Friday, January 25, 2013

Creating Ice Marbles

It has been below 15 degrees here in the North East for a few days so it was a good time to try the ice marble  project that has been floating around on Pinterest.

Materials: food coloring, balloons, water, below freezing temperature. 
I am a master water balloon maker from my days as a child, so I feel as though I was sufficiently skilled enough to do this project. I stopped by the dollar store and picked up 2 packets of 24 inch balloons. Lucky for me I keep food coloring in stock at my home. 

After spraying colored water all over my laundry room, I realized that you must put the food coloring in FIRST before you hook the balloon up to the faucet. I do NOT recommend using the gel food coloring because there is no way to stop yourself from making a mess all over your hands.The blue all over my hands was especially nice because the next day I had a big meeting with clients; they have seen me with spit-up on my coat and Cheerios in my hair so I can't imagine Smurf hands would be any less professional. 

The liquid food coloring works the best because you have to use extreme precision to drop the food coloring at the bottom of the balloon without getting any color near the opening of the balloon.  Even if you are careful, I can't guarantee you won't be cleaning up colored water from all over the room.

After you fill up the balloon, pinch the opening and gingerly peal off  the mouth of the balloon from the faucet, make sure that you squeeze out any air left in the balloon to make them as round as possible. You can see that I still left some air in these balloons because I was getting tired of wiping down the room after each accidental balloon spritzing.  When you've had enough, its time to bring the balloons out into the freezing cold air.  I thought the worst part of the is project was the smurf hands, but I was wrong. The worst part of this project was being in 10  degree F weather with wet pants and shoes after you pop a balloon. Here is a tip, laying these balloons on frozen grass is the equivalent to dropping them on a bed of nails. I tried to lay them on the driveway, but they started to roll away, into the grass and popped anyway. At least it was not on me. I finally found a spot they did not roll. It took two days with a maximum temperature of 15 degrees for the water freeze enough to take the balloon off. You can easily remove the balloon by rubbing your rubber soled foot on the balloon and it comes right off the ice. Even after 2 days they were not completely frozen, but frozen enough to take the balloon off. It seems that they are more frozen on one side than the other. It would have been a better idea to flip them over after one day of being outside. Some of the water leaked out from the center on some of the ice marbles and made a hollow ball.

My sister did the project with smaller balloons that were a 1/3 of the size of what I show here, she had less problems than I did and her ice froze in 1 day. So if you are going to try this at home, make them a little bigger than your fist and save yourself some aggravation.


Skill Level:Easy

Difficulty Level:Moderate

Frustration Level: Moderate