Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ice Lanterns


Ice Art Series #2: Balloon Ice Lanterns and Ice Art

Balloon Ice Art and lanterns, lit with candlesThe cold has hit Stockholm. Neighbors have been filing by our house all day, pulling one or two sleds and with their ice skates slung over their shoulders; ready to hit our neighborhood rink and hill. I would love to share a super, cool, ice art project my son came up with this week. Tonight, imagine: these lit up our walkway! You can, too. See below for the How-to.

Note
: These are a super way to keep kids busy in the garden but have something you'll love, too. It imparts a sense of experimentation and satisfies the urge to create something new and unique. (These are, each time!). The super plus, is that these are fantastic party decorations for you. However, adults these are worth making just for you -- for a party, a wedding, store front. If you have the climate to keep these frozen, they add so much magic and ambiance!

Ingredients:1) Freezing temperatures (or a freezer)
2) Latex Balloons
3) Water faucet or hose
Note: If you have very young children, adult assistance will be needed for filling and closing the balloons; then, again later, to assure gentle hands for the balloon removal process.

How to:
1. Find your Latex Balloons, water source and set up work area.
2. Use a garden hose or water faucet and carefully slip the lip of the balloon over the hose head, keep pressure applied to the balloon lip to avoid leaking water and fill balloons until desired size.
- Tie well.
- Place outdoors or in freezer -- attentive to how you lay them down, this will affect the final shape.
3. Once frozen to ice lantern stage or ice sculpture stage, clip off the top of the balloon, turn up-side-down and drain water, if making the lantern and peel away the remaining balloon. (In a freezer (-15C--20C/0-5F) a regular sized balloon will freeze to the lantern stage in approximately 4 hours.)
4. Place a tea light candle inside the lantern. Light. Enjoy the magic!
* Freezing notes:

If you would like to make the ice lantern variations, keep your balloons filled equally, but, don't let them freeze 100%. Your local temperature will be the gage. In a sub-zero freezer, a small lantern can be created in 4 hours. When the balloons are about 80% frozen, snip the top of the balloon and peel it away. It is critical that one side of the balloon will not yet be frozen and remains open. Drain any remaining water from this open side. By doing this, you will keep it from sealing and will have a perfect form for an ice lantern.

 (here.) PSS: Thank you readers for your mails and for your photos. I love to see how you've used these and to hear your stories! 

something you might like:Valentine's Day Ice Art
Colorful Ice Lantern
Ice Cups
Bucket Ice
Floral Ice cubes
Pom Poms



Thank you, Thehousethatlarsbuilt. I couldn't resist sharing a photo from that shoot

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70 comments:

  1. This is soooo cool!! I saw Curious George freeze water like this & thought it surely can't be that easy - but you proved me wrong & can't wait to try this with my kids. I wanted to invite you to link up at TGIF kid oriented linky Party - http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/search/label/Linkey%20Parties - I know my readers would LOVE this~
    Beth =-)

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  2. Thank you so much! (... leave it to Curious George! cute!) This is just such a fun project. VERY easy and the kids had such a sense of accomplishment. Believe it of not, those that we let freeze entirely, looked exactly like balloons. I loved both the hollow and sculptured balloons so much that I've encouraged the kids to do another round. Thank you! Thank you as well for giving me your link! I have to confess: I am a total newbie to blogging... and am not 100% I even understand how this all works yet....

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  3. Beautiful. Makes me wish we had below freezing temperatures.

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  4. This is really amazing! Found you on the Crafty Crow.
    Greetings from India :)

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  5. What a beautiful craft! I was wondering if I could have permission to use this craft idea in a guest post I'm writing about winter crafts on eileensplace.blogspot.com. I would just have a description and a link back to this page on your site. Please email me at jan@elementaryeducationdegree.com to let me know.

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  6. I just wanted to tell you that I made these on the weekend and WoWed my family and friends as the came over for a birthday party!

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    1. I love being able to share these with you!

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    2. Greetings from Virginia !! I can't wait to make these

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    3. Greetings from Virginia! Can't wait to try this

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    4. Thanks for each craft that you share, the kids are the ones that benefit. 1-3 graders in Sunday School go ' bokkers' when a new craft is introduced. Again thank you ��

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  7. I LOVED these so much I featured them at TGIF this week (http://livinglifeintentionally.blogspot.com/2012/02/tgif-linky-party-16.html) - Come stop on by to grab an I was featured button and link up what you've been up to this week. Thanks for sharing your creativity with all of us!!
    Beth =-)

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  8. FANTASTIC! Your son came up with this? I'm pinning it! Thanks for sharing :).

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  9. I love this so much! I am going to try all of your ice art ideas - we live in colorado usa and I just joined your blog! Please visit me at LoveItSewMuch.blogspot.com!

    Have a great day!

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  10. Oh my goodness, I LOVE this, and it has gotten plenty cold enough here for me to try it.

    Thank you so very much for sharing this with us this week at The Creative Exchange.

    Have a wonderful day!

    lisa.

