Welcome to another edition of Make Your Own Window Gel Clings! Today we are featuring Christmas and winter themed gel clings…ya know, snowmen, bells, candy canes, and stars. I can honestly say that these are my favorite window jellies we have made so far. The key? Glitter. Lots of it.
It is becoming a bit of a tradition in our household to make new gel clings for each season/holiday. We started with our spring/summer clings, which were replaced by our Halloween bats and pumpkins. Embarrassingly, those stayed up until November 29 when I finally deemed it appropriate to put up Christmas decorations. The Christmas edition may stay put until Spring. We’ll see…
Making your own window gel clings is super-easy. They are even edible if you leave the glitter out. (But really, a small case of glitter-tummy never hurt anyone, right?)
Grab your favorite Christmas/winter cookie cutters and let’s get started!
Total Time: About 10 minutes to prepare, 20 minutes to color, 10 minutes to cut out with some waiting time between each step
Safety Concerns: You will need to boil water for this. Just watch your kids around hot water and the resulting hot gelatin. Let it cool a bit before your kids get close.
Materials You Need:
Four cups of boiling water
Six packets of unflavored gelatin (or about 43 grams)
Food coloring and glitter of your choice
Toothpick for stirring
One large cookie sheet with a rim
- Add gelatin to hot water. Stir to make sure it all dissolves and spoon out any bubbles.
- Pour your mixture into the baking sheet. You want it to be about a quarter of an inch thick (½ – ¾ cm). It doesn’t have to be exact, but you want it to be level.
- Once gelatin is cooled a bit (10-15 minutes), have fun dropping food coloring into the gel and swirling it around with a toothpick. Sprinkle it with glitter if you desire. You only have about 30 minutes before the gelatin starts to harden so don’t dawdle!
- Let the gelatin harden for at least a couple of hours. Leaving it out uncovered overnight yields the best results.
- Once it has set use cookie cutters to cut out shapes or cut out your own shapes using a butter knife.
- Use a spatula to lift your gel shapes out of the pan. Don’t worry if they tear because you can simply mold them back together on the window. Stick them to your windows and enjoy!
*Please Note: I have had some readers say their gel clings were too wet or heavy and didn’t stick to the window. If this happens to you, simply leave your pan of gelatin out uncovered overnight and try again in the morning. If they are still too heavy, leave them again until the next day. Each day, water evaporates out of the gelatin, making it stickier and lighter, thus more likely to stick to your window! Also, they stick better to cold windows than to hot ones, so you may have more success putting them up in the morning when the windows are the coldest.
Print These Instructions
I love how these window jellies catch the rare rays of sunshine during the winter. They light up our front room!
In addition to being a fun art/sensory/family bonding activity, there is great science to be learned as well! You will notice as the gelatin cools down it gets thicker, or more viscous. When the gelatin is hot the food coloring moves easily through it, but as the gelatin cools down and hardens, the food coloring doesn’t mix in as well. My kids had so much fun coloring this batch that they had to rush at the end to get in all the colors and glitter before it firmed up completely!
Also watch as the days go by how the gel clings dry out. They start out squishy and plump, but within a few days they will be paper-thin plastic-y shapes on the window as the water evaporates out of them. My kids touch them every day to see how they are changing.
*This project was inspired by The Kitchen Pantry Scientist. Check out her post for more details about the science of density, diffusion, and evaporation!
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