Many of the craft projects we undertake at Beekman Farm start with a morning walk. Last winter, we were overwhelmed by the beauty of a hoar frost (click here to see images of this phenomenon), and this became the inspiration for some of our holiday decorations.
How could we re-create something so breathtaking?
Here’s what we did:
Step 1: Collect bits of nature. Look for things that are sturdy and have an interest form
Step 2: Wire each piece to a wooden dowel
Step 3: Boil several gallons of water in batches
Step 4: In large glass containers, combine water with Sodium Tetraborate (also known as household Borax) About 3 TBS for every cup of water. Stir to dissolve thoroughly.
Step 5: Suspend the dowel over the edges of the container allowing the object to be submerged, without touching the sides or bottom of the jar.
Step 6: Allow to sit for 12 – 24 hours. If you are doing this project with kids, here is where the “science” comes in. What you are actually doing is creating a supersaturation. The hot water dissolves the sodium tetraborate, but as the solution cools, the particles have nowhere to go so they start joining together to form crystals
Step 7: Remove the object and allow to dry on paper towels.
Step 8: Once dry, shake off any lose crystals
Step 9: Using a wreath form, or a plain wreath, wire the crystallized objects to the wreath, in a design of your choice.
Step 10: Hang from a door, window, or use as a centerpiece. Some of the crystals are fragile, so it’s best to place this wreath where it can be admired but not disturbed