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Welcome!

 ...and thanks for stopping by. I'm Claire Douglas,  DIY and home interiors writer specialising in money-saving and creative home interior projects. I've spent years developing my 'bespoke on a budget' approach to DIY and home interiors and I love sharing all my tips and tricks in tutorials and posts here on my blog, in articles I write for some of the leading titles, in the press, on Instagram, Tiktok and my online course

How to make floral ice cubes or balls: three creative ways


floral ice balls with rose heads in ice bucket

You might have seen Floral Ice Cubes or Balls on Pinterest or social media, or perhaps you've been at an event where the host has made them. Either way, you'll know what a great way DIY flower ice cubes are to mark a special occasion (especially with Valentine's Day coming up soon!) and create the wow factor! Beautiful ice cubes are sure to add a touch of elegance and creativity to your next event and break the ice (no pun intended!) with your guests too, but did you know how easy they are to make? 



How to make show-stopping floral ice cubes or balls


Floral ice cubes or balls can be used purely as decoration, as decorative ice in an ice bowl or bucket or even as ice cubes placed in guests' drinks - the latter requires some additional considerations regarding the flowers you choose, so read the details of that below. 


In this blog post, I'm going to show you the step-by-step process of how I created stunning floral ice balls recently and will share my top tips, tricks and things to avoid. Whether you're hosting a wedding or party or simply want to add a unique twist to your Valentine's decor - I can help. 


Floral ice cubes or balls?

When it comes to flower-infused ice you have various options about the shape and size to go for, each with its own method for prepping and pros and cons. In this post, I'm going to talk about ice ball makers, ice cube trays and balloons, as these are the three easiest, in my opinion. 


Decorative ice cubes are nothing new; you'll no doubt have seen them before with fruit in - Pimms is 100% better when made with cucumber, mint and strawberry ice cubes! But flower ice cubes or spheres add another level to the aesthetic and make the prettiest ice cubes. 

To choose between ice cubes and ice balls (aka ice spheres) think about how you plan to use them. Ice cubes, for example, are better for freezing small blooms of edible flowers that you intend to put in partygoers' drinks, whereas floral ice balls are often quite large and are better suited to high-impact ice buckets or bowls where they create the best results.

  

How to choose the flowers for floral ice cubes or balls

Floral ice balls or cubes

In the spring and summer, it's much easier to source flowers from your garden or from foraging but I made the floral ice cubes and balls in the winter, so I bought some fresh flowers on the high street. To make the budget stretch as far as possible, I used leaves to fill some of the ice balls rather than flower heads which actually added to the overall look as the dark green rose leaves looked amazing frozen in ice!  If you are making ice cubes to go in people's drinks, then the flower petals or whole flowers will need to be edible to ensure no risk to the drinkers. So that covers which type of flowers to freeze in your flower ice cubes or floral ice balls but don't forget to consider the sizes too. 


Ice cube trays come in a huge variety of sizes and styles these days, but if you are keeping costs down by using items that you already have, then the likelihood is that your ice cube trays have pretty small compartments. Therefore, you'll want to pick small flower heads if you want them completely enclosed in ice or choose to create half-frozen flower cubes or balls where the flower sits in a frozen base of ice as seen in the image above.

 

You can add herbs such as rosemary or mint to ice cubes to increase the variety of shape and colour (& keep the costs down too). 


How to prepare edible flowers for flower ice cubes


If your floral ice cubes or balls are going into people's drinks, ensure that you wash the edible flowers before freezing them. It's important to ensure you remove anything that you wouldn't want to find floating around in your glass (!), as well as washing off any fertiliser or similar that might be on the petals or leaves. 


Below are six types of edible flowers to get you inspired. 

  • Hibiscus

  • Nasturtium

  • Elderflower

  • Chamomile

  • Lavender

  • Roses

How to make floral Ice cubes or balls


1. With ice ball makers from Amazon


​I bought these ice ball makers specifically for this project to create show-stopping floral spheres for a Valentine's decor-inspired shoot. 

Here's the method I used...


You will need


Ice ball makers - I bought these ones 

Water

Flowers

Scissors

Freezer

Container to store ice balls in the freezer


1. Prepare the flowers

Floral ice ball makers

With this method, you are limited by the number of ice ball makers that you have. As I only bought two, each with four compartments, I could only make eight large floral ice balls at a time, so I made sure not to cut the heads off more than eight stems at a time, or the blooms would wilt before it's their turn in the freezer.


