Halloween How To: DIY Crystal Ball with Swirling Mist

I had this vision of a crystal ball filled with swirling smoke and a ghostly image appearing inside it. 

So I started looking up DIY tutorials. 

I did not find what was I was looking for. Everything was either very complicated and featured Madame Leota from The Haunted Mansion or was a ball full of swirling liquid that would have to be shook up to get it to swirl, kinda like a snow globe.

I started brainstorming. I'm not very techie so the design had to be simple. I knew dry ice was out because if you put it in an enclosed space you get a bomb. I didn't want to shatter a glass globe.

Fog machines would require too much tubing to direct the fog into the globe. I suppose it could work but I really didn't want to go there unless it was a last resort.

My first idea was a fountain mister. So I found a cheap one on Amazon, got it and was super disappointed. The cheap thing was so light it would not stay in the water, it fell over and tried to float. 

So I returned it and found a fountain mister from a pond supply store.

The idea kinda worked. The mister had lights so I got changing light and mist all in one. Sort of.

I hooked everything up, turned it on and got a lot of water and droplets but the mist all pooled in the box under the globe. My husband even drilled a small hole in the top of the globe to get more air flow hoping the mist would rise into the globe.

Nope. Didn't work as I had hoped. 

See video below.

Back to brainstorming and then I had a light bulb moment.

A diffuser!

I had a couple small essential oil diffusers which put out a light mist. Much lighter and foggier and less watery than the fountain mister.

Bingo, ding ding ding we have a winner!!!

The photos don't do it justice but if you watch the video you can see the steamy mist swirling in the globe.

During my design and creation process I ended up making 4 styles of crystal balls. 3 are grouped in the photo below. 

This one is by far the hardest so it is the first I'll give you instructions for.

What You'll Need:

6 inch glass globe from Menards or other home improvement store (Available in frosted or clear. I chose clear so I could put an image inside. They are available in the lighting department.)

Small diffuser. Some are color changing. If yours is you may not need another light. If not add a small color changing light. I used a small submersible LED tealight.

Wood to create a box over your diffuser.  

Paint in your color choice. I used black because it is what I had on hand.

Transparency paper and printer to create a skull or other image to put inside your globe. (Like the skull in the photo? Download a 6 inch globe ready version here.)


First you'll need to gather your materials.

Then you'll need a base for the globe, something large enough to cover the diffuser.

My husband made a simple wood box just large enough to put over the diffuser. 

Cut a round hole in the center of the top to place the globe inside. 

If you have a sturdy cardboard or plastic box that is the right size you could use that instead. The cardboard might get damp so it is not the best choice but you can paint it to make it a little more waterproof.

Print out your image on transparency paper. Let the ink dry for awhile before grabbing it from the tray or it will smear. 

Cut out the circle, roll it up then place inside the globe. It'll open into the circle. Adjust as needed.

Fill your diffuser with water and place on a water proof surface. Turn it on.

Add your tea light.

Place your globe base box over everything.

Place your globe on top, turn out the lights and voila...color changing crystal ball with swirling mist.


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you. I had a "vision" and I was determined to make it happen. LOL

  2. Oil Diffuser!! Who would’ve thought of that?! YOU rocked it!

  3. This is exactly what I was hoping to figure out for our office Halloween party. You just saved me hours of trial and error experimenting. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are awesome!

  4. This is exactly what I was hoping to figure out for our office Halloween party. You just saved me hours of trial


  5. This is awesome! Do you make a box, then cut out a circle the size of the globe opening on the top of the box so the light can light up the globe? Thanks for sharing!

    1. Yes, my husband made a simple wooden box. I traced the globe base on top and he cut out the circle so the globe fits snug into the wood. The diffuser and lights go underneath inside the box.

  6. This is brilliant!! Definitely trying.

  7. Hello. Congratulations !!! A unique idea. It has a wow effect. I do not understand exactly how the picture with skull is attached to the Ball and for what? And don't get wet with water a lot? I also want to ask if you can make the same crystal ball with a skull for me. I will be very grateful and grateful!
    I leave my email
    Thank you and congratulations !!!

    1. The transparent paper is cut in a round circle the same size as the globe so it fits into the shape. When using the diffuser it just sprays a mist so it doesn't get too wet. I also have a small hole drilled into the top so excess moisture can escape. Sorry I do not make anything to order. I just provide DIYs so you can make items yourself.