How to Make Ice Marbles By Freezing Water Balloons with Food Coloring

Christmas "ice marbles" are a great way to craft the holiday spirit with your kids this season.

Christmas ornaments are great to have around the house, but equally admirable are the kid-friendly decorations. Bonus points for the decor that kids can actually make! If you’ve already tried your hand at paper snowflakes or sugar cookies, it’s time to get outside with your little ones and make ice marbles.

The process is almost identical to filling normal water balloons—which kids love in general—and the only addition is food dye, which makes all the difference. Here’s how to make them!

How to Make Ice Marbles

To get started on a batch of ice marbles, you’ll need:

  • 1 bag water balloons
  • Water
  • Food coloring
  • Freezing temps

We highly recommend working on this colorful project in a space that can handle any “incidents,” either in a garage or an area covered with some sort of plastic drop cloth. If food dye leaks anywhere, you’ll be left with a multicolored mess.

Step 1: Add dye to water balloons

Once you have all of your items assembled, open your bag of water balloons. The color of the water balloons doesn’t matter, but the color of the food dye that you drip inside does. Grab whatever color dye you want your marbles to be, and add a few drops to the inside of each balloon.

Step 2: Fill the balloons

Carefully hold the balloon opening under a faucet and slowly fill with water. Then gently pinch the neck of the balloon near the opening and tie a knot. Repeat the process with the rest of the balloons; the more the merrier!

Step 3: Let the balloons freeze

Once you’re satisfied with your collection of balloons, leave them in a freezing environment overnight—this can be a chest freezer with ample room or your back porch. When the water is frozen solid, go ahead and peel back the balloon with a pair of scissors. The final product will be a set of colorful ice marbles that look like decorative glass, perfect for adding color to your snowy front yard.

Decorations aren’t the only things you can get crafty with this year. Here are some DIY holiday gifts you can make and give!

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Hannah Twietmeyer
Hannah is a writer and content creator based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with a passion for all things food, health, community and lifestyle. She is a journalism graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a previous dining and drink contributor for Madison Magazine.