Friday, December 13, 2013

How to Make a Crystal Snowflake

The entire country has been slammed with cold weather (except Florida... they're not participating in December) but here in LA, it's still not cold enough to see snowflakes. What's a girl to do? Well, make snowflakes in the kitchen! This post comes to us from Enchanted Learning.

First, grab 3 pipe cleaners (preferably white but I only had light green on hand) and make a 6-pointed star by twisting:


Next, grab some string and tie/wrap it around each stem, cutting off the excess string:


Then grab a wide-mouth jar (I used a pickle jar) and fill it with boiling water. If you want to add food coloring, you can, but after the fact I noticed it didn't do a thing. Might work better if the pipe cleaners had been white. Anyway, add in 20 Mule Team Borax to the water until it's super saturated - the original post said 3 Tablespoons for every cup of water. In my 2 1/4 cups of water, I added 3/4 cups of Borax.


Keep the snowflake in the Borax/water solution overnight. I kept mine in there from 9pm - 9am and this is how it turned out:

9pm
9am





















It worked! Only... there was one teeny tiny problem. You see, when the crystals form on the pipe cleaners, you want to make sure you have ample room to get it out of the jar! My stems were the right length but the crystals added a few centimeters and thus my snowflake stayed in the jar. Oh well.


TOTAL COSTS: About $7 but you could make so many!
$1.79 for pipe cleaners
$5.46 for 20 Mule Team Borax on Amazon (realized it was cheaper in the store after I bought it online! Note this is for about 5 pounds worth and you're only using a small amount in this recipe)

TOTAL AMOUNT OF TIME: 12 hours
Ideally you want to leave it overnight

EASY-PEASY SCALE (1 super easy - 5 very difficult): 1 out of 5
You're just wrapping pipe cleaners around themselves, tying on some string, and sticking it in a water/Borax solution. Doesn't get much easier than that folks!

UPDATE: It has been 4 months since I wrote this post and someone asked me how long they last. Well, half of the snowflake still has crystals on it (though I did keep it in the jar the entire time). Hope this helps!


3 comments:

  1. So cool! How long do they last?

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    1. You know, I'm not sure. I would imagine forever, so long as there isn't anything to dissolve the crystals. If you want, I can hold onto the one I made and check back with you at a later time!

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    2. Hi Marion! It has been 4 months since I posted and I wanted to let you know that I've posted an update in answer to your previous question. Hope this helps!

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