Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Mason Jar Aquarium

  Soo, I'm really hoping my mom hasn't started reading my blog yet. (Mom if you are reading this, DON'T haha or if you do act surprised!) I've been thinking of Mother's Day presents for my mom and as I was falling asleep the other night I thought of this.

  When I was a teenager my mom and I were driving and I kept making a fish lips face at her. She tried so hard to do it, but she just couldn't. We laughed so hard I'm pretty sure she almost wrecked the car. So I decided I wanted to make her a little aquarium. I decided it would be fake though, that way she could put it on her desk at work. 

  So I started contemplating ideas, then magically right before I fell asleep I thought of the perfect thing! I was going to make a snow globe aquarium. So I thought long and hard about how I could do it. Then I remembered the case of Mason Jars I had in the Jeep. I found some glass pebbles and it all came together.

Mason Jar, Glass Beads, Green Beads
  First I played around with a bunch of different ideas. I had some green beads and glass "rocks" the kind that are in vases (I have no idea what they are really called). I put them in the jar, took them out, tried a different order, probably about ten times until I found the look I liked. Mike liked it better with just the green beads, but I liked the look of "rocks" under the green.

  I squeezed a huge glob of glass glue in the bottom and dropped in the rocks until I got the look I liked. Then some more glass glue. (Side note... well ventilated area is a good idea, the glass glue can get very strong!) Then I put in the green beads, and some more glass glue. 

Beads Glued in Jar

  I found these strange yellow things and decided that my aquarium needed some foliage, so I just jammed them in there. I also had some cool shells and rocks that Mike and I found at my mom's lake house so I added a neat rock and shell. I just put some of the glue on the bottom and dropped them in where I liked. If you don't have the skinniest hands, like me, needle nose pliers work very well to get things perfect.

Top View of Foliage
Added Rock and Shell

  Once I finished that I painted the lid. I thought about using chalkboard paint, that way she could write the name of her fish on it, but I changed my mind. But if you were making this for a kid I would definitely use the chalkboard paint! Instead I painted it with pink nail polish, then added dots with purple nail polish. Then wrote "Happy Mother's Day 2012".

Painting Lid
Pretty Lid

  After the glue dried, (at least 24 hours, I would wait longer just to be safe) I checked my foliage to make sure it was secured. I wanted to be able to shake it up like a snow globe without pieces flying out. Then you get to add your fish! You could put anything you like in here really but I wanted to go old school with the Goldfish. Use a needle to poke a tiny hole in the fin and tie a piece of fishing line through the hole. Then I made it the length I wanted. I wanted the fish to be suspended inside so he looked like he was swimming around when it's just sitting on the desk. Then I glued the fishing line to the inside of the lid. Well that weird flat piece that makes up the lid on a mason jar.

  I really wanted to use a small plastic fish, but let me tell you how hard that was... I probably went to about ten different stores and I found absolutely nothing. I finally decided I would just have to make one. I ended up using polymer clay to create a goldfish. Really it isn't that difficult to make and it's fun!

Polymer Clay Fish
Almost Done :D
Finishing Touches (It also has googly eyes, but I put them on after I baked it)

  Then I filled it up with water, a few drops of liquid glycerin, and some blue glitter. I'm not really sure what the point of the glycerin is but every DIY snow globe uses it so I did too. I used blue/silver glitter to give it some sparkle. 


  You could also tint the water blue with a drop of food coloring (would recommend doing it in a different container so you can get the color just right) but I wanted mine to be clear like an old goldfish bowl. Then drop your fish in, attached to the lid and screw on the ring! You could glue it if you are afraid of it coming lose or leaking, but since it is for my mom and not a kid I think it will be alright. 

Mason Jar Aquarium
You Never Have to Feed Him :D

Just Keep Swimming
This picture... Haha not sure what happened with the mouth... 
Just Seeing What's Up...

  There you have it! Your own Mason Jar Aquarium and the best part is you never have to feed it. Just shake it up every once in awhile to show your fishy some love :D

With a Pretty Bow

  Since mine is a Mother's Day present I had to add one finishing touch! Did you think I just told you the fish lips story for fun? Of course not, it's the most important part. I tied a cute ribbon around my jar and attached a small card. On one side it had my blog title since I knew my mom would think it was funny, and when you flip it over there is a picture of me... doing the fish face! I've thought long and hard about this because I know it will be on her desk at work, and I know she will show every person she can... but it is Mother's Day and I love my mom and I want her to remember that day every time she looks at it, and be able to tell her friends the story, even if that means embarrassing that crap out of me. Maybe I'm finally starting to grow up, or maybe it makes me laugh too either way, I know she will love it!

Fish Lips!

*Fun Fact: Liquid Glycerin is used as an antifreeze. It also helps slow the descent of the glitter so you can enjoy the sparkles for that much longer!

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