Winter Fun - Frozen Bubbles

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Fun with bubbles isn't just for long, lazy summer days. Frosty cold winter weather with temperatures dipping below 20 degrees F and 3 simple ingredients are what we used to make beautiful frozen bubbles. Our thermometer dipped to -12 degrees F when I took all of these photos.

Important Camera Note: Going from a warm building to the cold outdoors is hard on a camera (I used a point & click camera for photos in this instructable). To make it easier on your camera and for better photos, wait a few minutes before taking those first shots to give the camera time to acclimate to the drastic change in temperature. You can gather the other things you'll need to start the bubble happiness while you wait.

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Step 1: Supplies Checklist

Only 3 ingredients are needed to make the frozen bubble solution. Summer-fun 'regular' bubble solution didn't work for me - these bubbles broke immediately or as soon as they landed on a surface.

Stir together thoroughly:

  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup light corn syrup
  • 1 cup dish soap

Pour about half of this mixed solution into a small pan. Since I didn't have a regular bubble wand, I improvised by making one out of a wire egg-holder used to dye Easter eggs and it worked well.

Helpful Hint: In addition to giving the camera time to acclimate to the temperature drop, I had better results if I also set the bubble solution outside for a few minutes before starting to make bubbles. Not to worry - it won't freeze.


Step 2: Bundle Up - It's Time to Have Fun!

Making these frozen bubbles is the same as making bubbles at the beach. Dip the wand into the solution, being sure the wand is fully coated. Wave the wand gently through the air or blow air through the wand to create the heavier-than-usual bubbles.

Blowing slowly usually makes bigger bubbles, but making them too large will cause them to break before they float off the wand. Once they come in contact with a cold surface, they start to solidify. Some stay clear but are filled with swirling patterns, others are cloudy, sometimes 2 or more bubbles connect to form a cluster.

Step 3: As Time Goes By...

Fewer floating bubbles broke for me if they landed on a snow-covered surface. After more than 2 hours, some of the bubbles still were beautiful, but as they broke, they turned into deflated plastic-like shapes. Bubbles that broke quickly left behind a ring in the snow where they had been. Some of the bubbles and heavy solution slid over the porch railing and you could watch it freeze as it moved. Very tiny bubbles didn't break overnight and where there in the morning catching the sunlight.

Step 4: Lights, Camera, Action!

I was shooting these photos late at night, and all of the pictures were beautifully pure 'outer-space' black & white, so I decided to experiment with lighting. These photos were taken using different outdoor lights and flashlights from different angles.

We bundled up warmly, kept our gloves dry, and never noticed the cold. Tons of fun for everyone, especially having hot chocolate waiting for us inside. Surprising how many times we ran to the windows to see if the bubbles were still there.

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    12 Discussions

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    zyck

    1 year ago

    This is very cool, yesterday I used regular bubble stuff, got a couple of them, tonight I'm going to try a recipe very similar to yours.

    your bubbles look a lot better then mine. :-)

    DSC_8571.jpg
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    diy140

    3 years ago

    this is sssssssssoooooooo cool

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    Barb37

    3 years ago

    GREAT instructions, and your camera work is amazing, pi526! I've been a Bubbler for many years, and have wondered about cold bubbles, but have just not got around to trying it. You've inspired me!

    The Weather Channel says we're supposed to have sub-zero nights for at least another night or two this week. I need another project like I need another hole in my head, but I'm going to get myself together enough to give this recipe a go in the nose-hair-freezing cold. Do you think if I stand up high - like on our retaining wall - and the bubble has to travel further through the cold air, it might sit atop a surface as a complete sphere? A "handle-able" sphere? Anyone have suggestions for me to try? Predictions?

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    pi526Barb37

    Reply 3 years ago

    The complete sphere idea is intriguing, Barb37. My guess is, though, that the portion of the bubble that lands on a surface will flatten, but please post photos if you give it a try. I'm also hoping for super-cold temps because I want to add food color to the solution and also try making giant bubbles. I'll post additional photos if I can get these 2 new ideas to work. I have a giant bubble maker someone made for me years ago, so I'll need to make much more solution that I did before. Happy bubbling!

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    pi526KimberlyH47

    Reply 3 years ago

    It really is a fun and easy thing to do on a cold winter day, KimberlyH47.

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    wold630

    3 years ago

    They are gorgeous! I'm currently bracing for Winter Storm Kayla and hoping to try this with my kids once the storm passes!

    1 reply
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    pi526wold630

    Reply 3 years ago

    Best of luck with the winter storm, but I hope you and your kids do get the chance to have fun with this.

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    pi526DIY Hacks and How Tos

    Reply 3 years ago

    Sorry, no videos of this first attempt, but the video is a great suggestion for the next time I make them. I'll be sure to share it.