Saturday, March 31, 2018

DIY Bubble Wands

Spring Equinox has passed which means that spring schedules are in full swing around here. There is just something about spring that gives me the final push of adrenaline to finish the school year. At school, I start thinking about next year, and make my list of all the things I hope to do differently to make the year run more efficiently. At home, it's all about getting ready for summer. The more I clean and organize in the spring, the less I will have to do during summer vacation. So even if I have to get up early and stay up late, I will get spring cleaning done (don't get me wrong, I do have a list of summer projects to complete, but I don't want to have to wait until I get the house spring cleaned to start them!). We are also working outside and cleaning up the yard, which seems to have gotten really beaten up by the winter this year. 

We always have bubbles around our house in the spring. They are so cheap and forever entertaining for kids and adults alike. And I recently learned that bubbles are a great mindful activity, meaning they're good for your mental health! 

I always like a good reason to celebrate, so to welcome in spring, I looked up some crafts on Pinterest and was inspired by others who have created some crafty bubble wands. Off to Michael's we went to pick up some beads for this project. We had some copper wire at home already, but if you need that, you can get it at Michaels as well, right beside the beads. A pair of needle nose pliers also is helpful. 

I got an assortment pack of beads - lots of different colors and shapes. We cut the wire down to 12 inches, although in retrospect, we probably could have done it a little bit shorter (9 or 10 inches). 

I started by sorting out some possible color combinations of beads. 

And then let the assembly begin. Start by making a loop at the top, about an inch in diameter. After the first one, I found a small bottle to use to wrap the wire around. Twist the excess around the handle, and use the pliers to make sure the end is pressed down (sharp pointy edges of wire are not ideal for bubble blowing). 

Once the beads were all on, I made a little curly cue at the end to keep the beads on. And for that part, that's it! The wands are ready for blowing! 

To go along with the bubble wands, I hoped to offer a tutorial on homemade bubbles as well. I once again went to my source (Pinterest) and found loads of bubble recipes, all claiming to have big, bouncy, good quality bubbles. I found one that I liked, and collected the materials... Dawn dishwashing liquid (because ALL the recipes said this was the best), corn syrup, and glycerin (found at Michaels in the cake decorating section). I collected some cute jars to put the bubbles in and voila, I was ready to start.

So where is the recipe you ask? Well, I can't exactly post it, because none of the recipes I tried actually worked (without a little tweaking). Eli and I actually made not 1, not 2, but 3 different batches of bubbles, and each of them turned out differently. So I can't give you a recipe, but I can give you some useful tips. I learned that glycerin and corn syrup serve the same purpose (at least I think), so it's okay to use more of one instead of the other. I also learned that if it's Dawn Ultra (like what I used), you need a lot more glycerin and/or corn syrup (I didn't figure that out myself. After several fails, I finally found a recipe that explained this). Finally, it's worth letting the bubbles sit overnight. In almost all cases, our bubbles worked far better the next day. We did get some bubbles that were super, super strong. We could even bounce them around a little bit. But I kept adding so much of everything, that I probably couldn't duplicate that batch even if I tried.

If nothing else, we ended up with a pretty final product. If you want to duplicate the craft, but without the hassle of figuring out a bubble recipe, just pour some store bought bubbles in a jar and tie a homemade bubble wand to it (Shhhhhhh!!!)

I gave them out for Spring Equinox gifts to some friends.

And that's my latest round of craftiness! Until next time!