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Making Christmas Decorations with Borax

Now that kids are home for the holidays their days need to be filled up with fun projects, especially to keep their minds off the special events ahead. Making ornaments is a time honoured tradition but have you ever heard of making them with Borax? Not only does it create beautiful crystallized decoration, but it’s a fun science project as well.

I had never heard of this before, but thankfully Darren from Maret’s Quality Home Cleaning Services sent me this article on how to do it. And Maret would know a lot about Borax but more as a natural cleaning solution! Remember that this isn’t a project for kids to do on their own – You need to use the stove top and even though Borax is natural it still should NOT be tasted or inhaled. Plus, spending time with your kids (or your kid’s friends) is a wonderful way to experience the holiday.

List of Things You Need:

  • Pipe Cleaners
  • Scissors
  • String (butcher’s twine)
  • Popsicle sticks or pencils
  • Jars or glasses
  • Borax
  • Pot
  • Water

To get started boil water in a pot on a stove. Then have the kids make ornament shapes using pipe cleaners. Some suggestions are hearts, stars, swirls, candy canes, snowflakes. The more creative the better! Just make sure that they are small enough to fit inside the jar without touching the sides or the bottom.

The next step is to tie the pipe cleaners with a string to a pencil or Popsicle stick. This is so that they can can be laid over the mouth of the jar and the ornament will hang down inside. Just make sure to leave enough string so that you can hang them later.

Pour the boiling water inside the jars (without the ornaments) and stir in 3-5 Tablespoons of Borax. The hot water will dissolve it and you should have a bit of sediment at the bottom. Place the ornaments inside the jars and allow them to sit for 24 hours.

As the water cools, the molecules that moved apart when the water was hot will now move close together again and form crystals. You should start to see the translucent crystals in 3-4 hours. Be ready for squeals of delight when you first see them.

When they are all finished you just need to set them on a towel to dry, remove them from the pencils, and then hang them in a window or on your Christmas tree. Be prepared to repeat many times because kids LOVE this project. Be on the lookout for pipe cleaners at thrift stores and yard sales to make this project a bit greener and remember that these could be made for family as very affordable and handmade gifts.

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