holiday decorations, but this year I am going to change that.

Luckily for me, my mom, also a crafter like me, is visiting me this year for a few days before Christmas. You know what that means? She and I are going to be crafting and creating stuff like crazy while she is visiting! Fun! I have no excuse not to make some holiday decorations now.

Only problem is I need to buy materials to prepare for this crafting adventure with my mom. Time to swing by the local craft store, which for me is Michael’s, to pick up supplies. I will have to confess, I had no plan of what I was going to make or supplies I needed. It’s a craft store, I told myself, you can draw inspiration every where you walk. Ha, except for one thing, it is a week and a half before Christmas and the store is running crazy sales on Christmas items so most of the Christmas stuff is gone. Ugh. I will have to make due with what they have in the store, this is where my creativity goes into overdrive.

As I walked around the craft store, I was grabbing almost every variety of Christmas stems and flowers they had left. I snatched the last two plain wreaths, couple of boxes of decorative ornaments, clear blank ornaments, ribbon/trim, glitter and a lot of other random stuff. I wish I took a picture of my shopping cart, because it was completely full plus more!

I almost forgot to mention, my husband, bless his soul, stayed in the car the whole time I was in the craft store. After about an hour and a half of me being in there, he decided to come rescue me. Lol. Lucky for him I was actually in the check out line when he came inside the store. When my hubby saw my cart, his face was priceless. I can tell from his surprised half smile expression he was thinking, “Wow! That is way too much stuff. What are you going to do with all of that crafty stuff?” I might have gone a little over board, okay… way over board, but now I have plenty of options to choose from when crafting with my mom. If I end up with left overs, I can use it next year, right?

Hubby is very supportive of my hobbies and he knew he couldn’t talk me out of down sizing my cart, especially when there is going to be a second crafter at the house here in a few days. He was happy that I was happy, what is that saying? Oh yes: Happy wife happy life. Lol.

I can’t wait for my mom to visit! This will be a great Crafty Christmas!!

Lions, Tigers & Bears! Oh My!

I love sewing plushies! They are so much fun to make. Every time I sew plushies my inner child comes out to play. I find it very soothing and rewarding when I complete a sewing project.

I wanted to share all of the cute plushies that I have made in the past few years using Funky Friends Factory and Sew Desu Ne? sewing patterns. Their patterns are excellent and easy to follow. I purchased other patterns from wonderful plushie designers but I’ve been busy doing other projects that I haven’t tried sewing them yet, but once I do, I will definitely share.

LIONS

This was my first lion that I made. One of my co-workers wanted this lion for her grand-baby. I added an embroidered foot and collar to personalize it for her.

My aunt wanted me to make this little guy for her grand-baby. As you can see, my cousin’s school colors are red and black and the mascot was a lion. Isn’t he adorable?!

I had a customer, on my Etsy shop, that requested this custom lion. This lion was a fun one because I had to cut the fabric a certain way so that it can be as symmetrical as I can get it. It was a challenge but I did it!

~Pattern made by Funky Friends Factory.

TIGER, WHITE TIGER, & LEOPARD

 

Using the lion pattern, I made these precious wild cats. All I had to do was not sew a mane and TADA! You have yourself tigers and a leopard. You gotta love multi use patterns. Don’t worry, I found good loving homes for them.

~Pattern made by Funky Friends Factory.

T-TREX

ROAR! These guys will eat you if you don’t hurry up and cuddle with them! I made one of these guys for my nephew who is obsessed with dinosaurs and the others I made for co-workers and their grand-kids.

~Pattern made by Funky Friends Factory.

ELEPHANT

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This elephant won’t forget to snuggle! About 2 years ago, my co-worker had his first child and it was a baby boy! His wife chose an elephant theme for the nursery.

~Pattern made by Funky Friends Factory.

KRAKEN OR SQUID

Unleash the Kraken! Don’t let him devour you with love and affection. Same co-worker I made the elephant for, had another baby boy a few months ago. This time the nursery theme was Nautical, so I made this handsome plushie.

~Pattern made by Sew Desu Ne?

GRIFFIN

Found out my former boss was having a baby girl! The best part was both her and her husband work for a company that has a griffin as a logo. Now they have a new little baby griffin addition. Adorable!

~Pattern made by Sew Desu Ne?

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5 Minute “Smoke Break” Walk

I just want to start out by saying, I am NOT a smoker in anyway. I never have and I never will. Personally, I think it is gross but I’m not going to tell people to smoke or not smoke that is their choice and life. My hubby does the vapor smoking and I have a few friends who smoke, which is fine with me, I just won’t do it.

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Over the years, I see smokers go outside to smoke either regular or vapor cigarettes and socialize with others who do the same. After a while of seeing smokers take breaks very frequently, I started thinking, why don’t I take mini breaks? If they can take breaks, why can’t I?

This idea inspired me to get up, move around and stretch every so often. Sometimes I would walk around a little bit inside the building I work in. I did this for a few weeks, until I got a brilliant idea. Why don’t I just go outside and walk around the buildings for about 5 to 10 minutes to get more steps in during the day? At that time, hubby had surprised me and bought me a blue Samsung Gear Fit 2 that I’ve been eyeing for a couple of weeks. Ever since I got the Gear Fit 2,  I’ve been trying to get 10,000 steps a day. Well, I’ve been struggling to reach that goal, so hence, why not just take a 5 minute walk and get more steps in?

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Samsung Gear Fit 2

I found that if I walked for about 5 minutes or so I can roughly get 1,500 steps in. Which I thought was great, so I decided to take a break every hour or hour and a half at work. Most of the time I can get 10,000 steps in or just close to it, depends on what I had to do that day at work. Perfect! Started a trend for myself! I’m going on my “5 Minute Smoke Break Walk” now, see you in a bit.

