Mason Jar Snow Globes & Terrariums Tutorial ~ Holiday Repurposing


I’ve always loved antique Mason jars and I’ve found so many uses for them. They are wonderful for repurposing projects and in 2018 Country Living Magazine had a great tutorial to convert them into a super cute soap dispenser.

But when I began seeing them in magazines this year as Holiday decorations, my wheels started turning.  I love taking something old and making it new again, and well, I knew I had to give these a try! The result was a fraction of the cost of buying a Mason Jar Snow Globe from a catalog, and in my humble opinion, something way more special.

Mason Jar Snow Globe in Sundance Catalog $45

Anthropologie (Used to display jewelry and not for sale)

I started searching the Internet for tutorials and found this one on Martha Stewart that uses any household glass jar with a lid.  I used this as my guide.

For this project you will need:

*I’m using E-6000 glue because that’s what I had on hand and it worked fine but Epoxy glue is best (especially if you are using any type of glass ornament or glass figure in your jar). Do not use a hot glue gun.

  • Mason jars or any glass jar with a lid (I found wide-mouthed jars easiest to work with)
  • Distilled Water
  • Glycerin
  • Glitter and/or Diamond Dust (Glitter is best for snow globes, Diamond Dust is best for Terrariums)
  • Epoxy glue, that dries clear and is waterproof
  • Spray paint for lids (optional), or stickers and ribbon to decorate the lids (also, optional)
  • Something cute to put in your jar 🙂

Okay, so here we go.
Start by washing and drying your jars. I like to collect old Mason jars so I have these around the house, but you can find them at flea markets, salvage yards, antique shops and ebay. If you don’t have these, can’t find these, or just don’t want to spend the money, any glass jar with a lid will work here.  Later in the tutorial I’ll show you what my kids made with gravy, jelly, and nacho cheese jars salvaged from my frig. *grin*

The Terrarium
I came up with the idea for terrariums because there were so many cute things I found to go in the mason jars that wouldn’t do well with water. These are a dry decoration, so problem solved.

The tree and the little deer were purchased at Michaels.

Apply glue to the bottom of the deer’s feet and position on the bottom of your jar with tongs.

This is a 1 quart blue glass vintage Mason jar.

Allow glue to set so that the deer is stable and then add the tree, repeating the same process.

Allow glue to dry overnight.
Spoon in desired amount of Diamond Dust (also purchased at Michaels).

Screw on the lid and put your gorgeous vintage looking terrarium on display!
Wouldn’t a couple of these be darling lined on your holiday table between fresh pine branches and gorgeous mercury glass votive candles? *Swoon.*

I found this darling little elf like gnome at Cost Plus and the white tree at Michaels.  I knew these two would be terrarium bliss together.  I used a 1/2 gallon vintage Mason jar for this one and followed the same process shown above for the deer terrarium.

This is a new mason jar bought at the grocery store. I glued a decorated Christmas tree and mini presents (both purchased at Michaels) to the lid. The total cost of this terrarium was $7.50. I bet some crafty soul could figure out a way to drill a hole in that lid and run a strand of mini lights to light up the tree. *grin*

The Snow Globe
The kids had a ball making these!

Apply generous amount of glue (I should be using Epoxy here) to the bottom of your decoration and attach to the inside of your lid.

Allow glue to dry overnight.
*I found the cute little glass bird at Cost Plus.

Fill your jar almost to the top with distilled water. This is a 1 pint wide-mouth vintage clear glass Mason jar.

Add a healthy splash of glycerin (found at Michaels in the cake decorating section). Glycerin makes the glitter flutter and swirl like real snow.

Stir and then add desired amount of coarse glitter. I am using white glitter to look like snow.

Run a generous bead of glue all the way around the inside rim of your lid.

Over a sink, gently apply the lid to the jar and screw it on tight. It is normal for some water to leak out while you do this.

I allowed the glue to set for a bit before I played with the snow globe.
Upside down birdie 🙂

Turn your jar over, shake and enjoy the beautiful snow.

Important tips for making snow globes:

  • While you can use any fake tree making a terrarium, trees used in snow globes must be all plastic.  Make sure whatever item you choose for your snow globe gets tested in water first.  I found that the cute little bottle brush trees at Michaels bleed and turned the water green.  The trees that didn’t bleed but had a metal trunk rusted 🙁  I think the only tree that works in these are trees that are all plastic.
  • I found the little plastic figures for snow villages worked great in the snow globes, along with all plastic toys and ornaments.
  • Glass decorations also did really well.

As promised, my kids’ snow globe creations made with household jars. The kids had a blast digging through their toy bins for little plastic animals, etc, to make these. Kids can select and wash their jar, pick out and set up cute things to go inside and even decorate the lid when the jar is complete.  HOWEVER, unless you want to contend with a little hand permanently glued to the kitchen table (don’t ask), kids should NOT use epoxy glue.  Leave the gluing to an adult. 

Gravy Jar (I spray painted the lid silver)

Nacho Cheese Jar  (the lid was already black. Whoot)

Small Jelly Jar
My daughter wanted to try gluing her toy squirrels to the bottom of the jar and it worked fine and she decorated the lid with a paper flower sticker.

As you can see, as long as you water test your decorations, the sky is the limit as to what you can do with these. The terrariums I’ve made are water free so just think of the possibilities! Glass jar snow globes and terrariums are a fun way to make your days merry and bright.

***If you enjoyed this post, see my 2018 Winter Scene Cupcake in a jar! It’s an easy tutorial and a perfect gift.



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