Creating your own Ice Sculptures

December 26, 2015

When Jack Frost recently came to visit we decided to run a number of ‘experiments’ to create our own ice sculptures. Here’s our results…

How to make your own Ice Sculptures

Here’s a great activity that you can do at home with the kids when the temperature drops in winter.

Ice Sculpture 1: Creating a Hanging Ice Pendant

Ice Pendant with Leaf
All you need for this are:

  • A plastic container
  • Something to embed in the pendant
  • Some string
  • And some water

Our experiment left out to freeze
Simply place the string at the top of the container, place what you want to embed in the ice in the middle of the container, and fill the container with water. Leave it out to freeze over night.

Ice Pendant with Ribbon
It’s really up to you what you place inside the ice pendant.

Our kids chose some coloured ribbon (we’d just had Christmas, so some of this was still about), and a leaf.

Personally I like the leaf.

The ice pendants first thing in the morning
When your pendants have frozen, the block of ice should pop out of the plastic container easily enough.

Take Caution with your Ice Pendant

Remember that ice is heavy, so if you are going to hang your pendant somewhere, make sure what you hang it from can take the weight.

If the temperature rises slightly your pendant will slip off the string and come down with a crash, so make sure you don’t hang it above anywhere that will get damaged when the ice falls.

Off course, when it does fall, your beautiful pendant will be smashed into smaller pieces, but the temporary nature of ice sculptures is part of their beauty.

Making Different Shaped Ice Pendants

Collect some different shaped plastic containers and try making sculptures with these different shapes. Get the kids to experiment to see if any shape works best, or get them to test the difference between larger and smaller containers.

If you are feeling really creative, get some plastic jelly moulds, and really go to town.

Ice Sculpture 2: Creating an Ice Bowl

Ice Bowl
Pendants are great, but the Ice Bowl is my favourite.

You will need:

  • A balloon (water balloons are best as normal balloon’s don’t stretch as much)
  • Some water

Fill the balloon with water and leave out to freeze.

The contents of the frozen balloons
Once the balloon is firmly frozen, peel off the balloon. You should be left with a round shape that’s mainly hollow inside.

Our ice bowl at night with tea light
We made two of these, and both turned out with slightly different patterns. Both looked like cut glass crystal bowls. It was an amazing result.

Ice bowls lighting the garden path
Both ice bowls were big enough to place tea lights inside, though we used some LED Tea Lights to avoid melting our ice sculptures.

Tip: LED Tea Lights are quite useful for lots if kids art and craft projects. You can click here to find some LED Tea Lights on Amazon.

Changing the Colour of the Ice

Coloured Ice
By mixing food dye with the water you can create some slightly different coloured Ice Sculptures.

We tried this with some red food dye. I suspect a blue colour would certainly give the ice a colder look.

The red dye had turned clear but the ice was a different pattern
At first you can see the ice is definitely coloured, but as time passed, the ice returned to being transparent.

Give it a go. You can post pictures of your ice sculptures in the comments below, on our Facebook page, or send them to us in a Tweet.

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Gav Grayston
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Gav Grayston Contributor

Father to 3 kids, who loves getting out and about (hiking, running, camping, cycling, canoeing...) Co-founded Get Out With The Kids to help other parents enjoy the outdoors with their family.

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