Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Can a snowdome be refilled?
A. That depends... any dome with an accessible and removable plug can be refilled with distilled water. A clean eyedropper or turkey baster will expedite the process. Sealed domes are much trickier - even a skilled restorer will sometimes break a snowdome in the process of attempting to open it. We say, enjoy your sealed dome just as it is!
Q. I wish to purchase a plastic snowdome for a small child; If she drops it, will it break?
A. All snowdomes and snowglobes, whether made of glass or plastic, are fragile and breakable, and contain small parts. As appealing as they are, snowdomes are decorations, not toys, and are not appropriate for small children.
Q. There seems to be marine life growing inside my snowglobe; can anything be done about it?
A. Even Jacques Cousteau would be mystified by some of the strange stuff we've encountered inside snowdomes. These marine lifeforms seem to occur more often in domes that are stored away (i.e.the holiday domes that are only displayed once a year), or are kept on a dark shelf. That funky chunky stuff may be reduced by placing the domes in a sunlit room, BUT - never place a snowdome in direct sunlight. The water/magnification/sunlight configuration can turn your curio shelf into a towering inferno! As mentioned above, snowdomes with removeable plugs can be emptied of scummy water and refilled with clean distilled water though you do risk losing some of the snow/glitter in the process.
Q. Can snowdomes be shipped during the winter months?
A. Many plastic snowdomes, and some glass ones, are filled with plain water, and are subject to freezing/expanding/cracking in cold temperatures. However, we have found that snowdomes will arrive in good condition by shipping domes via FedEx 2-day during even the chilliest times. Costs extra, but absolutely worth it. It is very important that your delivery person not leave your snowdome package outside, awaiting your arrival home. This is how the term "domesicle" was invented. You may want deliveries sent to your office instead, where everyone can admire your excellent taste in snowdomes. Some glass snowdomes are filled with an anti-freezing additive during manufacture, which helps reduce the freezing problem.
Q. What is the snow in a snow globe made of?
A. The "snow" inside the dome is a closely guarded secret of the snowdome-makers. Early snowdomes contained snow made of ceramic bits, sand, sawdust, treated wax, even rice (none of which we recommend.) Today's snow appears to be made up of either tiny plastic pieces or a ground up mineral substance - one collector tells us she has had great success in making her own snow by grinding vermiculite. But you don't have to work that hard - see our Make Your Own Snow Globes page to purchase packets of real snow globe snow in addition to our DIY snowdome and snow globe kits.
Q. I want to make my own snowdome. How do I start?
A. If you'd like to put a photo or flat artwork inside a snowdome, check out our easy-to-make Photo Snow Globes. Simply trim your artwork to match the paper template provided, and slide your design into the watertight channel in the center of the dome. If you would rather create a 3-D scene inside a snow globe, check out our snow globe and snowdome kits, which come in a variety of sizes. You provide the creativity, the glue, and small waterproof objects. You can find a variety of neat plastic and ceramic objects in hobby shops and cake decorating stores. Our snowdome and snow globe kits are perfect for building the snow globe of your dreams.
Q. What's the best way to clean plastic snowdomes? Is there a way to fix scratches and scuff marks?
A. Older plastic snowdomes can look pretty beaten up, especially if they've rolled around your grandma's junk drawer for a couple of decades. We've found that the Novus 1-2-3 Plastic Polish Kit a great way to spiff up scratched domes. Use the #3 polish to reduce the appearance of heavier scratches, the #2 polish to remove fine scratches and scuff marks, and the #1 polish for a beautiful and protective final shine. You can try spit, but we've found nothing works better than this Novus kit.
If you have a general question about snowdomes which is not answered here, please e-mail us. We will attempt to answer your question and perhaps include it in this FAQs page.