Skip to Content

Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

Winter in Wisconsin has been brutal this winter with sub zero temps. Like -29 and wind chills of up to -50! It’s crazy cold so the weather isn’t good for much, except fun experiments like freezing balloons full of water to make frozen ice gems! It’s a fun way to make the best of the terrible weather.

Make the most of sub zero temps with a fun winter weather experiment! Freeze colored water in balloons to make frozen balloons ice gems! They are colorful and brighten up the snow banks while the temps are below freezing. We made them in the winter in Wisconsin during the 2019 polar vortex.  #winter #outdoorart #frozenart #frozenballoons #winterexperiment #scienceactivity #frozen #ice #balloons #winteractivity #kidsactivities #winterfun

How to Fill and Freeze Balloons

It’s fairly easy to fill and freeze balloons but I have a few tips and tricks to help you since I’ve done this a few times with varying degrees of success.

latex balloons to make Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

I used Colorations Liquid Watercolors for a variety of vibrant colors. Liquid Watercolors are awesome and have many uses.

Colorations Liquid Watercolors to make Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

If you prefer, you can also use regular liquid food coloring or the paste or gel food coloring to color your water balloons. If you use the paste food coloring, mix it in a measuring cup and then pour the coloring into the balloon before you fill it with water.

you can also use food coloring to make Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

Then stretch the balloon over your faucet. I couldn’t believe this balloon fit around my large faucet but it worked very well. If yours don’t fit your kitchen faucet, try the bathroom faucet as those are usually not as large.

filling the balloons with water to make Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

Make sure the balloon is tight and hold on to the top while you fill it to prevent the balloon from popping off.

hold the balloon tight as you fill it with water to make Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

My faucet pulls out so I rested the balloon in the sink while it filled. Experiment with how full you want it. I made mine quite full but it depends on your balloon.

Before trying to carry your water filled balloons outdoors, I would put them on a tray or a cookie sheet. Believe me, you don’t want to drop one in the house!

water balloons on a tray to make Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

Putting Your Water Balloons Outdoors to Freeze

Even if it’s super cold, like -30 degrees, the balloons will not freeze if you put them in a snow bank. Well, maybe eventually they will, but because snow insulates, it prevents the balloons from freezing.

Carefully place the balloons on the sidewalk. Don’t try to move them, they might pop.

freezing water filled balloons to make Frozen Ice Gems Outdoor Winter Art

I’d recommend leaving them out overnight. I timed them during the day and it takes about 8 hours for them to fully freeze. You would think it would be faster when the temps are so severe!

The balloons may split and the ice gems might crack, but they still look cool.

Frozen Balloons Ice Gems

Peel the balloons off the ice gem.

Place them where ever you’d like. The colored ice gems look awesome in the snow! They will last as long as the temps are freezing.

Frozen Balloons Ice Gems

The colors shown here were made with liquid watercolors.

Frozen Balloons Ice Gems

The first two (from the bottom) were made with food coloring.

Frozen Balloons Ice Gems

I moved the first three (from the bottom) too soon, so the blue one broke. All that was left was a shell but it still looks neat! You can see in the picture below that the red one isn’t completely frozen.

Frozen Balloons Ice Gems

In fact, after I moved the red one from the sidewalk and came into the house, I looked outside a short time later to see this! It wasn’t completely frozen so the water was slowly leaking out from the bottom. It was crazy looking!

Try all different colors.

Frozen Balloons Ice Gems

Cracked Ice

When the balloons freeze, the ice shape may crack. Or they may crack after sitting for a while. They still look amazing!

If you try making Frozen Balloons Ice Gems, let me know how it went!

5 Homeschool Winter Nature Study Tips - Forgetful Momma

Thursday 17th of March 2022

[…] Fill balloons with water and food coloring and freeze. They make beautiful outdoor decorations. […]

Happy Valentine's Day - Alli Ways

Monday 16th of August 2021

[…] today? What are you doing to stay warm? Anybody doing anything fun with the ice or snow. We saw a water balloon freezing thing that looks like it could be fun. This is all new to us […]