Snow globes are fun and seem to be as popular as ever during the holiday season. Even if you don’t want to have shelves of them in your house, they are still fun to pick up, give a shake, and watch as the snow settles itself around the object within. In fact, people have been enjoying these creative decorations since the Victorian era when they made their first appearance at the 1878 Paris Universal Exposition. The Victorian era was the height of home accessories, with Victorian women producing and consuming millions of gewgaws, thingamajigs, trifles and knick-knacks. In fact, an entire piece of furniture, called the What-not, was invented just as a display stand for all of the things in any given Victorian room.
One particular form of decorative accessory that was very popular was the bell jar; this was a glass container that was placed over an arrangement of objects and onto a base supporting them in order to preserve them and keep them dust free. It only took a small leap of imagination to consider filling that jar with water and creating a small diorama that could be shaken to replicate the appearance of falling snow. These first Paris Exposition snow globes contained a diminutive man holding an umbrella. When they appeared again at the 1889 Paris Exposition, they contained a replica of the newly constructed Eiffel Tower created in ceramic.
In the years since, the snow globe has continued to grow in popularity and in availability with cheap plastic versions available at every dollar store. If you want to splurge and get a high-quality snow globe, you can do no better than go to the Perzy family store in Vienna and purchase a miniature work of art such as the ones they have been producing continuously since the early 1900s. If your holiday decoration budget doesn’t include both a high-quality snow globe and a roundtrip ticket to Vienna, the folks at Vectary have provided a step-by-step recipe for creating a snow globe in the comfort of your own home.
It starts with an empty Nutella jar. This was how I knew this was the right tutorial for me, but if you don’t have an empty Nutella jar, I strongly recommend that you get some of the delicious spread and eat it all, it will be well worth it. Get a few jars, probably, so you can use them for other 3D printing projects (including keeping the chocolate hazelnut spread safe from scavengers who might eat it before you can).
The Vectary team has created an idyllic low poly winter landscape ready to be 3D printed and sized to fit the jar. First, 3D print the tiny landscape, then glue the landscape to the inside of the jar lid and wait for the glue to thoroughly dry. After filling the jar with water, a teaspoon of glycerol, and a dash of glitter, screw the lid back onto the jar. It is important not to put the jar onto the lid because otherwise all the water will come out and you will be forced to curse, thereby significantly reducing the total quantity of holiday cheer present during the assembly process. Finally, seal around the lid with some more super glue, just to make sure it is extra water tight. And, voila, you have your very own snow globe.
If you’ve come this far, I don’t need to tell you that you can set up decorations around your creations in order to enhance the festivity. But you are probably feeling pretty satisfied, in no small part due to the general happiness provided through Nutella consumption. Happy Holidays!
What do you think of this project? Let us know your thoughts; join the discussion of this and other 3D printing topics at 3DPrintBoard.com or share your thoughts below.[Images: Vectary]