Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Christmas Gift Time

Okay, so Thanksgiving is a nice time to sit down and make the plan for the homemade gifts this year. We usually spread it out because the process can take some time (last year the girls sewed a bunch of sachets). This year things look pretty simple: cat toys for the cats, dog treats for the dogs, and for our human gift recipients:

Crystal Snowflake ornaments

The teacher next door made this this year and it is so simple: 3 T Borax to 1 cup BOILING water. Mix up as many portions of this concoction as you need in a large glass canning jar or a craft-only large mixing bowl or other heat resistant container. Bend a wire pipe cleaner to form a simple snowflake, tie a piece of string to the pipe cleaner at one end and a pencil or dowel to the other end, and lie the pencil or dowel across the container of Borax/water so that the snowflake is completely submerged and leave it overnight. Voila! In the morning the water will be clear and large crystals will have grown all over the pipe cleaner frame. Simple.

So easy, fun, cheap!

How to Grow a Borax Crystal Snowflake


Rhoda said...

We used an Anchor Hocking 1-Gallon Heritage Hill Jar with Glass Lid which is available at WalMart (the lid to this was broken a while ago so it was sitting in the basement unused). The capacity is one gallon, but obviously there wouldn't also be room for the Borax to dissolve and the snowflakes to hang if you filled it right up to the brim. But, I calculated the proportions (one gallon of boiling water and 3 cups of Borax) and then reduced the amounts slightly.

(16 cups = 4 quarts = 1 gallon. 16 x 3 T = 16 T x 3 = 1 cup x 3 = 3 cups.)

Because the container is clear glass, it is possible for the children to watch closely. Because it used so much Borax at a pop, we hung two sticks over the top and did two snowflakes at a time. It is so much fun when they start to sparkle! I recommend starting in the morning so that you can watch throughout the day.

Rhoda said...

More comments. It works better to tie the string to a wire ornament hook and then hook that over the stick or dowel. This way, you're not trying to cut the string off the stick and then find a way to tie it on an ornament took and have it look nice. We did two at a time and lifted them out in the morning, hung the ornament hooks over the towel bar in the bathroom to let the snowflakes dry, and then wrapped them.

The snowflakes are really lovely when the sunlight hits them. Our glass jar is in the center of the dining room table and they were so pretty to look at this morning at breakfast!