This idea for Crystal Snowflakes comes from Martha Stewart's "Kids" magazine 2003. I've been making them pretty much every year since I first saw them. I love them! I've made them with lots of kids, and even little guys can help in some way. This is a fairly easy craft, and the results are really amazing. Would you like to make one?
WHAT YOU NEED:* white pipecleaners
* thin wire (or string)
* a large glass or metal bowl or jar (large enough to hold about 8 cups water)
* skewer (or stick wide enough to fit across bowl)
* Borax (found with laundry detergents)
* about 8 cups boiling water
* blue food colouring
WHAT YOU DO:
Twist three 5-inch pieces of white pipecleaner together to form a star. Then twist a 2-inch piece of pipecleaner on each end (bend them upwards a little bit) to complete a snowflake.
|Remember! No two snowflakes are alike.|
Boil about 8 cups of water. You will suspend the snowflake into a bowl of water so that it is completely submersed. But you don't want the snowflake to touch the sides or bottom of the bowl. Martha used a huge jar. I use an 8-cup batter bowl. Test that your snowflake will fit with room to spare around it before you mix up the solution.
Wrap a thin wire around the middle of the snowflake, wrap the other end around a skewer (or whatever you have) to hold the snowflake suspended over your bowl. Check that the wire holds the snowflake up off the bottom of the bowl.
Measure out 1-1/2 cups Borax for every 8 cups of boiling water and pour it into the bowl. Do not let a child do this part please ... the Borax has warnings that it is an eye irritant, and the powder does sift up through the air when it is handled. For safety reasons keep kids away while you do the mixing with Borax and boiling water.
Add the boiling water and stir it around until all the Borax has dissolved. Add about 8 drops of liquid food colouring to the water and stir. Now lower your snowflake into the bowl. It might float for a second or two, but once the pipe cleaners absorb the water, it will sink down. Lay the skewer holding the wire across the top of the bowl.
Now set the bowl in an out-of-the-way spot. As the water cools down, crystals will start to form and they'll cling to your pipe cleaner snowflake. Try not to bump the bowl ... you don't want to disturb the forming crystals. If you make this in the morning, the kids will have a chance to watch the crystals form throughout the day. It's a slow process. Leave this overnight, and by the next morning, the snowflake should have lots of thick chunky crystals on it. Just pull it out of the water and hang to drip dry.
These snowflakes will keep over time, but the crystals turn white as they age. They make great little gifts for a child to give someone special. I once made up some for my kids' teachers because it was a warm year with no snow. I added a snowflake-shaped tag (cut from a cookie cutter) with the recipe printed on it, and a notation "since there's no snow this Christmas, we're just going to have to make it ourselves". It went over very well :)
WARNING: Do not pour the Borax solution down your drains! I pour the water outside in a spot where I'm not worried about killing any plants, and scrape the remaining crystals that form on the side of the bowl into the garbage.
Now Cody would like to show you how his one blue eye matches the blue snowflake ...
|"Did you get my good side?"|
Good boy Cody ... you can go now ... Cody and I had a frigid walk this morning (-12C) with a sharp wind. My face is burning now that we're back insde, and he must be feeling a bit tingly all over too ;)
Thanks for stopping by today!
PS Finished up the tiny knitted polar bear last week ...