The Pintester Takes on Borax Snowflakes

I know it’s a little late to make this a Christmas decoration, but it’s still winter so I figure we can still try borax snowflakes.

Image from Delia Creates

Image from Delia Creates

As with many crafts of this calibre, it’s cuter if a kid does it. You’re stuck with me. Also, I swear the instructions didn’t say what color pipe cleaner to use, so I used what I had. Erm.

pipe cleaner snowflake

But I did manage to have, you know, the borax.

borax snowflake tools

I was feeling all superior and stuff, too, because I did a test run to make sure it would all fit together properly.

snowflake setup test run

While I was boiling water to pour on top of the borax, I thought I’d make myself some tea. If you do this, don’t mix up the cups.

boiling water

Cuz, you know, one is tea and one is, like, poison. (This is not foreshadowing, by the way. I do like to employ certain literary methods, including foreshadowing, in my posts, but I will go ahead and put you out of your misery and tell you that I am not quite enough of an idiot to drink borax instead of tea by mistake. Sorry to disappoint.)

tea and poison

Then I set the pipe cleaner in the borax solution overnight.

borax snowflake setup

Well, actually overnight plus a day because I forgot about it.

I have to say, I was rather unimpressed when I took it out. The original blog post led me to believe that the borax crystals would be highly visible and at least a little awesome. Lo, they were not. I mean, you could sorta see them, but mostly it was just a wet brown pipe cleaner snowflake, and that’s not really all that impressive.

So: don’t use brown, don’t drink the borax, and don’t expect a beautiful miracle of snowflake magic. To be fair, it did look a little more impressive once it dried, but I would have liked to know that you should also dry it hanging up so one side doesn’t get all squished and not-crystally. So do that. Or just skip this whole thing. That’s probably the better idea.

borax-snowflakes, nailed it!

To see more of Pintester’s tests (most of which are also CraftFails), check out her blog at

6 Responses to The Pintester Takes on Borax Snowflakes

  1. Jellycat says:

    it still looks cool though :) i love this site, and so many people underestimate themselves

  2. vampje says:

    when i have done crystal things in the past you leave it for days so the water totally evaporates. i suspect the original picture did that and lied about overnight, unless they live in a desert

  3. Heather says:

    I think it still looks good. If it had been a white pipe cleaner, it would have been really good. Not really a fail, to me.

  4. Pingback: Borax Snowflakes | Pintester

  5. Pamela Ly says:

    So I am chem teacher who enjoys arts and crafts and I have done this with my students. I have only done it the past 2 years, but I have noticed some patterns: super saturating it (meaning putting a ton of borax), will get very nice crystals (almost to the point, where it is too much) and also if you keep mixing it too much, your crystals will be even finer. If I get around to it, I will show you some pictures of really good ones I have made. Keep practicing with it and it can look like the other one!

  6. Jessica Taylor says:

    I am a Biology teacher and middle school science teacher, and I have done this with my students for holiday labs. I only left ours in overnight, and it worked beautifully. I wonder if your recipe had enough borax in it, or if something else was wrong with it. I have never had trouble with this one before. I’m sorry yours did not work out, but I recommend trying it again!

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