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I've always had a weakness for sparkling holiday ornaments. Glass decorations are beautiful, but they don't mix well with kids and pets. You can grow crystals over pipecleaner (chenille craft stick) shapes to make your own ornaments, and not have to worry about sharp shards from breakage. As an added bonus, you get to make holiday memories making the ornaments. For a quick-and-easy project, I recommend growing borax snowflakes. However, you could substitute an epsom salt solution or saturated table sugar solution for your crystals. Variations include adding food coloring for colored crystals or bending the pipecleaners into shapes other than snowflakes (stars are easy, or mold the pipecleaner around a small cookie cutter for a more complicated form). If you are feeling really creative, grow a colored ornament, then add a clear crystal coating over it, for added glitter and dimension. Happy Holidays!

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