DIY snow globes: How to make winter wonders without water

OK, so we’re not completely sure what to call these. Maybe waterless snow globes. Or plant-free Christmas terrariums. Or tiny winter scenes in jars. What happened was Allie S. led a workshop for our artists, and they put vintage holiday decorations and bottle brush trees and intricate paper cutouts in glass containers with a little bit of fake snow and made magic. So we’ll call them DIY snow globes and we’ll also strongly encourage you to make one or a dozen. Because if you’re not going to shake them up, you can decorate them however you’d like. 

DIY Snow Globes with trees, a snowman, and a deer

Christmas is a big deal in my family. We celebrate big. We put up elaborate decorations. And my mom always makes little winter scenes with vintage decorations and cake toppers inside domes. So when Tobe R. asked me to lead a snow globe workshop, that’s where my inspiration started.

DIY Christmas snow globe supplies

DIY SNOW GLOBE SUPPLIES

  • Glass vessels: You can use just about anything, in any size. Glass domes and cloches are perfect—so are mason jars, terrariums, and lanterns.
  • Fake snow: Or use moss, if you don’t want it too winter-y
  • Bottle brush trees: Here are a few in different sizes.
  • Vintage (or new) Christmas ornaments, figurines, and toys: Tiny anything—reindeer, angels, snow people, villages, cars
  • Heavy paper: Canson, card stock, or construction paper
  • Festive sparkly things: Glitter, bells, tinsel, sequins
  • Craft room staples: Foam core or cardboard, felt, fabric, and ribbon
  • Hot glue gun
  • Craft knife
  • Scissors
  • Super-long craft or aquarium tweezers

Making a miniature winter scene with bottle brush trees, birch rounds, and foam core

Placing trees in a mason jar

How to make DIY snow globes

  • Build a base for your scene using foam core or card board.
  • Play around with your items—except the snow!—without gluing them down until you like the way it looks.
  • If you’re going to decorate any of the pieces, do it before you glue them in place.
  • Glue the biggest pieces down first. Then fill in around them.
  • Add the snow last.
  • Carefully put the glass dome over the base, or add the lid.
  • Embellish the outside.

Decorating mini-trees to put inside a terrarium

Adding Christmas decorations to a foam core base

DIY snow globe idea starters

  • Build tiny snow people and angels out of beads.
  • Decorate bottle brush trees like Christmas trees, with garlands and lights and ornaments.
  • Try something simple and natural: Just a deer and a tree or two, with a dusting of snow.

Cutting winter scenes from white card stock

  • Create your own cut-paper scene from white card stock or heavy-weight paper.
  • Deconstruct a greeting card—or multiples—and create a scene from the designs.

Adding a bakers twine scarf to a tiny snowman made of pom poms

Adding bottle brush trees to a glass lantern

A table in Hallmark's DIY snow globe workshop

  • Decorate with paper on the inside and outside of your glass container.
  • Hang garlands and snowflakes from the sides of the container.

Adding scenery to a winter terrarium

  • Let kids decorate simpler scenes. (Their hands fit in the jars more easily, too.)

A cut paper winter scene inside a glass dome

A tiny Santa made of wooden beads inside a mason jar snow globe

Decorations inside and outside a mason jar snow globe

  • Start with a simple color palette in mind instead of a scene, and see where it takes you.

DIY winter snow globe scenes in a red and white color palette

A miniature winter scene inside a lantern

DIY Christmas snow globes

Waterless DIY Christmas snow globe

Simple snow globes with bottle brush trees and red accents

Wooden angels decorate a paper tree inside a glass jar

Deer and bottle brush trees inside DIY mason jar snowglobes

Intricate cut-paper designs inside and outside a glass cloche

After you’ve made DIY snow globes, we’ve got inspiration for Christmas decorations and gifts and entertaining to last you all season long. And our friends at Hallmark Ideas have plenty of their own. Make something and show it to us on Facebook or tag us on Instagram! And don’t miss out on your chance to join our first-ever Christmas Card Challenge.

Photography by Pat Bush.

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