Introduction: Catch a Snow Flake and Keep It Forever

Picture of Catch a Snow Flake and Keep It Forever

In this instuctable I will tell you how to catch a snowflake and keep it forever.

This instructable is for the Snow challenge.
Please vote.

Step 1: Gather Items

Picture of Gather Items

Items needed:

A Glass slide.
A Cover slip.
A Piece of cardboard.

Step 2: Put Items in Freezer

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Place the glass slide, clover slip, cardboard and tweezers in a freezer and wait for approx 1 hour.

Step 3: Put Glue in Freezer

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Put glue in freezer 10mins before taking out the slide, slip, cardboard and tweezers.

Step 4: Catch Snowflakes on Cardboard

Picture of Catch Snowflakes on Cardboard

Once it starts to snow, take the glass slide, slip, cardboard, tweezers and glue from the freezer and head outside.

Stand in your doorway to protect everything from falling snow.

Head out with the cardboard and catch a few snowflakes. Get more than 5 so that you have room for error.

Step 5: Put Snowflake on Slide

Picture of Put Snowflake on Slide

With the tweezers gently try to transfer a snowflake to the glass slide.

Put a small drop of glue into the middle of the snowflake.
Immediately place the cover slip on top of the snowflake pushing down very gently.
There should be a little gap between the slide and cover slip so as to not squash the snowflake.

Step 6: Put Slide in the Freezer

Picture of Put Slide in the Freezer

Place the slide in the freezer for a minimum of 2 days.
The glue should dry around the snowflakes while they are still frozen.

Step 7: Take Out

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When 2 days have passed, it is safe to hold the snowflakes without having them melt.
The slide looks like this under a microsocpe.

This is my first ible any comments are welcome.


Country Ivy (author)2016-03-03 has high quality preserved snowflakes ready to ship.

CassieB13 (author)2016-01-25

Here is my website for preserved snowflakes.

CassieB13 made it! (author)2016-01-23

Anyone looking to buy preserved snowflakes I make them. I also make jewelry out of them, You can reach me by email

AlishaR2 (author)2015-09-09

Hello would you do one for me to give as a present to my partner please ?

melanie.h.farris.9 (author)2015-01-27

Is there anyway i can buy a snowflake from you?

racebaby (author)2014-12-11

Can I buy snowflakes from you?

Luny (author)2013-01-03

I wonder if this is how Leonard got that snowflake he gave Penny. Very cool. How did you make the microscope photo?

imajem (author)2012-02-18

What, pray tell, is a cover slip???

duckef (author)imajem2012-03-06

Its the thin cover that comes with the slide to protect what is on it.

Attmos (author)2012-03-05


kat49242 (author)2012-03-01

Wouldn't it just be easier on yourself & the snowflakes, if you caught them on the glass & applied the glue then?

jcksparr0w (author)2012-02-20

A few tips.
Chill everything overnight instead of just 10 minutes. Try to remember to tap the slide while it has the glue on it because it looks like you have some air bubbles in the glue and it kind of ruins the effect. And use superglue. You need to experiment to find the best one but superglue will work as long as you chill it enough.

tz1_1zt (author)2012-02-15

What is this glue like? Thin, thick gloopy or runny?

I've seen this method described elsewhere a few years ago, the author used superglue (cyanoacrylate) that they kept in the freezer permanently for this purpose.

When I tried using superglue it was too runny and flowed off the slide. It's left me wondering if the Gel-Superglue might be a better option if it's more like the glue you are using.

I'm keen to get Superglue working for this because its reaction with water triggers the rapid setting, so contact with a snowflake will be the perfect way to preserve the structure and details.

Would be interested to know what results other people have with different glues

abaneyone (author)2012-02-14

I remember one student teacher I had back in elementary school showed us how to do this. I thought it was so neat! This is a great instructable! You get my vote for the snow contest!

GoDu2 (author)2012-02-14

Good Job!

Digitalker (author)2012-02-13

How about using circuit chiller to chill your slides? There is also a product
called Dust Off at office supply stores that's used to blow dust out of office equipment. If you use Dust Off you will have to invert the can to get it to work.
Just spray the side opposite the one you will catch your snowflake on. In
either case don't spray it on your bare skin. It can freeze of your skin.
Be careful with dry ice in an a closed enviroment. As it evaporates it releases
carbon dioxide.

Riki Rezinunts (author)2012-02-13

Awesome! Unfortunately, I am another whom lives in a tropical climate and does not get any snow... I would pay for one of these as well... Or maybe I could get one of my design/diy savvy friends up north to do it for me... BTW, Awesome pic! Maurice Moss rocks!

sherbar (author)2012-02-12

I am a hobbist photographer & have always wanted to photograph snowflakes but have had no luck. Your awesome method might be the answer to my quandry. Thanks so much for sharing!