“Teal Embrace” a Bead Embroidery Necklace

I wanted to share my biggest bead embroidery project I have ever done so far. It took me about two hours a day for two weeks or so to complete a wonderful bead embroidery necklace!  I also wanted to show how I drafted my design and made it come to life. Luckily, I took multiple pictures of my project since I was emailing my hubby my progress when he was away on a work trip. He loves to see all my wonderful projects.

The left picture above shows my sketch I drew up for the necklace. I also sketched out matching earrings too but I ended up not having enough material at the end to make them. 😢 The right picture I cheated…I photo copied my sketch and used the copy to draw the color design. I thought it was smart. I  didn’t have to ruin my original sketch with colors that could have not worked out and be resorted to re-sketching it. Good thing is my colorful drawing turned out exactly how I imagined it and all the colors worked out!

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Sorry, my pictures aren’t the best since my shadow is showing in some of them. Like I said, I was just taking quick pictures to show my progress to hubby.

In this picture above, you can see I stenciled my outline on a grey bead backing, called Nicole’s BeadBacking. This bead backing is wonderful because you can get it in a variety of colors and it is easy to sew through and embroider on. Also pictured are cabochons I glued on the day before with E6000 glue (takes about 24 hours to dry), which you can buy online on Amazon or at your local craft store or department store, and me starting to bead bezel the cabochons with teal and white seed beads.

Here on these pictures I finished my bead bezel on all the cabochons with seed beads and white bicone crystals. Then I started my outline with dark teal bugle beads.

These pictures display my tedious beading I had to stitch little bit by little bit. Beading the small seed beads took the longest to complete! I also tried to make sure both sides of the necklace look somewhat symmetrical, but in bead embroidery it can be a little challenging since some seed beads aren’t the same size. There are seed beads out there that are very very close to her same size, like Miyuki seed beads, but they can get a little bit pricey when you need a bunch of them to complete big projects.

Left picture shows my completion of the seed bead embroidering of the necklace. So pretty! Right picture shows the tan suede home decor fabric I glued on the backing of the necklace and me half complete with stitching the front and back layers together with white seed beads on the edge to give it a nice finish look.

This picture shows my completion! YAY!!

I named this beauty: Teal Embrace

Fitting, right?

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My Craftroom

We use to rent a nice little one story house about a mile or two from the beach. It had three bedrooms, one bathroom, living room, kitchen and a sunroom. I got to have a craftroom at this house but it was also used as the guest bedroom. That means I didn’t have much room to place my sewing, beading and craft stuff. Just imagine if you were a guest staying in that room, you would be surrounded by a variety of fabrics, shinny beads, rainbow of thread, crafty stuff, and don’t forget the sewing machine. You can say that you would feel a little cramped in that room. In order for me to cut fabric pieces or do craft stuff in that room, I had to lay a piece of plywood on top of the bed! When my husband and I had guest stay over, I had to move this big piece of plywood and slide it under the mattress. Unfortunately, I can not find the picture what that room looked liked. I swear I took pictures but I probably have it in one of my old phones that I didn’t  upload to my laptop… oh well. If I find it, I will upload the photo.

This situation only lasted for about 4 to 5 years until the hubby and I bought a house. I was so excited last year when we bought our dream home! The house is two stories and has 4 bedrooms, 2.5 baths, living room, family room, dining room, kitchen, garage, and a big backyard with a 10′ x 10′ shed. I love It! Now that we have 4 bedrooms I was able to have my own craftroom! YES! After a few days of having the house, I was able to convince my hubby that I needed the second biggest bedroom in the house for my craftroom. I had a lovely plan drawn out to show him that I required a lot of space and different stations to do sewing, beading and crafting. I needed a Women Cave! Below is the sketch I created to show my hubby my craftroom plans.screenshot_2016-11-28-18-02-19 He gets the shed, garage, and the family room (which he now uses as his office/Man Cave), so it is only fair to let me have the second biggest bedroom to do my fun creative activities… right?

It took a while to get my craftroom situated and close to my plans as possible. Here are some pictures of my craftroom progressing.

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This first picture shows the peg board with a nice woven like trim and rosettes on the corners that hubby and I painted and glued on. Then we got four 1 X 1 X 4 boards that we screwed into the wall studs and then used the boards to mount the peg boards on. This also allows you to have space behind the peg board so you can use peg board hardware to organize.

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This picture shows my peg board storage/organize setup with all my colorful threads (I know… I have a lot), tools, and miscellaneous stuff I put on there. I used cube storage shelves to help create my big table to cut fabric on or to do crafty stuff on and to make my sewing station. As you can see in the picture, I use the cubes for more storage so no space is wasted. My father-in-law made me the huge mahogany formica board to set on top of the shelves, it really adds the perfect touch…shiny!

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The above picture shows me adding my other station for beading and to use my coverstich machine on. Also, I placed a huge white cutting board on top of my table so I have more room to cut fabric and to protect the beautiful mahogany formica surface that is underneath it.

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Last year for Christmas, my brother-in-law, Josh, custom made me three shelves to place all of my fabric on. Awesomeness!!!! These shelves didn’t start out like this way though… I had to drive the unassembled pieces from Ohio to Virginia in my SUV. Once we got the pieces home, hubby and I had to assembly, primer, and paint them.

Look at all that fabric! Yikes!

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Last but not least, my father-in-law helped me put up these two cabinets when he came and visited us during the summer. I guess you can say I have plenty of storage in my craftroom! Woohoo!

I hope you enjoyed seeing where all the fun and creative magic happens!

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