Display Envy

I’m going to share my super inexpensive, super pretty, eye catching display with you all. If you’ve seen Mystic Eye Creations, Inc. at a fair, you know the one I’m talking about. It’s a bowl with beads inside that changes colors and reflects light. It probably got your attention from half way down the aisle, and I know some of you wanted to know what it was. Frankly, it’s just too easy not to share.

This is fantastic as a craft show display, but there are so many fun uses for it. Considering I’ve dubbed it my water fairy light bowl there have to be a million uses for kids with this, easily. It would be fantastic for weddings too! The possibilities are endless.

Here’s what you need:
A water-tight container of some kind (I used a fish bowl)
Water beads (I had FloraCraft brand)
Amount of water directed on bead package
Submersible LED lights (Again, FloraCraft used here)

First time tips: You’ll want to make this at least 4 hours before you plan to display it. I found our beads were fully expanded within 8 hours, but I gave myself overnight just to be safe. Also, if you plan on useing a small container you might want to expand the beads in something larger then transfer the beads after they expand. They grow a lot, and you probably don’t want them to overflow and spill out everywhere. It’s like trying to pick up round jello…I may have dropped some.

You’ll notice I used FloraCraft for my supplies. It doesn’t really matter what brand you use, I mentioned it because it was the least expensive version of these I found. The beads come in all kinds of colors, and though I found clear worked best with the color-changing LEDs, by all means play around with it. You’ll find all of these supplies, except water, in the floral department of the craft store. Even Walmart has them, so just look for a store with a floral department and you should be good.

I happened to have a fish bowl lying around, so I just dumped the whole pack of beads in and added my water. Yep, that simple. Just make sure you leave plenty of room for expansion. My single pack of beads nearly overflowed my 10″ bowl. Yikes. Now you wait, preferably over night.
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The other reason I mentioned FloraCraft is that the LEDs come in a 2 pack, which I bought two of because I had a huge bowl. I used both and clicked the on button until I reached the setting where it fades from color to color, trying to stagger the two so they had different colors lit up. Then put them in the container so they are surrounded by the beads. That’s it. Really. If you really feel like getting fancy, they also make submersible white strand lights that you could put against the inside of the glass.

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As a side note, my LEDs said they would last for 24 hours of continuous use. I’ve used them for 4 craft fairs, all over 5 hours, with only one dying because water got inside. Then I decided to test it. At the end of my last fair (3/23/13) I left them going. We left it in the kitchen while we waited for them to quit. It’s like an odd rainbow nightlight. They lasted over a week!

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