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  11. These are beautiful. How they must brighten up a winter night!

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  12. These are BEAUTIFUL! I am from New Hampshire and I miss the snow so much. I miss being able to do stuff like this. A wonderful idea!

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    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment. It's amazing what an inner world of imagination one has if you've had different climates in a lifetime. These backdropped against that beautiful New Hampshire nature are easy to imagine.

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  13. this makes me want to move up north! :)

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    1. I'm sorry to miss this comment, earlier. Thank you for taking the time to comment. If you have a cold night and a large freezer, these could potentially warm up a dinner on a chilly night...

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  14. love this idea. We bought this neat thing when living in Germany where you filled this octagon shaped bucket with water and froze it. The bottom, center of the bucket went up so that it left a hole after frozen (and the bottom becomes the top). It took a lot of space to freeze and forever for it to freeze with the amount of water. Can't wait to try these.

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. I can imagine how beautiful those octagon shapes were. These balloon ice lanterns are so beautiful; once, we made the first series, we kept them going all winter. We're embracing the arrival of Summer in Sweden but, these are one Winter-item that one is happy to think of all year around.

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  15. Really beautiful. Thanks for sharing. I've posted a link to it from http://craftandkids.blogspot.com.au/2012/07/balloon-ice-candle-holder.html

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    1. This makes my day. I'm in the US visiting my family and experiencing a 100 degree heat wave. It makes my day to think of Australia and winter. Can it be true? I hope you have the chance to make these. They are simply beautiful.

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  16. Replies
    1. I am sorry that I missed you earlier. I hope you have the chance to make these!

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  17. How long does it typically take for the ice to freeze 80% so that I can pour out the remaining water and have an ice lantern?

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to comment. We have (temporary) freezing temperatures expected tonight in Stockholm. We're going to running two experiments just for you! We'll be back with thorough answers soon.

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  18. I just found this on Pinterest and wow.. Mind = blown! How creative, I'm gonna make this when it's freezing outside! :) Thank you so much!

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    1. Thank you for taking the time to write. I hope you have the opportunity (and chill in the air!) to try these. They are absolutely magical!

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  19. This is a really cool idea will have to try this!!!

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    1. Great to hear from you! I hope you can give these a try! We're addicted.

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  20. I'm sorry, I appear to be the only person who is a little confused by a couple thing:
    1. What is the difference between the "ice art" and "ice lantern" variations?
    2. If you fill the balloon up, how does it end up hollow once it freezes, rather than solid?

    They are gorgeous though, and I'd love to make these this year!
    Thanks!

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    1. Dear Jane,
      Thank you for taking the time to comment and to ask!
      I am so happy to help.

      1) An ICE LANTERN is a hollow ice shell with an opening at the top in which one can place a candle (tea light) and use as a lantern

      and

      ICE ART is an ice sculpture. This is created when the water freezes 100%. If you are decorating with these outside, a combination of the two is very beautiful.

      2) The balloon doesn't become solid if you carefully remove it before it fully freezes and drain off the excess water. We are actually running some experiments and will provide an extra post about this during the week.

      GENERAL ADVISE: I do know that if you have extreme freezing temperatures (-25) the water can be drained from the balloon after approximately 4 hours in order to make an ice lanterns. Later, during the winter, when our temperatures were closer to the freezing point, I believe this could take up to 8-12 hours. The kids and I are going to track this, in the months ahead, so that we can provide a nice guideline!

      Good luck and thank you for your time.

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  21. I visit Finland often and ice lanterns are the one thing that remind me of Finnish winters. I'm not going to be able to travel this year there, so I wanted to bring this magic home here in the USA. I was looking for a tutorial for them and came across your blog. Beautiful pics and lovely explanation. I've also pinned these to my business' Pinterest account because they would make lovely winter wedding decorations as well. Fantastic! Love your blog - going to try to make some of these as soon as we get snow!

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    1. I'm so complimented that you took time to comment and share. I'm also very happy to see these spread. There were the idea of our oldest son and he's over the moon with "his" success. I look forward to visiting your site. Yes, these are truly meant for weddings. I'd love to see any pictures. If you have any questions in the process of making there, don't hesitate to contact me.

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  22. Just beautiful! I will be making these to go around our hot tub through the winter! I had a thought as well, you could always add a few drops of food coloring to your water if you wanted to create some colorful ones.

    So much fun!

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    1. I'm so glad that these hit home with you. I have an example of how these have turned out for us when we used food coloring at this link:
      http://www.willowday.com/2012/02/ice-art-6-mardi-gras-ice-lanterns.html Thank you for your comment.

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  23. I just love these I live in the tropics in Queensland Australia Im going to do these at home in my freezer put them in an esky and transport them up to our block of land in Mount Tamborine. We dont have power on the block but we can go up for a picnic in the evening and place them around the garden with tea lights How romantic!!!
    It will also water our plants Thank you for pinning them!!!!
    Blessings Wendy Thornton

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    1. WOW. I'm so impressed! Not only do I love hearing from you, so far away, I love hearing your tale! I hope this works well and yes, we, too have done them in the summer. Freezing in the freezer is a stable way to make these -- I wish you a wonderful, romantic picnic! I would love to see this! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

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  24. How exciting - we live in Fairbanks, Alaska and it hasn't been warmer than 30 below 0 in a few days so staying warm by playing on the computer and staying inside. Thanks for sharing. I think this is something my little sister and I can do - cheap holiday decoration for sure.

