Snow globes are beloved for their soothing, ethereal effect. And DIY glitter jars are even more mesmerizing. Also known as calm-down jars, they're made with simple household art supplies and small containers. They create a swirling, iridescent sensory experience that can keep a person focused and intrigued. Plus, making glitter jars is a great project to do with kids. It can be a fun birthday party or playdate activity, as well as a pretty office or holiday gift. Even better, these glitter jars are a cinch to make.
You can use just one color of glitter or mix colors. You also can try mixing different glitter sizes and textures. A mason jar works well if you're making these glitter jars for adults. But if you're making them for (and with) children, it's best to pick a non-breakable container, such as an empty plastic water bottle. Either way, the container should be clear and have a tight seal.
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Equipment / Tools
- Liquid measuring cup
- 1 Mason jar or another small container that can be tightly sealed
- Water (amount varies based on the container size)
- Glitter glue (amount varies based on the container size)
- Glitter (amount varies based on the container size)
- Food coloring (optional)
- Glue (optional)
Add Water to the Container
Fill your container about three-quarters of the way full with warm water. Use your liquid measuring cup to measure how much water you're using; you'll need that measurement for the next step.
Add Glitter Glue to the Container
For every cup of water you used, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of glitter glue to the container.
Add Glitter to the Container
Next, add your glitter to the container until there's roughly a 1/2-inch to 3/4-inch layer of glitter sitting at the bottom. If you wish to use more than one color or size of glitter, add the varieties in any combination that you prefer.
Add Food Coloring (Optional)
If you'd like, add a few drops of food coloring to the container for a bolder color. Start with just a drop or two, and gently swirl the container contents. Continue adding food coloring until the contents are your desired color.
Seal the Container
Firmly tighten the lid on the container. If you want, you can add glue around the inside of the lid before tightening it on the container for an extra strong seal.
Shake the Glitter Jar
Now you are ready to shake your container and watch the glitter slowly float around for a mentally calming effect. Be sure to store your glitter jar in a safe place. If you notice the lid is open or the seal is breaking, either reseal or discard the jar. The contents can be difficult to clean if they spill.
The Glitter Jar and Mindfulness
One way to use glitter jars with children is to make them a tool for discussing feelings and mindfulness.
Think of the glitter as representing thoughts. If your child is feeling angry or upset, thoughts swirl and cause them not to be able to see, act, or think clearly––just like what happens when you shake the glitter jar. But when the glitter jar sits undisturbed, all of the glitter rests at the bottom and you can see through the liquid.
Shake the glitter jar, and then watch the glitter settle down again. This is a good lesson in how calming the mind is important, so you can think clearly.