These fleeting ice beauties are a lovely way to showcase natural treasures – illuminated in the winter sun like sparkling stained glass windows. You just need treasures, string and some containers – mini bundt pans, pie trays or muffin tins work well. Arrange your little treasures in the containers and slowly pour in water. If it’s freezing outside (scientifically speaking), it’s best to work right where containers can remain untouched until they freeze, so that your designs don’t shift.
To add a string for hanging, submerge both ends in the container before freezing. The benefit of using a bundt pan is that it provides a hole for hanging and tends to last the longest, since the area around string thaws first. A long piece of orange rind or other natural element with both ends submerged also makes a great (compostable) hanger.
If it’s not cold enough outside, place the containers in the freezer for at least 2 hours. Once frozen, you can loosen your sun catchers by briefly running warm water over the bottom. We’ve seen our ice art last for days in colder temperatures and melt away in a warmer, sunnier afternoon.
To make a mobile, drape a string through the centers of all of the containers that you’d like to connect before freezing – or stack several bundt productions.
To make a landscape or a bigger design, use a baking pan with at least a 1″ lip. To keep elements from floating out of their intended spots, initially pour just a thin coat of water to act as glue for a pre-freeze; then add the remaining water to the desired thickness and freeze again. You can prop this among branches or tie a string around the whole thing to hang it.
To color the ice, use frozen fruit (blueberries and cherries work well), slightly thawed so the juices escape.