Easy DIY Ice Sculptures for Christmas and Special Occasions

Ice sculpting is an internationally recognized art form, but also something you can do at home to decorate your table for a special occasion. Ice-carving requires large blocks of ice that are then shaped, but an easy alternative is simply freezing water in a mould. Ice sculptures have a crystalline sparkle that make them perfect as a Christmas table decoration, but have enormous decorative possibilities for any occasion.

Moulded ice sculptures

Perhaps the most famous ice sculpture is the graceful swan, used as a striking centrepiece for a festive table. Today a wide variety of moulds can be bought, to complement a particular occasion or to fit in with a themed event. Special reusable moulds are usually made of latex, with disposable moulds (for example of polystyrene) also available. With a bit of effort you can easily make your own latex moulds - but beware of the fumes!

Ideas for ice sculptures

Though representational sculptures, some with fine detailing, are probably the best known, abstract and decorative ice features are also something to be considered. Bowls, plates and other containers are easily made from ice. What could be more appropriate than an ice bucket or wine cooler made purely from ice?

If swans and gimmicks are not to your taste, ice is ideal for simple and elegant sculptures. For small features, chocolate moulds come in a huge variety of shapes, and for every occasion. Angels, holly, pine cones, miniature wrapped presents and stars are all possibilities for Christmas. Frozen on a stick they can be mounted upright in floral displays anchored in florist's sponge (and when they melt, they'll feed the flowers!).

A simple but very effective table decoration is a bowl of simple ice balls with appropriate items frozen in the middle. It could be flowers, silver and gold beads or whatever takes your fancy. Snowflake moulds are inexpensive, and make a pretty and delicate decoration. On the seasonal theme, ice balls can also be used to make a simple stylised snowman. All it takes is a small ball for the head, a larger one for the body, and add a nose, scarf and hat.

If you have an eye for form, effective ice sculptures can be made from artistic arrangements of basic shapes: spheres, cylinders, triangles and cubes. Suitable moulds for these can often be found in the home. For variety, the ice can be tinted by adding food dye to the water. Ice shapes can also be used to form an interesting base for Christmas displays or arrangements of candles.

Tips:

  • The way to keep the ice as clear as possible is to freeze it as slowly as possible.
  • Obviously the smaller the piece, the quicker it will melt, though a bowl full of small items will take longer to thaw. If you add flowers or other items to the arrangement, you'll end up with blossoms floating in the water rather than just a puddle!



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