UPDATE: After much discussion, we ARE going to use this technique. YEAH!! We needed something spectacular for the topper, and our six year old insists a tree topper MUST be a star, so we're going to attempt this technique for the star for the top of our tree!! I'll try to post a pic!
I ran across this idea this morning, and it's great!! Beautiful ornaments for your tree, very inexpensive, and a science lesson for the kids! My only fear is that my sensory-issues three year old would try to eat them, and part of the reason we skipped 'real' ornaments this year was because I'm tired of calling the pedi about something he's put in his mouth--I can only imagine the reaction if I told him he ate Borax!! :P Anyway, ingredients and materials for this one:
Pipe Cleaners/Chenille stems
Borax (The same Borax used for my frugal laundry detergent is perfect)
Jars or containers deep enough to hold your ornament suspended in the solution
string and sticks, pencils, or other objects to suspend your ornaments from.
1. Fashion your ornaments out of your pipe cleaners. I think snowflakes would be pretty. You could also do spirals, abstract shapes, spell out someone's name or Merry Christmas (another idea I saw in Ready Made this month, and one I might be trying later), whatever shapes suit your fancy. If you feel artistically-challenged, then how about bending your pipe cleaner around a cookie cutter to get the shape?
2. Suspend your ornament from your stick or pencil. Be sure it fits inside the jar, bowl, or other container you've chosen, and that the stick is long enough to balance across the rim.
3. Mix together your solution with a ratio of 3 TB (Tablespoons) Borax to each cup of boiling water. One teacher said she did this with her class, and they used 2 Cups of Borax to 10 Cups of water. Stir until Borax is mostly dissolved.
4. Submerge your ornament in the solution. Leave in the solution for 12-24 hours. Then pull out your beautiful, crystal covered ornament and enjoy! Out of reach of children :P