Written By: Mora Bustos

A fun way to bring science into the holiday spirits is to make winter ornaments from crystals. Borax crystals form into snowflakes when dissolved in hot water. As the water cools, the molecules move closer together, forming six sided crystals that build on one another. By dipping pipe-cleaners into Borax solution, you can create the appearance of icicles to get into the winter mood.

Instructions:

  1. Bring 3 cups of water to boil on medium-high heat.
  2. Stir in 9 tablespoons of Borax until it dissolves (may take a few minutes).
  3. Pour solution into one large jar or several smaller jars. Keep in mind the ornaments will be shorter than the jar.
  4. Cut down pipe cleaners to desired length of icicles. The ends should be at least ½ inch away from the bottom of the jar. They can be shaped for different results.
  5. Cut string and tie the ends into loops to hang the ornaments, attaching one end to each pipe cleaner.
  6. Thread the other ends onto a pencil and dip the pipe cleaners into the jar, laying the pencil over the edge so they hang. The pipe cleaners shouldn’t touch the each other or the walls of the jar.
  7. Leave overnight until icicles form, then hang the ornaments where desired!

 

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