How to Make Ice Crystals for Decorations

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There is a way to capture the beauty of ice crystals without using any ice. Many people purchase commercial ice crystal decorations during the holidays to adorn their houses and Christmas trees. It is actually possible to make very realistic facsimiles of ice crystals just like the ones you would find at a craft store. It is somewhat challenging project, but the end result is impressive.

Things You'll Need

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Face mask
  • Large package of plaster of paris
  • Large bucket
  • Disposable aluminum pan, 13 by 9 inches
  • 1 pound of plain clay
  • Acrylic water kit
  • Hammer
  • Can of frost spray paint
  • Can of spray adhesive
  • Container of white glitter
  • Put on the gloves, goggles and face mask. Prepare the plaster of paris according to the package directions in the bucket. This will usually involve adding cold water to the plaster powder and mixing it thoroughly until it reaches a creamy, even consistency with no lumps or air bubbles. Pour the prepared plaster into the 13 by 9 aluminum pan. Allow it to set until it becomes the consistency of soft cheese.

  • Form several ice crystal shapes out of the clay. The shapes can be long icicles, snowflake shapes, or freeform ice crystal shapes. Press these shape into the soft plaster firmly, so that the impression of the shapes is clearly seen in the plaster. Remove the clay shapes from the plaster and allow the plaster to harden completely.

  • Mix the acrylic water kit according to package directions. The kit will have two chemicals that must be mixed carefully. Once you have done this, pour the solution carefully into the plaster molds. Allow it to set according to directions until it is very hard.

  • Remove the ice crystal shapes from the plaster. You may have to break the plaster with a hammer, but try to avoid this if possible as you may want to reuse it later.

  • Move the shapes outside or to a well-ventilated work area. Cover the area with newspaper or painter's tarp and make sure you have on your mask, gloves and googles. Spray the ice crystal shapes with the frost spray paint to give it a really frozen look. Allow the paint to dry completely.

  • Spray each ice crystal with the spray adhesive and sprinkle them with the white glitter so that they appear to be coated with fresh snow. This does not have to be done on all of the pieces, or any of the pieces if you do not desire.

Tips & Warnings

  • Acrylic water kits are used in false floral arrangements to give the appearance of real water and live plants. It can be purchased at craft stores or big box stores.
  • Frost spray paint is a specially designed spray paint that gives objects the look of being covered in light frost or dew. It can be purchased at craft stores or big box stores.
  • Because many of the items used to make this project contain chemicals, protective wear is also included. Additionally, you may want to wear a painter's outfit. Work in a well-ventilated area or outside.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images
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