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Thread: diy giant snow globe

  1. #1
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    Default diy giant snow globe

    has anyone ever built their own snow globe? i have some one giving me a 7' tall 6' wide animated elf house. he has had it displayed in a box with Plexiglas walls but the box is in serious need of cosmetic repair and is rather bulky. i am thinking that putting it into a snow globe would be really neat and provide a full 360 degree viewing. looks like all the snow globes that china offers don't have uv protection.
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    Last edited by duane.mosley; 01-12-2016 at 07:23 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    I don't have any experience with making my own, but I did have an inflatable snow globe out this year. It is now retired. Problem is condensation. The globe gets all fogged up and the snow pellets start sticking to the plastic and it just looks like a mess. Temperature might be less of a concern where you are, but it is something to consider. I had briefly thought of putting something like a hair dryer in line with the main fan to keep the inside temperature up. But it turned out to be more of a problem than I wanted to deal with. Good luck though! I'd love to see what you come up with.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    Quote Originally Posted by coldsolderjoint View Post
    I don't have any experience with making my own, but I did have an inflatable snow globe out this year. It is now retired. Problem is condensation. The globe gets all fogged up and the snow pellets start sticking to the plastic and it just looks like a mess. Temperature might be less of a concern where you are, but it is something to consider. I had briefly thought of putting something like a hair dryer in line with the main fan to keep the inside temperature up. But it turned out to be more of a problem than I wanted to deal with. Good luck though! I'd love to see what you come up with.
    One of the Christmas light fight shows this year had a solution for this. I forget exactly what it was but I think it was along the lines of putting a bit of detergent in there to stop the sticking.
    Chris
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    Quote Originally Posted by ctmal View Post
    One of the Christmas light fight shows this year had a solution for this. I forget exactly what it was but I think it was along the lines of putting a bit of detergent in there to stop the sticking.
    That was about static cling, and I believe it was fabric softener.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    I have no experience but a couple ideas. Both require rounded triangles of clear material for the globe. Make tall thin triangles and join the sides such that the small points come together at the top. I'd small model it in poster board to get an idea of dimensions and ratios.
    1st material would be plexiglass or the equivalent but the application would require lengths of 12 feet or more. Sourcing that would be tough. Join the triangles with strip aluminum.
    Better choice might be a roll of vinyl from a fabric store. Sew the sides together and inflate it with a blower. Throw in some shredded cheap anti-static dryer sheets for snow. You need a blower/fan inside to circulate the snow I think. The inflator won't circulate the snow after the globe is inflated.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    I also haven't built one, but have a 6' one. It blows little 1/8" polystyrene beads around as 'snow'.

    The fan motor on mine has died, and has no labels on it. So I've been experimenting with various motors and fans. I can tell you that a leaf blower has way too much oomph, and a vacuum cleaner doesn't have enough. There's some kind of a sweet point where there's enough pressure to keep the thing inflated, and enough airflow to move the snow around. You also need to think about the noise that the fan makes. I'm starting to think that the easiest answer is to get a plenty powerful motor and use a speed control to get to that sweet spot.

    My globe is about half clear plastic, and half nylon. The plastic is a lot heavier than the nylon, and a lot less flexible. You may need quite a powerful fan to inflate something that is 360 degrees clear plastic. The nylon has zips to allow access into the globe.

    My deflated globe packs into a bag about 2' cubed. If it was all plastic, it would be a lot bigger. But, given that you have a 7'x6'x? house inside, I guess it's always going to be bulky.

    My globe's inflator also circulates the snow. There's a plastic bucket thing at the bottom of the globe that the snow falls back into, and the incoming air blows through this and into a 3" or so diameter nylon tube that leads to the top of the globe, up the back wall. If it wasn't for this tube, I don't think that the snow would fall realistically. The end of the tube is squished and spread to disperse the snow. Instead of that tube, if you had a lot of air movement and turbulence inside the globe, I guess you could have the snow swirling about, but it would look like a blizzard. It would just tend to mostly lay in drifts. There's some gauze-covered vents about 2/3 of the way up the globe wall to let the air out but keep the snow in.... sizing of these to match your fan's airflow would be important, I think.

    When the globe is deflated, not much of it is going to be exposed to UV. Unless, of course, you have a house inside it ;) I guess you could cover the globe during the day to protect it from UV.

    My suggestion would be to make a half-globe. Make the back wall of the house the back wall of the globe. Put some tubes up the back wall, or maybe through the house, to spread the snow around. Use plywood to make the back wall of the globe, and clear plastic sheeting, cut into appropriate shapes and welded together, for the rest. Vents somewhere in the back wall. Or maybe even a quarter- or eighth-globe, with a flat bottom and the back and one side of the house as the back two sides of the "globe"; you still get the snow-globe concept, but use a lot less plastic.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    Well, I DO where to get replacement motors and lights for inflatables--that MAY be your answer. Here's the link

    http://www.yardinflatables.com/

  8. #8
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    I have the opportunity to buy a Christmas carousel in a globe; however, the owner states that it doesn't turn any more. If anyone has one, does a separate motor turn it? I know that those things MUST be level to turn, so I'm not sure if the owner just doesn't know that, or if there IS a separate motor, maybe it's shot.

    Also, as a sewer, vinyl really cannot be sewn--it rips. Clear vinyl by the sheet is available in any fabric store and it's not expensive, but if you take a look at anything sewn with clear vinyl, they use a bias binding on the ends and sew through that. However, you CAN glue the seams.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: diy giant snow globe

    I'm taking an inflatable easter egg with a bunny inside it and replacing it with a Santa and filling it with popcorn. The thing is 5 feet tall and I'm hoping it works, but I may have made too much popcorn for it.

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