Crystal Snowflakes

>> Thursday, January 6, 2011

We don't get much snow in the southeast but thanks to this simple craft the kids have been making their own large sparkly snowflakes the past two years. All you need is boiling water, pipe cleaners, borax and a large container...easy peasy.

The snowflakes really last too. This is the one my daughter made in 2009. The color faded from hanging in her window an entire year but the crystal structure remains strong.

It now hangs in my laundry room since her current one took its old place in her window. Fitting spot since it's made from household laundry detergent.

To make your own you're going to need some pipe cleaners. I cut 3 pieces about 5" long and another 6 pieces just under 2" long per snowflake.

 Twist the three long pieces together in the middle.

Then attach the smaller pieces to the ends. And perhaps remember to clean your boy's fingernails before photographing craft time. Oy.

Even my 5yo was able to do this all on her own this year.

This is what you're after for the final shape. However, any shape you or your little one creates will work.

Now go find a large container to hold your flakes. You can do them all in one container as long as they don't touch each other or the bottom and have room to be completely submerged. Tie string to the top of the flake. Then tie the snowflake to a long skewer that can rest across the top of your container. Pencil would work for smaller containers. Last year I improvised by cutting up old wire hangers from the cleaners and used the long bottom side. Measure again to make sure you have enough string to hang the flake completely under the water but not touching the bottom.

Now you're ready for the Borax. You'll need 3/4 cup of Borax per quart of boiling water. The water must be boiling to dissolve the Borax and trigger the crystallization process. You do not have to be exact with your measurements. We're not baking. The key here is over-saturation. Err to the side of more detergent in your water for lots of crystals. Do not skimp on your Borax.

Now stir until dissolved. Notice the steam, you definitely want this solution to be hot for the best results. Feel free to add any food coloring you want now too. My kids chose blue again this year. Originally the oldest was trying to convince the others to go yellow but I pointed out yellow snow was not a good thing.

Now slowly lower your snowflakes into the Borax solution.

Check again that they are completely covered with water and not touching each other. Then let them sit undisturbed overnight.

And the next morning this will rise from the water.

Each rising inch was met to ooooohhhhs and aaaaaahhhhhs.

After pouring out the water I hung them back to dry for a few minutes.

Post a Comment

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...