Monday, November 30, 2015

Homemade Crystal Ornaments :D

Every year, we tend to "misplace" ornaments. We were running low this year, so instead of buying some, I suggested to the kids we make some. They are always on board for any kind of creative activity, so of course they were excited. I wanted to find something fun and a little more exciting then the traditional homemade ornaments, so I found some instructions online for how to make crystals with borax and that led to a video of people making crystal ornaments. It looked super fun, inexpensive, and easy enough for my kids to do. So I took some pictures of the process and wanted to share.

Disclaimer: Borax shouldn't' be ingested. It looks so pretty, if you're doing it with kids make sure they  are monitored and know that the final product is not candy ;) 

First off, I wanted to introduce our table. I do all of the painting, crafts, activities, etc. on this thing. At first, I tried to keep it super clean but then I figured I would embrace the look of having little kids. It was and is super cheap, so I know it's not a something I'm going to be using for a long time. Mostly though, I love the look of scattered paint, scratches, stickers, glitter, markers, etc. all over it. To me it reminds me that kids should have fun and not to stress over things out of my control. One day, it will be replaced with a solid wood and fancy dining room set, but for now the kids and I love this little, well loved table.

Now onto the craft, here's what you'll need. 
   -Pipe Cleaners
   -Pencils or any kind of straight stick (skewers would work well)
   -String or Yarn
   *Optional Food Coloring
   *Optional Cookie Cutters

We had most of this stuff already at the house, so there wasn't much to buy for us.

Duh. Christmas Shapes ;)

First thing we had to do was to make our little shapes. Some we formed free hand and the others we used the cookie cutters to make the shape.

We made candy canes by twisting up red and white
and just forming it freehand.

If you notice the paint missing from the walls, here's what happened...
The kids were making a countdown to some event and instead 
of using the wall putty we have, 
they used normal Elmer's Glue without my knowledge. 
I had no clue until the event arrived, and they ripped 
off the count papers and the paint with it :/

Free Form Heart

Stevie made a snowflake. So pretty!
I think it resembles a Christmas Poinsettia
 and wanted her to dye it red, but she really wanted a snowflake ;)

Titus was the only one to successfully remove the pipe cleaner 
without any help from dad while keeping it's shape.
After doing this he shouted "I'm a Christmas Genius!!!" 
Hahahaha. I love this boy :)

Next it was time to make the crystal solution. It's super easy. I just mixed boiling water and borax. Honestly, there were a few different sites that each had different ratios of water to borax. So in true Seth fashion, I just kinda eyeballed it. I have no clue what the ratio was, but I do know you need a pretty large ratio to make some good crystals. 

Look at our cute little Christmas elf salt and pepper shakes. 
True Fact: They have been out and in use since last Christmas. :D haha

Once the solution was ready. I let it cool for a bit and poured it into Solo cups. I didn't feel like scrubbing crystals out of nice jars or cups, so I thought this was a quick and easy solution for cleanup since I could just throw them away afterwards. After we poured it in the cups, I let the kids add food coloring to some of them and I left some undyed for clear crystals.

They LOVED stirring in the color. 

The next step was to tie a string through the ornament and hoop it through the pencil. I tied the strings and let the kids put it on the pencil. 

Then came just dipping the ornaments into the cups. It is super simple and the kids were SUPER C.A.R.E.F.U.L every time. It was cute :)

Olive really got into making these.
I can tell she's growing up because she is pretty 
independent nowadays with this kind of stuff.

Once they all we dipped, it's time to wait. Some of the things I read said wait about 4-8 hours, so I figured I would just leave them in there for awhile.

Such a little ham... ;)

It worked out nice because while we were waiting, we just decorated the house. 

My kids love blowups :)

After about 8 hours they stopped growing crystals, so we decided we would just take them out after school the next day. They were so pumped to see them when they came in from school today.

So pumped!!!

We both loved her crystal candy cane!

Neela's Christmas Tree is my personal favorite :)
I like how we used white pipe cleaner with green dye.
It looks like an evergreen covered with snow.

Olive's Christmas Bell is so cool.

She was also very proud of her gingerbread man :)

The completed ornaments :D

I'm sure we will do it again next year. However, I will make sure I have more colors in my pipe cleaners. I think the colors would be more vibrant that way. Overall though, my kids loved it and the wait time worked out super great since we just decorated the house while we waited for the crystals to grow :)

If you try it yourself, I would love to see some pictures!

Be Blessed and Thanks for Reading,

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