Icy Ornaments

Ice OrnamentsHappy New Year!

The holidays are over and we’re all moving back into our work routines—and in Michigan, to our midwinter world of ice and snow. After our mild fall, we are back into the deep freeze and dark days—just the time when we need some creativity to raise our spirits.

At this time of year I remember my mother, who always came home with new houseplants as soon as the holiday decorations were stored. Otherwise, the house just looked too barren. The fact that the plants seldom survived for long never dissuaded her.

If you are feeling a bit like that—like your winter could use just a little sparkle—here’s a post-holiday art project for home or school in cold-weather locales—icy outdoor ornaments.

All you need are some jar lids or shallow dishes, string, and natural items gathered from outside. Fill the lids with water and lay the string across the top, then add seeds, sticks, berries, or anything else biodegradable that strikes your fancy. Leave outside until frozen, unmold, and hang for sparkling fun.

Want to add some extra creative sparkle? How about these challenges?

  • How could you make sparklers in different shapes?
  • How could you color the ice without endangering any wildlife that might encounter them?
  • How many different materials can you embed?
  • What would be the best way to plan sparklers that might feed local birds and animals?
  • What else could you freeze besides water? What would be the advantages or disadvantages? Do they all freeze at the same rate?

I’m sure you can invent even more challenges. Enjoy—and let’s get this year off to a creative start.

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