Borax Snowflake Ornaments

by E.K.
(Midland, Tx, USA)

I home school my oldest son, and for his chemistry project last year, we made borax crystals. I found a cute idea for these snowflakes and we went to town on them! It's super cheap, super easy, and the kids love watching them grow. After making a ton of different types of snowflakes, we tied ribbons to them and gave them out to friends and family for Christmas. Some of the snowflakes even glowed in the dark!

1.The first step of making borax crystal snowflakes is to make the snowflake shape.
2.Use pipe cleaners cut into various lengths(we used the white ones, but any color looks cool!)Twist the sections together at their centers to form a snowflake shape. Don't worry if an end isn't even, just trim to get the desired shape. Make sure your snowflakes fit inside the jar with a little extra room so you don't break off the crystals later!
3.Tie the string to the end of one of the snowflake arms. Tie the other end of the string to the pencil. You want the length to be such that the pencil hangs the snowflake into the jar.
4.Fill the widemouth jar with boiling water.
5.Add borax one tablespoon at a time to the boiling water, stirring to dissolve after each addition. The amount used is 3 tablespoons borax per cup of water. It is okay if some undissolved borax settles to the bottom of the jar.
6.If desired, you may tint the mixture with food color.
7.Hang the pipe cleaner snowflake into the jar so that the pencil rests on top of the jar and the snowflake is completely covered with liquid and hangs freely (not touching the bottom of the jar).
8.Allow the jar to sit in an undisturbed location overnight.
9. Lift out your snowflake carefully and lay it on a paper towel or rag to dry. Clip off the string and attach a ribbon to an arm or center spot.
Tips:
1.Borax is available at grocery stores in the laundry soap section, such as 20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster. Do not use Boraxo soap.
2.Because boiling water is used and because borax isn't intended for eating, adult supervision is recommended for this project.
3. If you want your snowflake to glow, paint the pipe cleaner with some glow in the dark paint and let it dry, then follow the steps above.

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