Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Ornament Contest - Crystal Ornaments - Alicia Cortes

I'm happy to share directions for another ornament in our ornament contest! Today's ornament - Crystal Ornament - was sent to me from Alicia Cortes and combines a craft and a science project into one fun activity!

Alicia said, "My kids and I made these ornaments last year...they are an art project and a science lesson all in one.

 You need:
  • Fuzzy Pipe Cleaners (the fuzzier, the better)
  • A recycled glass jar (or two or three) with a wide mouth - one for each ornament
  • Pencils
  • Embroidery Floss or Twine
  • Borax (in the laundry aisle)
  • Boiling Water
  • Spoon for mixing
First, have the kids choose a pipe cleaner and shape it into their desired shape. My daughter loves making candy canes.  I sometimes "cheat" and use cookie cutters as a guide for more difficult shapes.
Pipe Cleaner Soaking in Borax 
After the pipe cleaner is shaped, tie a loop of floss to the top.  (This will be what you use to hang it on the tree.)
Next, have Mom, Dad, Grandma, or Pop Pop fill the jars with boiling hot water, almost to the top.  Under adult supervision, the kids can add heaping spoonfuls of borax and carefully mix.  We mix after about every two tablespoons.  When the water is cloudy-looking and will not dissolve any more borax, it is ready! (Last year, we used 7 tablespoons.)
Kids can wrap the twine around a pencil and lay the pencil across the top of the jar.  The ornament should be suspended in the water, fully submerged, and not touching the sides of the jar. 
Wash hands, brush teeth, say your prayers and cuddle up for a bedtime story.  Ornament have to stay in the jars overnight.
The next day, remove the ornament(s) from the jars.  The pipe cleaner(s) will be covered in sparkly, shimmering crystals - making for crystal candy canes, stars, hearts, and whatever else your little one's hands were able to fashion.  Allow to dry on a piece of newspaper and then hang on the tree for all to enjoy.  Merry Christmas!"

Sounds like a fun ornament to make with grandchildren! Thank you for sharing Alicia!

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