For a long time I have had the idea to make a snow globe from a light bulb. First I hollowed out a light bulb. However, separating the metal part from the glass part was quite challenging. I broke several light bulbs in my attempt to do so, including cutting the glass with burning acetone (I did separate the two parts but the opening was rather big). I ended up finding a better way by accident. I do need to admit that I have no proof that it works in general and not only in my specific case. It was an experiment, and if you want to make a snow globe like this I would also recommend experimenting yourself with the separation part.
What did the trick? The chemical substance inside glow sticks. Putting the fluid inside the light bulb and shaking it every now and then for almost half an hour dissolved the glue and separated the metal from the glass (I applied tape over the opening). How do I know this? Well, I thought it would be fun to do a photo shoot with a glowing light bulb, to illustrate how the best ideas come at night when lying in bed (I was holding the light bulb above my head when the metal part fell off and the chemical shiny stuff dripped on my hair, ew).
Assuming you have obtained the glass bulb without the metal attached, you tackled the hardest part. Almost equally important is to find a cap that fits well to the opening. If you manage to separate the metal the way I described, a typical wine bottle cap will fit perfectly. If you chose a different method, causing your opening to be bigger, you will need to find a different size cap to close off the opening.
Now comes the fun part: thinking of and deciding on what you want to make for inside the snow globe. It could be anything, as long as it fits through the opening. I chose to make a little house on a hill. It is a reference to a song I occasionally play on the ukulele: ‘You and I’ from Ingrid Michaelson (“Let’s get rich and build a house on a mountain making everybody look like ants”). I recommend polymer clay (I call it Fimo clay), but I guess you could also put other objects inside (I think little plastic animals would be fun). Make something from the clay, and bake it in an oven following the product baking instructions. I recommend testing if the object fits through the glass opening during the process of making.
When your clay object is cooled down and hardened, you can coat it with nail polish. I’m not sure if it needs the coat to be somewhat protected from the water, but at least it gives a nice shine to your creation.
Fill your hollow glass with glitters: any type or color you like. Then add water. I boiled the water and let it cool down again before pouring it into the bulb. I thought the process might help to decrease the growth of whatever living species normally reside in water. If you fill the water up till the top, it will overflow when you put your cap with glued object on the bulb, so make sure to leave some space.
Ok, this step is somewhat tricky. You need to glue the bottle cap to the glass. I used a glue gun to do so. Be sure that the parts you want to glue are dry. I applied a ring of glue inside the bottle cap before putting it on the glass. However, it was still leaking after this. So I decided to apply an extra layer of glue on the outside. It doesn’t look as clean, but at least it didn’t leak anymore after this second layer.
Then shake it, shake it, shake it! And admire the sparkling miniature world you created close-up.
This was quite an experimental and somewhat more complex DIY than what I usually show on my blog. Hope it doesn’t stop you from attempting to make one yourself as well! One additional note: the base has a relatively small surface compared to how big the bulb is. I recommend being careful with the placement, because it isn’t the most stable object and the glass is really thin.