December 30, 2011

Easy Borax Ornaments

Here are the ornaments that Steven and I made together last week.
Steven found this easy idea on About.com. We decided to give it a try. It worked fabulous, and we were so impressed by our first few, that we ended up making about a dozen! You first start by making shapes out of pipe cleaners. We made familiar Christmas shapes. We used one pipe cleaner per shape, but you can combine pipe cleaners as well. The shape you create just needs to fit down inside a cup.
Then, we curled the end of each pipe cleaner around a pencil to suspend it from the cup.

**Next: on the stove, boil 4 cups of water. After bringing to a boil, take pan of boiling water off heat. Immediately add in 3 Tablespoons Borax powder (available in grocery laundry aisle) for every cup of water. So, to the 4 Cups off-heat water, add 12 Tablespoons Borax. Stir with wooden spoon. Pour this hot mixture, carefully, into ornamented cups, just to above pipe cleaner shape.  

The website recommends leaving them sit for a minimum of 4 hours, but we let ours rest overnight.

But even after a few hours, they impressed us with looking like this.

and this.

and this.
These are some Steven made. The one in the middle he added red food coloring to, as it soaked overnight. To get even greater crystal formation, he put the ornament in a fresh Borax solution two nights in a row.

And here were a few I made.
When Steven scraped the crystals off the inside of the glasses, we had loose crystals left over. We decided next year we may add these extra crystals to the roofs of our Christmas Village. What a great craft this would be for kids!

I may repeat this one on Valentine's Day, perhaps making crystalized hearts. I ought to give that one a try!

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