Winter is an excellent time for making artwork indoors with some warming coffee, tea, or hot chocolate. But you can create art outdoors, too. Have you ever heard of ice artwork?
Unlike snow angels or snowmen, ice artwork is made using ice. You create it by freezing water in fun shapes with colors or materials added to it before it freezes. The result is like something out of a magical frozen fairytale.
If you want to bring some ice magic into your home this winter, follow this guide for making eye-catching ice artwork!
1. Hanging Ice Art
You can sometimes find these incredible art pieces around your local parks, community centers, and neighbors’ gardens. But it’s easy to create some in your own yard or even on your apartment balcony!
To make an ice art canvas, you need to get bundled up and go outside to find your materials. You can pick anything from mistletoe to twigs to faded flowers or seed heads. The main thing is that you have a collection of materials that you find appealing to place inside the artwork.
Here are some suggestions for materials:
- Animal feathers
- Rose hips
- Seed heads
If you have little children, this project is the perfect way to inspire them to get outdoors and enjoy nature even when it’s cold!
Then, you need to gather the equipment, which is simple.
You need a container (or several) and access to water. These can be small take-out containers, Tupperware, or large buckets. Most people use a kettle or pitcher to transport water into a larger container, but you can use whatever.
You also need some string to hang the ice art. Maybe you want to hang your art on a washing line, in trees, or by your window. You can also hang them from garden hooks or from low-growing shrubs to add different layers.
See what looks best and what appeals to your artistic sense.
Steps for Making Ice Artwork on String
Wait for a day when the temperatures will be below freezing. You can do the work when it’s warmer and then wait for it to freeze at night or over the following days. If you don’t want to work on the containers outside, you can work on them in your home and move them outside.
Just remember that buckets filled with ice can be really heavy. If you have a large bucket, just make a thin layer in the base and gently place your material right where you want it.
Line up your containers somewhere that is easy to access, and you can carefully pour the water. For instance, an outdoor bench or table would be great, as the water will have instant exposure to freezing temperatures.
Place the natural materials in the container, pour the water, and place the string at the top of the container to create a handle. You can also lay a stick across the top and tie the string to that.
You can always cut the string off if you prefer the art without a handle. But it’s necessary to remove the block from the bucket. Plus, you won’t be able to hang it.
For an artistic touch, you can stir the materials around for a collage effect. Or, you can leave one dried leaf in the center and keep your design minimal. Think of it like a painting and experiment with different shapes and placements of your materials.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see your art transformation overnight while the temperatures are low. Leave the artwork somewhere chilly and come back in the morning to see what it looks like!
Tips for Ice Artwork on a String
When choosing your container, you need to consider the material, as it will impact the finished artwork. The best choice is plastic or silicone because it can bend as you remove your art.
Be careful when taking the ice out of the container, as it tends to break if you’re not careful. And the last thing you want is to spend time making ice art for it to be ruined when you go to hang it up.
For hanging ice artwork, you can also use cookie-cutter plastic shapes to give your art more variety. If you have some heart shapes, monsters, or tree molds in your kitchen cupboard, you can repurpose them for your ice artwork.
Wash them out afterward and reuse them for making cookies, so you don’t have to buy new items for this art project. It’s about using what you can find in nature and experimenting with different molds, so have fun!
Ice Art Balloons
Another great way to have fun outdoors is to make ice art balloons. All you need to make these colorful creations are water balloons, food coloring, and water.
Similar to the ice art on a string, you can leave them outdoors or place them inside temporarily like an ice sculpture, depending on your space. You can stick natural materials inside the balloons or leave them plain.
If you can’t find the right materials in your garden for the ice artwork on string, this is an excellent option for making the most of the icy temperatures. Fill up your water balloons with water and sprinkle a dash of food coloring into the middle.
You can create a unique color by combining several colors and swirling them around with a twig or kitchen utensil. Or, you can add gel food coloring and just barely swirl it around to create patterns.
Then, close the balloon, place it outside, and wait for the water to freeze.
Instead of or in addition to food coloring, you can sprinkle glitter or confetti for more texture in your design. If you want a clear ice balloon, you can skip the coloring or materials and fill your balloon only with water. Or add natural materials like flowers.
When filling the water balloons with water, be careful not to overfill them, or you will end up with the balloon bursting as the ice expands. Go slowly when filling the balloon and stop when there is still plenty of room for the material to expand.
Floral Ice Shapes
During the winter holidays, it’s nice to have friends and family over for meals, so why not treat your guests to some creative drink decorations?
Floral ice shapes are a great addition to your party drinks and can be made in a few hours!
You will need a collection of edible flowers, molds, and water. Some choices for edible flowers are:
But if you want to add other herbs or other edible flowers, you can. Our guide has 46 edible flower options to choose from.
You can try this throughout winter and replicate it when spring and summer come around for a refreshing drink.
The process might seem easy when making these floral ice balls, but you need to know how to do it correctly if you want clear artwork with no cloudy bubbles or a dirty-looking finished creation.
How to Get the Perfect Floral Ice Shape
The only way to get the beautiful finished artwork clear and when you can see the flower in the middle is to use distilled water and boil it twice before freezing. Pour the water in the mold, add the flower, and turn it upside down to freeze.
This might seem like a lot of work just to freeze ice, but trust us; it will give you a lovely result.
Look for ice molds that allow you to turn them upside down if you are creating these ice balls for an event. This is because the water freezes from top to bottom, which means the water particles will move to the bottom and give you clear ice at the top.
You can also use round molds for this process, but just remember to use distilled water and boil it twice. Freeze slowly over time and the water will be even clearer.
Don’t use warm water to break the ice balls away from the mold. Leave them in a warm (not hot) area for 10 minutes, then pour chilled water around the edges. This will give them the extra moisture to come out of the mold without ruining the fantastic design.
Where to Place Ice Artwork
Deciding where to place your ice artwork can be tricky, depending on where you live and the temperatures. Ideally, you want to leave your ice artwork somewhere out of the sun and sheltered from the wind or rain.
Some people hang their ice artwork on their garden shed door or dangle some ice balls on their porches at their home entrance. You can also stick the ice artwork into the ground along your garden path to create a decorative touch.
You can make ice lanterns with similar methods to create a light path for dark winter nights. This is a beautiful way to use ice artwork and have something useful for when you’re walking outdoors at night.
Don’t let the icy temperatures stop you from making art. Try these ideas and sprinkle some sparkle into your homestead this winter!