Because I had the supremely bad timing of two vehicles breaking down right when I should have been holiday shopping, I've been flailing around trying to come up with last minute gifts on the cheap. This is where having a room full of craft supplies comes in handy. Not to mention a co-worker who tends to link me to cool things on the Internet.
That's right, like many other people (several of whom write craft blogs), I'm jacking Anthropologie's salt shaker snow globe idea. If you get one of these from me for Christmas, act surprised, OK? This is just the kind of pact you have to make when you have writers in your family and friends circle.
So, in the interest of spreading the cheap crafting joy, which is totally a traditional part of my holiday cheer, here's how I made my own, much cooler, salt shaker snow globes.
The first thing I did was go to Big Lots, y'all. If you don't have a Big Lots in your neck of the woods, let me explain. Big Lots is a closeout store. That means it sells stuff on the mad cheap, but you can't really depend on their stock -- it rotates depending on what they get in. Sometimes it's not in good shape and their stores rarely tend toward the immaculate. Big Lots is not for snobby shoppers.
However, it is for the shopper who wants a handful of salt and pepper shakers for about a buck a piece. You could also stock up on low-cost containers at a thrift store, or a flea market, or a yard sale. But I went to the BL because I knew they'd have what I needed and I wouldn't have to waste any time.
I also gathered up tiny animals (mostly from a local miniatures shop -- you haven't lived until you've browsed such an extensive selection of wee bitty barnyard creatures), itty bitty ornaments, and some fake Christmas trees -- I got a bag of trees (heh) at Home Depot for five bucks. And now I have miniature fake Christmas trees for days. The rest of my supplies, I had at home: glitter, Mod Podge, epoxy, epsom salts, holiday spirit.
The holiday spirit mostly came in the form of watching "Elf" a couple times, honestly.
While the best way to spread Christmas cheer may very well be singing loud for all to hear, I went the snowy winter scene in a glass jar route. I used long tweezers to play around with placing my miniatures, then used epoxy to stick them where they needed to be. Hot glue, just so you know, doesn't really stick to glass. Learn from my heartbreak, people.
I used Mod Podge to add glitter to my holiday trees. Because glitter. That's reason enough. The Mod Podge (as previously discussed) keeps the glitter from shedding.
Epsom salts have large crystals (and are awesome in a hot bath if you have muscle aches). That's pretty much the reason I went for them. They make lovely fake snow -- and also they don't stick to the inside of the glass the way glitter would if you used glitter for snow.
Sometimes using glitter for snow is the Right Decision -- it just looks like frost on a window pane. Personal preference!
Use less epsom salts than you think you'll need -- it's easy to add more and a hella pain to take them out. You'll wind up burying your oh-so-artfully arranged winter scenes if you aren't careful.
I also threw a mason jar into the mix. The three trees got epoxied to the lid, epsom salts got dumped into the jar, and then chocolate met peanut butter and a festive snow globe was born. How's that for a creation story? *cough*
Anthro was selling these for between 20 and 40 bucks (and their salt shakers are sold plum out). It cost me, between all the purchased materials (of which I still have some at home), about three dollars on average to make each salt shaker. That's actually higher than it would otherwise be -- I splurged on my fancy tiny chickens. And the flamingo. I can't help it, I live in Florida. A flamingo in the snow is about the most festive thing I can imagine.
Either way, it's a good deal for a craft that looks a lot more impressive than maybe it should -- that's the beauty of good design, after all.