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    1. Hello Fairbanks, Alaska! I've been thinking about you all week every time we have more snow fall and, am just now, getting the chance to respond! Candles and lights are so central to Scandinavian Christmases -- it's no wonder! I wish you warm and happiness .... directly from your east! Thanks for stopping by!

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  25. Hello from Canada! My 4 year old daughter and I made these today and they are perfect! I am always looking for ways to embrace winter as our winter in Saskatchewan begins in October and continues until March:) thanks very much and Merry Christmas! Josephine

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  26. Hello from New York! Somebody mentioned your blog on the ice castles site and came to take a look. I'll give you an A for effort, but I make the ones with the really tough balloons to make them BIG and GORGEOUS! http://www.wintercraft.com/photos/photo-gallery

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  28. Ohhh, this is crazily cool!!! Wish there is winter here so I can place these tea light iceballs in the garden.

    Inspiring DIY! I love your ice art for Valentine, too and thanks a lot for the cute how-to illustrations!

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    1. I am just finding your comment now. That's a compliment! Thank you so much!

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  29. I just did the same idea for a xmas photo shoot. They looked great.

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    1. I'd love to see those! Thanks so much for sharing.

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  30. What a beautiful idea, I would love to share this idea on one of my weekly inspiration posts. I would use an image and link back to your blog.

    A delightful blog!

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    1. You make my day. I would be so pleased!

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  31. I had a lot of fun making this. i live in the Netherlands and its been snowing the last week so i made this out side :D it was only -4c at night and 1 or 2c during the day. so i left them out side for a few days and it turned out great. i left them on a wooden table and the table worked as insulation so that the bottom only froze a little making it easy to get the water out. i also added a little air to the balloon so that when i turned it over it had a flat surface. thanks again for posting this, ill be playing with these every time it freezes :D

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing. They're unbelievable, aren't they? Happy Making! Happy Weekend!

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  32. Absolutely lovely! How I envy you leaving in Sweden! My college "parents" were Swedish and I absolutely fell in love with everything Swedish. Love lingonberries on my pancakes!!!:) Thanks for sharing. I'm marking your blog as a favorite!

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    1. Thank you for making my day! I love lingonberries, too -- but we have them growing on our lawn! If you're interested -- I shared a lingonberry cupcake recipe in November -- I often substitute lingon for cranberries, living here in Sweden.

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  33. This is an old project I did when I was in Kindergarten, however, it was very cool then as well :)
    My Teacher, at the time, had a long chest freezer she used for our balloons and it was very cool to hold a cold balloon then. The freezing temperature ended up "tearing" a hole into the balloon after it froze but our lanterns turned out perfect, nonetheless. Very Fun :)

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    1. Thank you for sharing this personal experience. What a beautiful memory to take forward!

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  34. wonderful art dear
    its difficult to imagine, its ice...
    really its so wonderful art.
    thanks for sharing...

    Love your Art. i love art of lantern..

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    1. Asha, somehow I missed this! Wishes for happy making!

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  35. Great idea! I have got to make some.

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    1. Thank you! I hope you have the chance.

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  36. I have had this craft for a while in my file. I just read some of the comments and saw so many that went from living in very warm areas to very cold areas. I am going to do this craft with my grandkids this year as they are now getting old enough to do this kind of craft and not make a huge mess. I live in the middle of the United States where are winters can be either cold on year are the next will be warm. That's Kansas for you. It will be fun to do them for both our homes and be able to enjoy some fun with each other. Thank you for this idea.

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  37. I have had this craft in my storage of crafts for a while. I just read a few of the comments above and saw posts from very warm places and very cold places. I am from the middle of the US where we have a cold winter one year and maybe a warm winter the next. That's Kansas for you. I am going to make the luminaries with my 2 youngest grandkids this year as they are now old enough to do this type of craft without making too much of a big mess with the water. We will get to share them with all our family and enjoy the fruit of our labor and have fun at the same time. Thank you for sharing this fun with all of us.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing. It's a wonderful project filled with great anticipation. I wish you happy making and happy enjoyment! Thanks so much for taking the time to comment.

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  38. I am curious....how long will they hold before they start to melt and break apart? I have an outdoor event coming up and part of it will be later in the evening and I know its going to be terribly cold. Thanks for your help.

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    1. These are just perfect for an event like this. I'd love to see how they turn out.

      To answer your question, it all depends on how warm your days are. If you don't reach freezing, they will keep for weeks and even months with careful treatment. As long as they're handled carefully, you use tea lights and don't melt during the day, these can last and last and last. Best/gina at willowday

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Thank you!