How to Make Borax Snowflakes

Sandra Louis's image for:
"How to Make Borax Snowflakes"
Image by: 

Making borax snowflakes is a fun and easy project.  Let’s find out about borax first before learning to make the snowflakes.

 Borax is a compound made from an element called boron.  It appears as a white powder, and it has colorless crystals that dissolve fairly quickly in water.  Borax can be found in detergents (like 20 Mule Team Borax), cosmetics, and fire retardants, and can be used as an insecticide and a fungicide (kills mold), just to name a few things.

 While borax has many uses, none of them are as fun as making snowflakes.  To make a borax snowflake you will need several items:

pipe cleaners

a pair of scissors

a pencil two wide mouth jars (pint sized jars will do)

a pan to boil water in

one cup of water

borax a tablespoon to measure

a spoon to stir 

Pick the color you want when choosing a pipe cleaner because that color will show through the crystals that form on the snowflake framework you are going to make.  You may also want to have some food coloring close by too, if you want to add extra color to the snowflake.

 Next, cut three piece of pipe cleaner small enough to fit into the wide mouth jar that is going to be used to make the borax and hot water solution.  Leave one piece long so you have something to extra to wrap around the pencil.  This will be used to hang your snowflake from top of the jar.  Twist the pipe cleaners together at the middle and spread the arms apart.  If you like, you can then take some string, tie it to one of the arms of the snowflake framework, then go to the next arm, and wrap it around that arm, and so on, until you get all the way around the snowflake, then tie it off and trim it.  This is not necessary step, but it will make your snowflake look even more detailed.  Either way, with or without the string, the snowflake will look great.

 Now starts the making of the borax solution.  Bring one cup of water to a boil in a pan and have an adult pour the hot water into the wide mouth jar, almost to the top, or three fourths of the way up.  Next, stir in three tablespoons of Borax, until dissolved.  At this point you can add a few drops of food coloring to the solution if you want, and stir that in.  Wrap the long end of your pipe cleaner framework around a pencil and lower the snowflake into the jar.  The pencil will go across the top of the jar to hold the snowflake in the solution. Make sure the snowflake is fully under water, so that the pipe cleaner is completely covered, except for the part attached to the pencil.

 The only thing to do now is wait.  It is best to let the snowflake sit in the water and borax solution overnight.  After the snowflake has set all night, pull it out of the solution, leaving it on the pencil, and place it into an empty wide mouth jar to dry.  Once dry, you can take the snowflake off the pencil, trim the long end to match the other arms, or leave it a little long and use it as a hanger. 

 Have fun making snowflakes, you can turn your bedroom, or your whole house, into a winter wonderland.

More about this author: Sandra Louis

From Around the Web