kitschy snow domes

The Craftster Guide to Nifty, Thrifty, and Kitschy Crafts

Thanks to my sister-in-law Nicki for giving me this book, my sister Beck and I sat down one sweltering afternoon and produced these kitschy gems.

Snowdomes are really fun to make, and we discovered a few tricks along the way:



hen snowdome
hen snowdome


  • milk bottle tops make a perfect base, they fit snuggly into the mouth of baby food jars.
  • we used soft plastic farm animals (easy to pierce with wire), beads, and bead wire. We simply pierced holes in the bottle tops and animals and fastened them with wire.






like a horse in water snowdome
like a horse in water snowdome

What we’d do differently next time:

  • use distilled water, and sterilise the jars a bit better (things are growing in the water). I wonder if adding white vinegar to the glycerine mixture would help this.
  • use more glycerine in the mixture, make it 50/50 instead of 30/70
  • fill the jars up to the very top.


cat dreaming of fish snowdome
cat dreaming of fish snowdome

hen close up
cat close up

cloth balloon ball

finished cloth balloon ball

Download this free pattern and make your own!
A friend of mine was given two of these for her kids and they are heaps of fun. They’re a cloth cover that you insert a balloon into and inflate so it becomes a ball. I decided to have a go at making one and my 2 year old loves it because it bounces softly (great for indoors), she can roll and sit on it, and use it in the pool.

Because they’ve been so popular as gifts, I’ve made a cloth-ball-pattern for download. Please let me know how you find using this pattern, I’d appreciate knowing how well it works.

If you don’t want to make one, you can visit Livipur’s site (Germany). At first I thought these balls were Livipur’s invention, but friends have told me they’ve seen them in other shops also.

What does ‘not for resale’ mean?

In the last 4 years, many people have asked if its ok to use this pattern to make small quantities to sell and raise money for worthy causes. Yes it is, and I am humbled and very happy to help your cause in this small way. Please do not sell my pattern, publish it, or use it to make cloth balloon balls for commercial purposes.


top of balloon ball
finished top panel, reinforced.

I sewed the top panels together first, like in this photo. I trimmed all raw edges underneath with pinking shears.

Next sew the side panels together, and remember not to sew into the seam allowance at either end; this will make attaching the top and bottom panels easier.

Finally attach the top and bottom panels to  the side panels. This is the fiddly bit. I pinned each corner of the pentagon to each side seam as best I could. When sewing, I had the side panels on the top so that I could see to sew exactly from side-seam to side-seam and keep the seam-allowances flat.
To make the corners sit flat, I trimmed the corners off the pentagons and clipped the corners where the sideseams intersected with them.

Lastly I trimmed all raw edges with pinking shears then turned the ball out. I wasn’t super precise but am still happy with the result.

To inflate the ball, insert a balloon, inflate it, tie it, then tuck the knot inside the flap.