Ice Gems/Marbles; How-To-Not-To

Personal Note from The Baby: As the Employee of the Year at Cook Dollar Barn, I feel it is my duty to share not only my successes but also my epic failures. Mistakes are where I learn the most, anyway. And I make plenty of them. You’re welcome. Last night’s mistake Valuable Learning Experience (VLE) came as a result of multitasking. You probably don’t want to follow along. I am unsupervised much of the time, and looking back, I may have confused the ice candle tips with the ice gem tips. Whatever. I lived.


ice marbles/gems

All day at work, creative women were in and out, gathering supplies for winter crafts. I was especially interested in the balloon ice gems and colored ice candle ideas floating around thanks to Pinterest. I did a few of the balloon gems last year, and apparently I’m not the only one who thought I could tweak them a little. This year I wanted to do some ice candles, too.

So I asked questions and tried to remember the answers.

Everything I knew last night BEFORE craft time in the empty nest:

Susie was going to try freezing curly ribbon in her balloon gems to hang them from branches. And glitter! And she also said putting the filled balloons in a bowl will keep them from getting a flat spot on the bottom.

Ericka said ice made with boiling water is clearer with lots of little bubbles while she helped DeeAnn pick out matching cookie trays and bags for a cookie exchange.

And hot water freezes faster than cold water.

Last year, I should have used more food coloring, and stretched the balloons out more before filling.

The only way I filled my balloons with water was out of the tap.

What I learned during and after craft time:

One craft at a time.

ice marbles
Don’t follow these directions.

Anything you want to add to a balloon ice gem needs to be put in FIRST. Before the water. Glitter, food coloring, a length of ribbon tied to a washer, etc. This led to the next lesson:

Water shoots out of a balloon really fast. Like, water-cannon fast. Even though I have the ninja reflexes of a mom, and squeezed the balloon shut and pointed it away from my face to the bottom of the sink, the water still shot fast enough out of the balloon to ricochet off the sink and all overΒ  the rest of me. And the floor. And the kitchen table. Shit. I should have checked the ceiling…

Maybe lukewarm water is the way to go. It doesn’t hurt as much as super-hot tap water.

Also, for your first try, don’t add food coloring, glitter, ribbon, etc. Just practice filling a 12-inch latex balloon with the kitchen sink and tie it closed. Unless you want your kitchen to look like a smurf murder scene. I’m sorry I didn’t take a picture–I was too busy wiping it all up and then making the others so I could change out of wet blue clothes that started to freeze to my body when I brought the gems outside to freeze.

I hope this was helpful. Any hands raised? Please like, share, or comment to help friends Pin safely. Loveyabye.

27 thoughts on “Ice Gems/Marbles; How-To-Not-To

          1. Well?? Too busy being Freshly Pressed to make ice gems?? Congratulations πŸ™‚ I’m thinkin’ red for Valentine’s Day and Green and Purple for Mardi Gras, St. Urho’s Day, and St. Patrick’s Day.


  1. Oh goody. I’m great at learning from somebody else’s experiences. In fact, now I can check this off my bucket list, if I had one.


  2. The first time I tried to pickle olives, I dropped a jar. It is a scientific fact that the crack between the stove and the kitchen counter in any domestic environment serves as a kind of voracious black hole, sucking in all falling objects within a three foot radius. I pondered that particularly fascinating phenomenon as I watched the contents of that jar go directly down that crack — olives, vinegar, and olive oil… everywhere.


  3. FINALLY, an experience nearly identical to mine! I feel so much better. (As I type this with pink dyed fingers…)


  4. I am so glad I found your post! It sounds so easy doesn’t it
    – just fill balloon with water, add coloring and freeze. Not so easy in real life! But it’s always the details that matter! I found the laundry sink works great for filling, especially if you have some plastic tubing you can stick in the faucet and then insert that in the balloon. Lots more control that way!


    1. Bahaha…and put the food coloring in first!! I am still finding blue spots in the kitchen. My new favorite is using the Bundt pan. Now I am making several ice rings, to stack around a solar light. (Too cold to go out and light candles!)
      Glad you found the blog. How?


  5. After realizing I didn’t know how to fill a water balloon, I did a Google search & that’s how I found your site. Yours was the most helpful! And now I’m going to have to figure out where he stores the Bundt pan so I can try that too!


    1. πŸ˜€ DON’T USE WATER BALLOONS!! Holy crap I should have mentioned that. I bet your kitchen looks like Rainbow Brite exploded! Bahahaha.
      The Bundt pan is my favorite πŸ™‚ And I never use it for baking, anyway.
      So glad you found us…thank you for stopping by and leaving a note!


      1. The water balloons were too small, I gave up on them before I got to the food coloring stage πŸ™‚ My snow covered picnic table is somewhat colorful however, silly me, I thought that would be a great place to set them out to freeze. Didn’t think the dogs would attack them, should have known better. Surprised the big white girl isn’t rainbow colored now!
        I’m glad I found you too – I will definitely be checking back to see what you’re up to πŸ™‚


          1. Yes, we got a Pyr last year. Oh oh, now I’m wondering if she will want to play with the ice balls once we put them out in the yard….


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