One of the most exciting parts of Christmas gift-giving for Wintercraft is the thousands of potential Ice Lantern Lovers that are introduced to this beautiful craft. Because it is a craft that can be honed with practice, it is best to start at the beginning and work from there. Each Wintercraft Globe Ice Lantern Kit comes with everything you need--all the pieces are essential and work together to create beautiful Globe Ice Lanterns--the Wintercraft system.
The Wintercraft System -- or what is included in the kits:
It all starts with a great balloon! The Wintercraft Globe Ice Lantern Balloons are the toughest and roundest balloons found on the market. They are so thick, that they can be difficult to tie, so we include Wintercraft Easy-close Balloon Clips. We often hear stories of people that have tried regular party balloons and once they switch to the Wintercraft balloons, they never switch back. The balloons consistently produce great results.
Because any balloon filled with water tends to blob out and roll around (although Wintercraft balloons blob less), we include Wintercraft Freezing Base(s) that are made in the USA of tough virtually unbreakable plastic and come in two sizes: large and small. The bases are designed to help shape the balloon, keep it in one place, and provide a barrier between the ground and the balloon. The design even "pockets" some air aiding in keeping the bottom of the globe open. They've also been tested to -30°F/-34°C with success - many plastics crack at temperatures far warmer.
Most people who make ice lanterns using the cold temperatures naturally found outside in the winter. But if you live in a warm climate (the weather outside your house is above 20°F/-7°C) or you would like to make a Globe Ice Lantern in July, the freezer is the way to go. To make a Wintercraft Globe Ice Lantern in the freezer, you will need the Wintercraft Insulating Disk that is included in the kits.
So lets get started . . .
1. FILL the Wintercraft (WC) Balloon with water and secure with a WC Clip.
2. PLACE the filled WC Balloon in a WC Freezing Base. It should sit nicely in the base. If you have a Deluxe or Ultimate Kit, you will have both size bases. So, if it rolls around, you might want to use the smaller WC Freezing Base or unclip the balloon and add more water. If it rolls out of the base, you should use the larger base or unclip the balloon and let some water out. If you have the Starter Kit, you have the small size Freezing Base, so you will need to add or subtract water to make it fit the base. Remember--the shape the balloon is when it starts to freeze will be the shape of the finished Globe Ice Lantern.
3. OUTDOOR: Place the WC Balloon and the WC Freezing Base outside in the snow or on frozen ground to freeze. (The goal is to keep the bottom of the balloon from freezing, so it is important not to place it on a deck or stone. Snow or frozen ground will keep the bottom warmer than the air.)
3. FREEZER: Place the WC Insulating Disk on a level surface in your freezer. Then put the WC Freezing Base on the Disk, and then balloon on the Base. (The goal is to keep the bottom of the balloon from freezing, so it is important to have the WC Insulating Disk underneath the balloon while it is freezing in the freezer.)
4. HOW LONG TO FREEZE? This is the most interesting part, because there are so many variables:
• the size (large, small, etc.)
• the temperature (constant in a freezer, changing outside)
• position while freezing (shade or sun)
Let's start with one GIVEN and move from there. In a freezer (constant temp) set to 0°F/-18°C, a small soccerball-sized globe made in a small WC Freezing Base will be a nice thickness in 20 hours.
If the globe is larger, the average temperature is warmer, or you want the ice to be REALLY thick - it will take longer.
If the globe is smaller, the average temperature is colder, or you want the ice to be thin - it will take less time.
5. HOW TO CHECK TO SEE IF IT IS READY TO OPEN? Because the bottom of the globe is supposed to stay unfrozen, when you believe it is ready to open, lift the balloon off the base and feel the ice through the balloon. If it is completely unfrozen and there is just a thin shell that has developed, consider letting it freeze longer. If, on the other hand, the bottom of the globe feels like it is slushy or starting to freeze underneath, it is most likely ready to pop.
6. OUTDOOR: Take a pair of scissors or knife and make a cut in the WC Balloon. Peel off the balloon and let the water come gushing out the bottom. Empty out the WC Freezing Base and place your new Globe Ice Lantern back on the WC Freezing Base or in a plastic bag until ready to use.
6. FREEZER: Carry the balloon to a sink and then take a pair of scissors or knife and make a cut in the WC Balloon. Peel off the balloon and let the water come gushing out the bottom into the sink. Place your new Globe Ice Lantern back on the WC Freezing Base or in a plastic bag until ready to use.
For instructions on how to light up a Globe Ice Lantern, see the guide found in the kits or I will be writing a new blog soon--look for it!
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