Introduction: LED Mason Jar Snow Globe

We are a family of makers, so when our youngest maker said "I'd like to make a snow globe from a mason jar," there was a resounding reply of "Go for it!" When she created the prototype we saw her vision and heard her want to take the idea further through the use of LEDs to invoke an Aurora Borealis color scheme. Thus was born the the DIY LED MASON JAR SNOW GLOBE WITH 3D PRINTED BASE -- a long title for a great project.

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1) Base - We used PLA 3D Printing Filament, but you could use wood.

2) Mason Jar - We chose to use a 16oz Anchor Hocking jar because it had a smooth side.

3) Silicone - GE 2 clear is what we used and it worked great.

4) Neopixel Lights - Either of these could work:

5) Adafruit Gemma - We used a Gemma V2, however that was only because we had it already... If we were buying a new one, we'd get the Gemma M0

6) Glitter

7) Water: If you need a link for water, consider buying us a case of this:

8) Small snowy owl or other figurine

9) Small Lipoly battery with JST connection:

10) Dye: We used Wilton's Gel Food Colors, but you could probably use almost any form of dye...

Step 1: Step A: Mason Jar Build

  1. Get a mason jar with lid.
  2. Get some stones or other base material to build up a base for your figurine. Make sure the base materials fit within the confines of the mason jar lid insert and do not extend to the part of the insert which will be used to form a seal with the glass.
  3. Use the silicone to adhere the base materials (rocks) to the lid. The height of this base is dependent on the size of your figurine, but you will probably want your figurine to be above the transition point for the glass screw grooves.
  4. Use silicone to adhere your figurine to the base materials.
  5. Let it dry for a few hours (or overnight).
  6. Add dye, water, and glitter to the mason jar.
  7. Put the lid on and secure it very tightly.
  8. Check for leaks.
  9. If needed, consider repositioning the lid, or siliconing the lid, to seal off leaks

Step 2: Step 2: Build the Base

We designed our base in Fusion 360 and it worked wonderfully. We used a series of center diameter circles which became both filled cylinders and cylinder holes to create the base. We knew we were going to add LEDs, so we designed with their thickness in mind, as well as that of the Gemma and battery.

Our base was printed from PLA filament on our Ender 3 Pro printer. We generally prefer Hatchbox filament, however we used Robo3D filament because we had it and it was the desired color.

We do intend to build this same base again, but out of some nice walnut wood we have.

Here is an STL of our build:

Step 3: Step D: Solder the Lights and Program the GEMMA

  1. Prepare the ends of your LED strip by tinning the ends (applying solder to the bare wire)
  2. Solder the positive + (usually Red) from the LED Strip to VOUT on the GEMMA
  3. Solder the negative - (usually Black) from the LED Strip to the GND on the GEMMA
  4. Solder the data wire, in our case this was green and was the center wire, to the D1 pad on the GEMMA
  5. Attach the GEMMA to your computer and program it using the Arduino program found on

The code we used is a stripped down version of the Neopixel Strand Test developed by Adafruit. If you are unsure how to use a GEMMA or LED Strips, check out Adafruit's uberguides.

#define PIN 1 Adafruit_NeoPixel strip = Adafruit_NeoPixel(7, PIN, NEO_GRB + NEO_KHZ800);

void setup() { strip.begin(); strip.setBrightness(50);; // Initialize all pixels to 'off' }

void loop() {



void rainbow(uint8_t wait) { uint16_t i, j;

for(j=0; j<256; j++) { for(i=0; i

// Input a value 0 to 255 to get a color value. // The colours are a transition r - g - b - back to r. uint32_t Wheel(byte WheelPos) { WheelPos = 255 - WheelPos; if(WheelPos < 85) { return strip.Color(255 - WheelPos * 3, 0, WheelPos * 3); } if(WheelPos < 170) { WheelPos -= 85; return strip.Color(0, WheelPos * 3, 255 - WheelPos * 3); } WheelPos -= 170; return strip.Color(WheelPos * 3, 255 - WheelPos * 3, 0); }

Step 4: Step 5: Final Assembly

Now all you need to do is silicone the LEDs to the inside walls of the base and attach a battery to the Gemma. Then turn off your lights and enjoy the dazzling display of light.

Make it Glow Contest

Participated in the
Make it Glow Contest