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Wednesday, November 28, 2012

DIY Crystal Snowflakes

So my daughter came home from her science 4H class with a cool little snowflake that she had made. Right away I knew I needed to make more for our Christmas tree.

 I don't know the science behind it, but these little snowflakes are amazing.

 These are quite easy to make and if you're like me you'll already have the supplies on hand. That's my favorite kind of project!

Want to make your own Crystal Snowflakes?

Here's what you need:
white pipe cleaners
wire cutters {or old scissors that you don't care about}
wide mouth pint mason jar
food coloring {optional}

Start by cutting your pipe cleaner into thirds. Take two pieces and make an x. Then wrap one around the other. Repeat with the other piece to make a snowflake shape. Tie the string onto one of the ends.
Place it in the mason jar to figure out where to tie the string to the pencil. You don't want the snowflake to touch the sides or the bottom of the jar or else it will become crystallized to the jar. I trimmed the ends a little bit so it would fit better. Once you have the snowflakes hanging in the center of the jar, remove them.

Fill the jar with boiling water. Add food coloring, if desired. Add 6 T. borax to pint jars. {or 12 T. to quart jars} Stir until dissolved. I found it was easier to pour some borax into a bowl for the kids to measure out.

Then place your snowflake back in the jar. Make sure that it's not touching the sides or bottom of the jar.

Now comes the hard part. You have to wait overnight for the crystals to form.

I pulled them out the next morning and put them on a paper towel to dry.  You can see that the blue one is just lightly colored. We used probably 12 drops of food coloring. The kids thought this was really cool. I did too. I've made quite a few for the tree and am still going to make a few more.

So what do you do when your jar has crystals all over the bottom? Here's the trick. Pour a little boiling water in it and grab a fork to scrape the bottom a little and they'll come right off. Sometimes it will come out with super hot tap water too.

I had a hard time finding borax, but finally found it at Walmart. The two local grocery stores didn't have it. It's in the laundry soap aisle.

I may try them with colored pipe cleaners. It might give it kind of a frosted look. I love projects like this. You can mess around with different things. If it doesn't work, oh well...since it doesn't cost much.

 I honestly cannot get over how pretty these are. I can just imagine the Christmas lights bouncing off those little crystals once I get the tree up.

Linking up at Lady Behind the CurtainTidy MomLife as a Lofthouse, Or so she says..., Homemade Ginger, 
Whipperberry Adorned From Above One Project Closer   and at these parties
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