Therefore, I cut the heads off the stems I wanted to freeze (by far the worst part of the process, as there's something very wrong about cutting up beautiful flowers!). 


Top Tip: Enjoy the flowers in your home for 2-5 days before you make the ice balls, that way you won't feel so bad about cutting the heads off! Also, once frozen, they stay frozen in time (ok, pun intended this time!) so it doesn't matter if they aren't of day 1 freshness. 


2. Fill the ice ball makers

Floral ice cube maker

I lined up the ice ball makers and placed a flower head or leaves in each compartment of the bottom of the ice ball maker, before pouring water over them. 

I sealed the ice ball makers shut and topped up the water levels inside by pouring it into the spout at the top. I had to squeeze the ice ball makers tight to ensure no water dripped out, or you can use elastic bands to make life easier. 





3. Remove air


Tap the compartments to release any trapped air so you don't get large gaps / bubbles in the ice.


4. Freeze ice ball makers

Flower ice balls

Replace the stopper over the end of the ice ball maker and place in the freezer. 

Allow to freeze (this step took longer than expected and I ended up leaving each set in for about 24 hours to ensure they were completely solid and perfect.







5. Remove the frozen floral ice spheres

Rose ice sphere
Rose ice ball

Remove from the freezer and prize open the sides by gently sliding a dinner knife under the edges. Turn over and tap the ice ball maker on a hard surface to loosen the ice balls. 

Tip the frozen balls out into a container and place back in the freezer.


Repeat all the above steps until you have enough floral ice balls for your event. 


Balloon method

Making flower ice balls with balloons

The balloon method is easier and quicker, but you'l find the resulting ice balls aren't as perfect as from the ball maker moulds. You can make the balloon ice balls much larger and, therefore, accommodate larger flowers and take longer to melt.





  • Prepare the flowers in the same way as above

  • Hold balloons open enough to place the flower heads inside

  • Fill with water

  • Tie the balloon up 

  • Place in the freezer

  • Allow to freeze

  • Cut the balloon end and pull the ice ball out

  • Place into a storage container in the freezer until needed


​Ice cube tray method

Floral ice cubes
Floral ice cubes
  • Prepare flowers

  • Place into ice cube compartments

  • Pour water in

  • Tap to release air bubbles

  • Top up with additional water if needed

  • Place in freezer

  • Allow to freeze

  • Tip upside down and tap the bottom of the ice cube tray to release floral cubes. Alternatively, if you are using a silicone ice cube tray, peel back the tray to reveal the cubes and pop them into a container to be kept in the freezer until needed. 


What type of water did you use?

I trialled various different water sources to test if there was an impact on the clarity of the ice because i was worried about cloudy ice cubes. I used tap water straight from the tap, cooled boiled water, and dehumidifier water (the equivalent of distilled water) in an attempt to get clearer ice. I honestly couldn't notice any difference between each of the water sources regarding how clear the ice balls were, so regular tap water seems to work fine if you don't want the faff of finding distilled or filtered water.


Floral ice cubes money-saving tips

  • Edible flower ice cubes will be more expensive unless you grow the flowers yourself, so only use these for cubes going in drinks

  • Use leaves and foliage for some of the ice cubes to pad out the display and add some beautiful greens. 

  • Place the leafy/foliage filled balls on the bottom and display the expensive blooms on the top for maximum impact (unless using a glass bowl which you can see through. 


Storing floral ice cubes or balls


I used a plastic container with a lid that the kids got sweets in for Christmas to store the floral ice balls while I was making enough and this worked brilliantly. If using balloons, you could wait to remove the whole batch in one go, but allow enough time that you aren't using just before your event as it always takes longer than you think it will!


How long will the floral ice balls last?


At room temperature, you'll get a few hours until they are all completely melted, but if you display them out in the summer heat or a warmer room, then they will melt quicker. You can store them in the freezer for a few weeks before needed, so it pays to be organised and save yourself time on the big day. 


Where can I use floral ice balls or cubes?

Floral ice balls

Here are some examples of various ways you could use these pretty cubes;

  • At a bridal shower

  • For Valentines (or Galentines) Day dinner or party

  • At a garden party in an ice bucket for wine or champagne or even in summer cocktails

  • For Mother's Day afternoon tea

  • At a baby shower (perhaps for iced tea if alcohol is off the menu)



Where next?


Here are some related blog posts that you might find useful...



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