Introduction: Mini Light Up Faux Snow Globe
I made these small resin globes for my nieces for Christmas. I think they liked them because they carried the globes around with them the rest of the night.
1. Resin - I used EasyCast Epoxy resin because of its low odor.
2. Measuring cups, timer, popsicle sticks for mixing
3. Determine what to use for the falling snow. - iridescent flakes or translucent polymer clay for falling snow. I find that glitter tends to settle into a line so I avoided it for the falling snow.
I used both the iridescent glitter flakes and translucent clay in my globes. Don't add too much at a time to the resin.
If using translucent clay, roll into small balls. Bake and paint glitter glue to add sparkle. Wnen adding to the resin, move it into position so that it doesn't roll into one area.
4. DecoArt Snow-tex - creates snow at the base of the object. I found it at Hobby Lobby. You can also buy it from Amazon http://www.amazon.com/DecoArt-DAS9-4-Snow-Tex-4-Ounce/dp/B000XZVW8G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389461745&sr=8-1&keywords=decoart+snow-tex
5. Glitter glue
6. Object to embed. I created polymer clay figures and varnished them before adding to the resin. You can refer to my other Instructables on how to create them. You can use other items instead of polymer clay.
Make sure the object is small enough to fit in the globe!
7. 1 LED - I used slow or fast rotating leds for more dramatic effect. I also used 10 ohm resistor.
8. 2032 battery holder - I bought them from http://www.taydaelectronics.com/coin-battery-holder-cr2025-and-cr2032.html. They have awesome prices and low shipping cost.
9. Small switch
10. Wires, soldering iron
11. Large silicone ice ball mold. I bought minefrom Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Stone-Cask-Ice-Rounds-Chilling/dp/B00B7QJJJ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389418067&sr=8-1&keywords=silicone+ice+ball
Step 1: Prepare Object and Create Resin Globe
Check to make sure the object is small enough to fit completely within the ball mold.
2. Determine if you want the LED on the top or bottom of the globe. The wires are easiser to hide if the LED is from the bottom.
If the LED will be from the bottom, then take a small hobby drill and drill 2 holes in the object. I drilled my holes in the base. Mark the cathode with a marker and insert the LED legs through the holes. I always use resistors with my LEDs so I went ahead and soldered a 10 ohm resistor to the cathode. Cut a length of wire and solder it to the LED. Mark the end of the negative wire.
If you don't have a place to drill holes and add the LED, you may be able to glue it to the object.
If the LED will hang from the top then no holes in the object will be required. Solder the resistor and 2 wires to the LED. Mark the end of the negative wire. The LED will be added later to the mold.
Test the connection with a 3 volt battery before proceeding.
3. Mix a small amount of resin and mix with the iridescent flakes or few balls of clay snow. Pour the resin into the bottom half of the silicone ball mold (just a small amount - don't fill it up all the way) and allow it to cure. Remember, the object will be added later and will need to fit in the mold.
NOTE: Allowing the resin bottle to warm up in a water bath before mixing will reduce the number of bubbles and increase clarity. The bottles should be warm and not hot to the touch.
4. Insert the object to be embeded in the mold.
If the LED will be from the bottom, then the object will be inserted in the mold upside. I used a piece of piece of wire to hold the polymer clay item in place (see picture).
If the LED will be from the top, then center the item on top of the cured resin in the mold.
6. Mix enough resin to completly fill the bottom half of the mold. Add some flakes or polymer clay snow to the resin.
Allow 24 hours to cure.
7. Take the 2nd half of the mold and attach to the first half.
If the LED was added to the base of the object, then make sure both wires go through the top opening of the mold.
If the LED will be from the top of the globe, then insert the LED through the opening (so that it sits in the resin) and tape the wires against the mold.
8. Mix enough resin to cover the 2nd half of the mold.
Put the resin into a cup and mix some snow into it. Pinch one end of the cup to make a spout and pour in through the opening. Pick up the mold and swirl it around (otherwise my get bubbles at the edges).
I had problems with bubbles in my first globe. In my subsequent globes, I allow the resin to sit for few minutes in the cup to allow bubbles to rise to the top before pouring into the mold. You can also split the pour of the 2nd half of the mold in two, allowing the first part to cure before adding the 2nd part. This may reduce the bubbles even more and distribute the snow better.
Allow the resin to cure.
9. After the resin has completely cured, then remove from the mold. There may be a line of resin where the 2 molds met in the middle - trim this with an exacto knife (see picture). I wish I knew how to eliminate this line. Not sure if sanding will help.
10. The resin globe will have a frosted look because of the silicone mold. Rest the globe so that it doesn't roll. To do this, I coiled a piece of wire and rested the globe on it. Paint some mixed resin around the globe (make sure it is evenly spread and not streaked) and it will make the globe clear.
11. After the globe has completely dried, solder the battery holder and switch to the LED. Test the connection.
Step 2: Create Polymer Clay Base
1. Take some polymer clay and roll into into a ball. I used 1 entire package of Fimo clay.
2. Take one end of the ball of clay and roll it between your palms to shape into a fat cylinder. Push it against the table to flatten one side. Flip it over and push against the table to flatten the other side. The cylinder should be wide enough to fit the switch and battery.
3. Scoop out the center of the cylinder. To do this, take an exacto knife and cut a circle close to the edge of the cylinder, then cut cross hatches in the middle (refer to picture). Take a curved tool to scoop out the pieces. Take a large ball tool to press around in the middle to smooth out the center.
4. Cut a hole at the bottom large enough to fit the battery holder.
5. Take the switch used for the globe and place it in the hollowed out clay. Cut a hole in the side large enough to fit the switch.
6. Roll out a sausage of clay and rim the top and bottom. Place the globe and place it in the clay to make sure it all fits. Press the globe against the top of the clay slightly so that the clay conforms to the shape of the globe.
7. Bake the clay as directed and varnish.
8. After the clay as dried, hot glue the switch against the opening on the side wall. Add hot glue to the rim of the clay and glue to globe to it.
For the globe that had the LED coming from the top of the globe, I took some air dried clay and shaped it into an ornament holder areound the wires. I painted the air dried clay with some pearlescent paint (see last 2 pictures).
It was a little sloppy with the wires hanging out. I think I will try next time to make a desk lamp from this and wrap the wires around a tube and attach it to a square base. Will post pictures when completed.