Entertainment

Make it a crafty Christmas

Ginger Pearce displays some of the snowflake ornaments she and her mother, KTW art columnist Karla Pearce, have been making for their Christmas Tree. A few simple steps, some easy-to-find ingredients and supplies, and the crystallized flakes are ready to hang. - KARLA PEARCE
Ginger Pearce displays some of the snowflake ornaments she and her mother, KTW art columnist Karla Pearce, have been making for their Christmas Tree. A few simple steps, some easy-to-find ingredients and supplies, and the crystallized flakes are ready to hang.
— image credit: KARLA PEARCE

With the kids at home during the holidays, it’s great to spend some quality creative time together in the kitchen that doesn’t involve calories.

Every year, I make decorations for our tree and, this year, we discovered a simple recipe to make beautiful crystal snowflakes over night.

You will need:

• White pipe cleaners;

• An empty ice-cream pail or wide-mouth jar;

• Borax (found at grocery stores in the laundry-soap section);

• Boiling water;

• Thread or string;

• A small stick or pencil;

• Food colouring (optional).

Start by twisting the pipe cleaner together in different ways.

I made a star by folding the pipe cleaner into two triangles and weaving them together. You can also twist three pipe cleaners together to make a six-point star.

I created the flower by modifying the six-point star into petals.

The combinations are endless.

Through trial and error, I have discovered the smaller snowflakes work better than the large ones.

Next, boil water on the stove in a big pot.

Slowly add the Borax to the boiling water on the stove and stir.

I gradually poured in half a box and the mixture was very saturated.

Carefully spoon (I used a ladle) or pour the Borax mixture into your bucket or jar.

At this point, you can add food colouring to the mixture if you want to colour your snowflake.

Tie a thread joining your snowflake to your stick or pencil.

The stick must be long enough to go across your bucket or jar.

Submerge and suspend your snowflake in the bucket.

It is important your snowflake does not touch the sides or bottom of the container, as it will stick to it.

Set the bucket in a safe place and let it cool overnight.

Borax is a solid with flat sides and a symmetrical shape because its molecules are arranged in a unique, repeating

pattern.

This is why it can become a crystal.

The hot water will hold more Borax crystals than cold water.

That’s because heated-water molecules move farther apart, making room for more of the crystals to dissolve.

When no more of the solution can be dissolved, you have reached saturation.

As this solution cools, the water molecules move closer together again.

This is when beautiful crystals begin to form, building on each other as the water evaporates.

The next morning, you can remove your  and check them out.

They are ready to hang in your window on or your tree!

 

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.

You might like ...

Homicide in Aldergrove
 
Langley woman hit in crosswalk still critical
 
Canada Day event is in the red
Confrontation over TV scam attracts attention, leads to arrest
 
U.S. jail time for Surrey man who sold counterfeit airbags
 
Police seek help identifying woman killed at Surrey SkyTrain station
Renewed call for new investigation system
 
Another SkyTrain shutdown snarls transit commute
 
Cloverdale high schools feel the pinch