Saturday, October 22, 2016

DIY Faux Crystal Ball

I don't know about you but around Halloween-time I get into that "spooky crafts" mood. Many of my readers may love to have a crystal ball and many of my readers may actually own one. For some the price may just be too high as crystal balls, especially large ones, often sell in shops for $300-$600. You can find them cheaper on EBay but even at discounted rates the price may be too steep for some. So I thought I would share some craft ideas concerning making your own crystal ball. The finished result can be used to the same effect as the genuine item.

To start, you will need to purchase something with a glass sphere and a base to set it on. Some people may recommend round fishbowls or even spherical canning jars. However, I do not recommend these because they each have a flat surface at the bottom so that they sit upright. Since these would be turned upside down to make a faux crystal ball then the flat surface on top would be too distracting, in my opinion.

Other people would recommend clear glass Christmas ornaments that you can buy at hobby shops or else larger clear plastic spheres. Technically, the glass ornaments would work. However, they are small. The thought of a plastic crystal ball doesn't appeal to me.

So when making your own faux crystal ball I would recommend the globe light fixtures that come with a base. Here's an example of such:

I would recommend using the clear glass ones and not the milk or white ones, but if all you can find are the white ones, then so be it.

Step 1:

Get some spray paint and paint the base the color your prefer, if it is not already a color that you like. I prefer gold or silver spray paint but you can use other colors depending on your taste. You can even go for a faux-wood base as well. To make a faux wood base you will need masking tape, a tan or light brown pain, a darker brown pain, and black paint. Or you can just take brown paint and make tints and tones of it by adding white and black paint. Tear off small pieces of masking tape and then place them every which way on the base until it is completely covered. Take an old paintbrush and dip it in the brown or darker brown paint and then whisk it around on a piece of paper or newspaper until most of the paint is off the brush. Then use the brush to paint all over the base that is now covered in the masking tape. Repeat with the lighter brown paint or a tint of the brown paint (add white to it). Then finish with the black paint or a tone of the brown paint (add black to it). Allow to dry. If you do it right it will appear like real wood, especially from a distance. You can varnish or use a sealer on it if you prefer.

Step 2:

Decide on what you want to include inside the glass globe. Here are a few suggestion:

Clear Resin - Use a kit bought at a hobby store. You mix two chemicals together and then pour them into the glass globe. It will harden and become translucent. You can add glitter to the mix if you prefer. If using glitter aim for body glitter or fairy glitter as regular glitter will usually sick to the bottom before the resin hardens. Another technique you can try is to dip a paintbrush in paint or food coloring and then swirl it around in the resin a few times. When the resin cures you will have those swirls of color inside.

Glycerin Soap - Purchase from a hobby store. You want glycerine soap, not regular glycerin. You too can place body glitter or fairy glitter into it if you prefer. You can tint the soap if you prefer as well. You can also dip a paintbrush in paint or food color and make a few swirls in the soap if you like.

Cellophane - You can wad up cellophane and place it inside the glass sphere. I would recommend opalescent or iridescent cellophane but you can use any color your prefer. Even clear cellophane looks cool. By cellophane I do not mean Saran Wrap or plastic cling that you buy in grocery stores. I mean craft cellophane that can be purchased at hobby or craft stores.

Halloween Spider Web - Purchased at any store that carries Halloween decorations. Dollar stores may be best. They even sell glow-in-the-dark spider web so if you use this kind then your crystal ball will glow a bright green in the dark. Unfortunately, spider webs do not look that appealing on their own so you will need to spoof this up a bit. More on this later.

Easter Grass - Purchased at any store that carries Easter decorations. Try to aim for the artificial Easter Grass that gets on every one's nerves, the kind you will still find it in the carpet months after Easter. It used to only come in green but now it comes in a wide range of colors, even metallic ones. Avoid the earth-friendly ones made from paper as they don't look good and just look like you have a ball full of shredded paper.

***NOTE: If you are using glycerin soap you may want to seal the opening of the glass globe with a layer of wax. You can use old candles or canning wax, which can be bought at most grocery stores. You don't have to seal it with wax but keep in mind that glycerin soap can melt if it gets too hot or if exposed to liquid. 

***NOTE: If you are using Cellophane, Halloween Spider Webs, or Easter Grass you can spoof it up by adding a battery operated string of LED Fairy Lights. Fairy lights are just very tiny strings of lights. Here is an example:

They come in white, single color, and multiple colors. Pick whichever you prefer. Make sure that it's the battery operated kind. Just arrange everything the best you can until you are pleased with the outcome. Leave the battery compartment outside the globe for quick access.

Step 3:

If desired, secure the globe to the base with hot glue, Gorilla Glue, epoxy. Do not do this if you are using Fairy Lights. If your base has screws, holes or other unsightly aspects, then you can hide such with conveniently placed ribbon or sheer fabric. In my opinion the iridescent or sparkle variety is more visually appealing. If you have a nice scarf or sash you can use that as well.

There you go! You just created your own faux Crystal Ball.

Now, I made one back in the later 90s but I got rid of it years ago. I mostly just used it as a Halloween prop but there's no reason why you can't use one for scrying.

If you don't have a creative bone in your body but still want a DIY faux-Crystal ball then please know that you don't need a crystal ball to scry. Most people could not afford a crystal ball and used bowls or drinking vessels filled with water. Black or dark colored bowls do best. Otherwise, you can darken the water itself by using black food coloring, paint, or black ink. In fact, one of my early teachers taught me to use "India Ink" to use to darken the water to scry with. It looks really cool when you first pour the ink in.

If water scrying doesn't appeal to you then you can also scry using a mirror, gazing ball, witch ball, or glass fishing float. Large crystals can also be used. These alternative suggestions will be subjects for future blogs.

Happy Haunting! 

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