Bosun Rick (author)sherbar2012-02-13

I don't know if this would work or not, but it's worth a try. How about using black construction paper left out in the cold or stored in a freezer until a snowstorm comes? if the paper is cold enough, the snow shouldn't melt while you take your pictures.

jerryfixit (author)sherbar2012-02-12

I had the same problem, gave up. Then took som pics of the grandkids after dark, with on camera flash and wow lots of snow. No individual flakes, but lots of snowfall. Try it and see if this gets what you want. Good luck. Jerryfixit

andreserrano (author)2012-02-13

Congratulations by your idea, unfortunatelly don´t snow at my country, when is very cold here we have +5 degree centigrades (41°F)

Best regards,

André Serrano from Brazil

FlatLinerMEDIC (author)2012-02-10

Can I buy one from you!!!??? I live in AZ it would be a great gift and theres no snow here. Name your price. I have paypal.

duckef (author)FlatLinerMEDIC2012-02-13

Sadly I missed the snow this year, if it does snow again I will try for you!

tenkara (author)2012-02-12

This is so incredibly cool. I've thought of this off and on ever since I saw it on TBBT. Since my wife and I were married on a Christmas tree farm in December, this would be a perfect gift.

duckef (author)tenkara2012-02-13

Deffo a good gift! :)

tw2sheds (author)2012-02-12

I got a snowflake preservation kit when I was a kid from the Edmund Scientific Catalog (had a lot of neat things but expensive) and I seem to remember that you would freeze the slides, go catch the flakes on the cold slides and then drop the preserving stuff on them. Didn't have the patience and snowfall opportunity at the same and only got a couple of partial flakes.

duckef (author)tw2sheds2012-02-13

Before I tried this method I used to catch the flakes on acetate and then sprayed it with chilled clear spray adhesive (where the can had been left outside to chill), then the flakes would melt and you would be left with the pattern but it was very hard to see.

M.Shoggoth (author)2012-02-13

I wish it snowed where I live . . . one day I'll defiantly do this but.

duckef (author)M.Shoggoth2012-02-13

Yeah it I missed the snow this year, so I couldn't do the 'ible with pics.

kwhitacre (author)2012-02-13

Literally, cool...

ntimpanelli (author)2012-02-12

I got really lucky last Feb. and caught this flake on my mailbox. You need to go out while it's snowing that really fine, cold snow and you should be able to find flakes on surfaces.

Jeff Yates (author)2012-02-12

Can I use your freezer....Mines full :)

graydog111 (author)Jeff Yates2012-02-12

I notice his is empty. Mine, like yours, is also full. Also, someone will have to send me some snow. :-)

roses8753 (author)2012-02-12

You have my vote - great instructable!

mdog93 (author)2012-02-12

can you just catch the snowflake directly on the glass slide?

duckef (author)mdog932012-02-12

yes as long as the slide is cold enough.

mdog93 (author)duckef2012-02-12

ok, just below melting point of the snow?

duckef (author)mdog932012-02-12

or colder its up to you

Lorddrake (author)2012-02-10

awesome job.

if you don't have clear elmers glue you can also use any Cyanoacrylate type of glue (super glue, crazy glue, etc)

Apparently you can also do it like Leonard and preserve it in a 1% solution of polyvinyl acetal resin by dissolving one gram of polyvinyl acetal resin in 100 milliliters of ethylene dichloride

Have you tried this with CA? Some CA's harden on contact with water, might be a problem? My favorite ( Loctite 406) is very fast, but might even leave a white residue around the flake. Let's give this a try!

duckef (author)Lorddrake2012-02-12

Yeah I have heard from people that you can actually use his method

colorkitten (author)2012-02-12

This is fantastic! I'm going to get supplies together to do this next time we get a decent snow.

One question though -- at what point did you use the clothes pins?

duckef (author)colorkitten2012-02-12

Whoops forgot to edit that out, yeah they have no valid point other than you could use them to hold the carboard.

seymore925 (author)2012-02-12

Simply phenomenal. You've got my vote.

lunashadow (author)2012-02-12

Too Coooooool!! Well Done!

Jeff Yates (author)2012-02-12

Excellent. Gets my vote. Well done.

barbiejz (author)2012-02-12

Can't wait to try this! great instructable :)

lunchweek (author)2012-02-12

Great instructable! I'll try this soon.

sokamiwohali (author)2012-02-11

this is an insanely GENIOUS IDEA!!! i wish i would have known of this method when i still lived in watertown ny!!!

hotmetalmel (author)2012-02-09

That is the coolest ever. Sucks that I live in a place where it almost never snows.... I may have to make an "Altitude Road Trip" (I'm less than a hr from Mt. Hood!) with the kids. Could it be done with a cooler and some dry ice if everything is prepped at home in the freezer? I guess trying to figure for vibration, temp tolerances, etc. Any info will help.... I mean I gonna do it anyway because this is cool, I'm just trying to cut down on the frustration factor. Thanks again btw for a 'cool' idea (sorry).

About This Instructable




Bio: All about the chillin'
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