If pressed to explain my glass dome obsession, I'd probably blame Beauty and the Beast. Is it just me, or does a simple dome have the power to transform any object, edible or otherwise, into something magical? It's like my boring cakes and tchotchkes knew that there must be more to their provincial lives.
Recently I was engaged in a frustrating search for a specific sized cloche jar, visiting practically every chain store and local antique shop to no avail. One night, as my red-rimmed eyes scanned yet another page of online shop results, I realized I had the choice between spending beaucoup bucks for the perfect glass cloche or just making one. Oh, if only I had thought of that at the beginning of my epic hunt! Shopping for the supplies and actually making my own glass dome took way less time than even looking for one online. Who knew?
The cost of this project depends on the size of your desired glass dome as well as where you source the supplies. I stretch out certain supplies from previous projects, like butcher block oil and super glue, but when I need to buy things, I usually shop at a local discount craft supply chain called Pat Catan's. I also save money by using coupons at Jo-Ann.
-cylindrical glass hurricane: 4" x 4" x 6"- $3, 6" x 6" x 8"- $6, 8" x 8" x4'- $6
-plate or round plaque sized to fit glass hurricane: small wood plaque- $1.17, small wood plate- $2.69, -large wood plate: $4.19
-wood knob: approximately $1
-glass-safe super glue: $3 for a small tube that you can reuse
Total Cost: $8-$14
–cutting board oil: $5
-steel wool (superfine 0000 grade): $1.67
Total Cost with Optional Supplies: $15-$21
Step One: Brush the wood knob and wood base (unless you are using a glass or ceramic plate) with cutting board oil. I had Waterlox wood sealer left over from my butcher block counter project, so that's what I used. If you're using this plate to serve food, you must use a food-safe sealer.
Tip: You can use multiple coats of oil on the plate for a more durable finish, but typically each coat of sealer requires a 24-hour cure time, so this can draw out the timeline of your project.
Tip: When you're finished sealing the wood, you may choose to sand down it down with superfine steel wool for a silky finish, but this step is optional.
Step Two: Apply super glue to the bottom of the knob, being careful not to get the glue close to the edge. Try to place it in the very center of the bottom of the hurricane. This will be the top of your dome. You may need to move the knob around slightly to get it perfectly centered, which is why keeping glue from the edges is helpful to avoid visible glue.
See? I told you it was easy. Making the cakes to go inside these domes was honestly the bulk of this project. It's a burden I was willing to take on, though, only if it would assist you in realizing the magic of the DIY glass dome. I do what I can.
For the cake stand below, I added a clear, glass prep bowl to give it some height.
The beauty of this project, in my opinion, is being able to inexpensively make a glass dome in any size that you need, depending on what kind of hurricanes you can find in stores. What would you put inside a glass dome if you made one? I like to display vintage figurines under them (as seen in this glitter countertop DIY on my personal blog), but I also like inviting friends over for baked treats. Any excuse, eh? –Mandi
Credits // Author and Photography: Mandi Johnson. Photos edited with Stella of the Signature Collection.