Designs & Displays: Snow Globes for Dance Store Holiday Windows

Follow these easy instructions to turn your dance store window into a dreamy winter scene with the look and feel of a snow globe.

The snow globe–like windows at The Dance Bag in Modesto, CA, frame a Nutcracker scene that owner Holly Bertucci created with repurposed costumes from a local professional company. Courtesy of The Dance Bag

A snow globe is a mesmerizing bauble. Pick it up, and it’s hard not to be transfixed by the snowy scene that unfolds—its calming and magical effects quickly draw you into the tiny world inside. So what better way for a dance retailer to catch the eye of customers and passersby at the holidays than by creating a giant snow-globe in your window? The scene it frames is sure to create wonder and bring customers in. 

That’s exactly what Holly Bertucci, owner of The Dance Bag in Modesto, CA, did. She created two impressive 80-inch snow globes in her store windows using butcher paper and a few cans of spray snow to frame dancers in holiday costumes. The result was a truly magical sight. “It’s an easy visual that’s really cool,” she says. “Because our windows are so big we got a lot of compliments.”

Re-creating this display is easy with a little planning and the right tools. Here, Bertucci walks us through the steps. 

Materials You Need

Before you begin, a trip to your local craft supply shop is in order. You will need the following for one snow globe, roughly 6 feet in diameter. 

  • 3–4 cans of snow spray (Bertucci used Santa Sno Blower)
  • 10–12 feet of butcher paper 
  • thumbtack, string and pencil/pen for a makeshift compass 
  • scissors
  • fabric measuring tape
  • masking tape 
  • cotton balls
  • clear fishing line 

Steps to Make the Snow Globe in Your Store Window

Remember high school geometry? Good! You’ll need it to make the perfect circle in your window. 

  1. Measure the space you have to work with and decide how big you want your snow globe to be. Bertucci has two large front windows, so she was able to create two 6-foot globes. Using a measuring tape helped her to space them evenly. 
  2. Make a compass using the string, thumbtack and a pen or pencil. Place the butcher paper on the ground and thumbtack the string into the center point. Stretch the string taut—it should measure the radius of your circle. Then loop the tip of your pen around the string (you can also push the tip of your pen straight through the fibers of the string). While holding the center thumbtack in place (you may need a second set of hands to help with this part), draw your circle. 
    Note: If you plan to make a second snow globe, Bertucci suggests cutting out another circle rather than reusing your template. She found that the paper becomes difficult to work with after being sprayed.
  3. Cut out your circle and  tape it to your window. Depending on the size of your circle you may need extra help with this step, as well. Remember to check your initial measurements so you place it in the correct spot. 
  4. Hold the can a few inches away from the window and spray around your circle. This will create a realistic-looking dusting of snow. Bertucci cautions not to hold the can too close to the window, and don’t forget to throw a drop cloth over any nearby racks of product to keep them clean. 
  5. Leave the paper on the window to dry before taking it down. 
  6. While you wait for the window to dry, string cotton balls onto your fishing line to create garlands of snow. Bertucci hung hers in a random order to create a more realistic look.

Setting the Scene Inside Your Snow Globe

With your snow globe in place, it’s time to create a beautiful scene inside. This is where you can put a personal touch on your display. Bertucci designed a Nutcracker scene using old costumes and ones that she sewed herself. “The costumes are from our local professional company’s Nutcracker performances from 30 years ago,” she says. “I made the snow tutu and the Sugar Plum tutu because I don’t have old costumes for those parts.”

Holiday Display
The Dance Bag gave two foam-core nutcrackers a refresh to use in its snow-globe holiday windows. Courtesy of The Dance Bag

 Two large, foam-core nutcrackers flank either side of the snow-globe scene. Bertucci’s mom made these for a smaller window display when the store first opened, but they were given an update and some fresh paint for the snow-globe window. 

Bertucci’s Nutcracker theme is a classic symbol of the holiday, and it’s one that can be interpreted in so many ways. That is part of the reason why we love this display idea so much—you can put anything you want inside the snowy frame. 

Reenact your favorite Nutcracker scenes with a twirling Clara or waltzing snowflakes. Or, if you need a break from the Nutcracker, add prancing reindeer and jolly elves inside. You can also use this as a way to bring your brand to life with tutus and leotards in your signature colors. One last tip from Bertucci: Use a dark backdrop and don’t forget to add spotlighting over your globe, so your snow garlands pop and more easily convey the spirit of your design. 

The Bottom Line

Less is more when it comes to store window displays. Create a focal point by framing a single beautiful fashion leo or seasonal costume within a snow globe. This will draw the customer’s eye to exactly what you want them to see—a tactic that can work at other times of year, too.

Libby Basile is a former editor of Dance Retailer News who writes frequently on retail merchandising and displays.

For another seasonal retail display (which doubles as a handy way to recycle old inventory), see “Retail Designs & Displays: How to Make a Pointe Shoe Christmas Tree.”