Friday, December 6, 2013

Christmas Fun - Crystal Snowflakes

I've seen tons of pictures and tutorials around the internet for Crystal Snowflakes made from pipe cleaners, Borax and water.  

They looked pretty cool and the instructions seemed pretty simple, so I decided to give it a try!  Here is goes . . . step by step . . . 

Use three half pipe cleaners, twisted together int he middle to make a snowflake.

Mix 3 tablespoons of borax to 1 cup of boiling water, stirring to dissolve.  Add blue food colouring if desired.  (If mixing a large quantity, use 3/4 cup of borax to 4 cups of boiling water.)  Liam enjoyed measuring and mixing!

 Hang snowflakes over the top of a container by tying a string to the snowflake and the other end to a dowel, resting across the top of the container.  Fill your container with borax solution, making sure to cover the pipe cleaner completely and ensuring that the snowflakes are not touching the sides or bottom of the container.
Let sit over night.  About 4 hours later, the crystals were just starting to form on top of the water.

Remove snowflakes from borax mixture.

And there you have it . . . Broax Crystal Snowflakes!  Liam was super excited with his crystal snowflakes!

Overall, the project was just as easy as I expected!  I did have difficulty finding a container, the instructions said to use a jar and I didn't have anything big enough, so I used a stock pot and did three snowflakes together.  This used considerable more Borax and water than I anticipated.  (I used half a box of Broax just for this!)  But, other wise, super easy!

Some of the instructions that I saw before doing this said that they would be done in a couple of hours.  This was not the case.  If you try it, leave them overnight!

One other bit of advice if you try this - not only does the Borax form crystals on the pipe cleaners, it also forms crystals on the inside of the container.  When I do this again, I will use a disposable container so I don't have to spend an half an hour chipping water out of my pot! 
This is what my pot looked like when we were done.  The stuff at the bottom was rock hard and about half an inch thick!

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