Ice baubles are about having crafty fun with winter. Norwegians often decorate the outside of their home with ice sculptures such as ice baubles. If you live in a warm climate that doesn’t get below 0 degrees celsius you can still join in this activity by using your freezer.
All you need is balloons, a squeeze bottle with no cap, string, twigs, water and whatever else you can think of to decorate. We like to use natural items found in nature like rowan berries, pine leaves and twigs. You can use coloured paper, flowers or jelly sweets. It is also a fun way to feed winter birds by freezing bird seed in the bauble. The items just have to be small enough to fit down the bottle neck and balloon tube.
Cut the squeeze bottle in half, the neck end will be used for a funnel. The reason why this works best is because the mouth doesn’t get smaller like a regular funnel does. Stretch the mouth of the balloon over the bottle’s mouth.
Tie the end of about 30cm of string to a small, short, twig – this will be used to hang the bauble. Push the twig with string into the balloon through the funnel. Make sure the rest of the string is left hanging outside the balloon.
Push the other items down the funnel into the balloon. It might help to use a chop stick to push the items through the neck of the balloon but be careful with berries, and such, as these can easily be squished.
When all your items are inside the balloon, gently pour water into the funnel to fill the balloon. Stop before the balloon stretches too thin. Tie the balloon with its end.
If you want very clear ice effect, no bubbles, then boil the water first and let it cool (it gets rid of the CO2 in the water – for the science geeks).
In the Arctic, put the balloon outside to freeze (hint: the temps need to be below zero) . Everywhere else, put the balloon in the freezer. To keep its shape you should hang it but it is good enough to lay it on its side without any pressure from other objects.
When the balloon is frozen solid, take the rubber off and you are left with an ice bauble! Hang on the veranda or on a tree. In warm climates, hang on a line to slowly water plants or over some kids lazing in the sun!