How To Make a Lighted "Goldfish Bowl" Snowman

How To Make a Lighted "Goldfish Bowl" Snowman

From Goldfish Bowl to Holiday Snowman

This is a simple and creative holiday project.
Rated -- Easy for beginners.

Materials List

  • 1 goldfish bowl, any size
  • 1 spring clip night light with cord
  • 1 snowman hat
  • 1 package of iridescent holiday package filler
  • 1 piece of orange felt 1" X 4"
  • 2 large buttons
  • 10-12 small buttons
  • 1 scarf
  • 1 Glue such as E6000
  • Optional: 1 LED night light bulb

Tools List

This project turned out even better than we expected. We repurposed a gold fish bowl that we already had. You could use any large jar or bottle. Depending on the size and scale you want you could use a large pickle jar or mason jar. Another option would be to use glass kitchen canister.

You can find a large assortment of glass jars, canisters; cookie jars etc, at garage sales, flea markets and local thrift shops. Ours was leftover from a time when one of our boys had goldfish.

Inspect your bottle for any chips or scratches. If there is a bad side, put it to the back. Using a drill or drill press, drill a 1" hole through the back side of the fish bowl. A diamond core bit works best. It's easiest to drill the hole in the center of the bowl. I drilled mine near the bottom of the bowl. This was a little tricky. The pressure from the drill bit wanted to roll since I was drilling the bowl off center. I used two wet towels to prop up the bowl. That kept it from rolling.

When drilling with diamond core bits remember to:

  • Use a slow drill speed of 1500-2500 RPM
  • Use light drill pressure
  • Keep the drill bit and the glass wet

We cut a carrot shape nose from the orange felt.

Using E6000 glue, we glued on the two large button eyes. The orange felt nose and a line of small buttons as his mouth. Allow the glue to dry.

Next, we fluffed out the packed of iridescent package filler. This is basically shredded cellophane, used to fill packages and gift bags.

The iridescent package filler is flame retardant. As an extra precaution we substituted an LED nightlight bulb for the incandescent bulb that came with the fixture. The LED will produce very little heat in the fishbowl.

Place the night light in the hole you drilled back. Put on his hat and scarf. The snowman hat and nightlight fixture came from Hobby Lobby. I see that a large number are sold on The scarf came out of our hallway closet. You are done.

Plug it in. A great looking accent light or night light for your child's room, den, foyer or front porch.

A word of caution. We recommend using LED lights. Regular incandescent lights will generate a tremendous amount of heat in a short time, especially if they’re enclosed in a bowl or jar. If you do use non-LED lights, leave the top of the bottle unplugged and check it often for heat buildup.

I would love to see variations on this goldfish bowl idea. Santa Claus? Reindeer? Grinch?

If you have a drilled glass or tile project, we’d love to feature it (and you) on our website and blog. Please email a short description of what you do, how you do it and a few pictures or a short video. We can only publish pictures and descriptions of original work.

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