Disney Crafts - Borax Crystal Ornaments
You''ll have fun making these cheap and easy Borax Crystal homemade Christmas ornaments. The best thing is that it only takes about 24 hours for the crystals to form which makes this Christmas ornament idea a great craft for kids or adults. We were able to buy a big box of Borax and a package of 100 pipe cleaners (Fuzzy Sticks) for less than $10 at Wal-Mart, which means that you can make a lot of cute, inexpensive ornaments for your tree or to give as gifts to grandparents, teachers, music instructors, and friends.
Getting Started - What You Need for this Easy Christmas Craft
You will need:
- Pipe cleaners (Fuzzy Sticks)
- A solution of 3 level tablespoons of Borax to each cup of boiling water.
- Glass or plastic containers
- Sticks or pencils and sewing thread to suspend ornaments in the solution
Stir the Borax and water to dissolve but don't panic if all of the Borax does not completely dissolve in the boiling water - this is normal. I found it easiest to to mix several cups of water and Borax solution in a pitcher or large measuring cup with a pour spout because I use different sized containers for different sized ornaments. I pour the mixed solution into the containers with the ornaments.
Form Your Ornament
Take a pipe cleaner and form your Christmas ornament. You can use more than one pipe cleaner - just twist the the new one on at the appropriate spot. Cut off any excess - we save trimmed pieces to add colorful accents to our ornaments. You can twist two colors together - we twisted green and red together to form a Christmas stocking; red and white was twisted together to make a candy cane. If necessary, use some sewing tread to attach an accent piece to your base ornament. Be sure to trim extra bits away - the crystals form on everything. Our Mickey Mouse ornament takes about 1-1/2 pipe cleaners - the first makes the head and one ear, then we twist on a second pipe cleaner to form the second ear. Twist tightly so you don't have overly thick places on your finished ornament.
Submerge Your Christmas Ornaments into the Borax Solution
Loop a piece of sewing thread through the ornament and around a pencil, stick or similar item and completely submerge it in a glass or plastic container filled with the Borax solution. Crystals will form on the bottom and sides of the container so make sure there is a little space all the way around the ornament so it doesn't attach to the container. We suspended some larger ornaments in shallow square containers so that we wouldn't need huge amounts of the Borax solution - just be sure the piece isn't resting on the bottom. Try not to wiggle or disturb the ornaments while crystals are forming.
Let Crystals Form on Your Ornaments
As the water cools, crystals will begin to form and attach to the ornament in just a few hours. This is perfect for those of us who like to see results quickly. Because I'm impatient, I keep a small flashlight near the containers so that I can check progress without disturbing the containers. I like to make the ornaments in the afternoon, so that I can begin to see the early crystals before bed but then they can keep forming all night long while I sleep and am not tempted to fiddle with them. I'm always excited to jump out of bed in the morning to take a look at the ornaments. Leave them in their containers all day while you're at work or school and remove them from the solution about 24 hours after your started the project. I hold them over the containers until they stop dripping and then lay them on plates to continue drying. A thin film of small crystals formed on the top of our shallow, square containers - we skimmed that off with a plastic spoon before removing the ornaments. You can add thread or ribbon loops to hang ornaments on the tree.
Homemade Ornament Tips & Tricks
Remember that anything submerged in the solution will have crystals form over it. Don't use thread or string of a contrasting color to suspend the ornaments unless you're okay with that being part of the final project.
In the photo to the left, we attached the hair, scarves, and wings to the ornaments prior to submerging them - we don't try to add little accent pieces after they are crystallized.
Enjoy your ornaments this year but don't expect them to last forever - crystals will become cloudy. This craft is so easy and inexpensive that you can enjoy a tradition of making new ornaments every year.
The blue Star-of-David serves a easy Hanukkah craft.
Warning: This project is so easy that it makes a great kids craft but be sure that they understand that these are not to be licked or eaten. The ornaments may look like those sugar crystal candy sticks to some kids.
Disposing of the Borax solution: Borax is a cleaning product so I just dump the solution and crystals into the toilet and give the bowl a good swish with my toilet brush before flushing. I've also poured one jar of borax solution into the washing machine and washed my laundry as usual. Containers can be safely washed in the dishwasher and reused.
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