Last weekend’s ice bowl was a big hit. It was very easy to create. I’d suggest giving the entire project at least 48-72 hours so it is completely frozen for your party, but it took a total of 30 minutes hands-on.
Even though the petals are for decoration, it’s best to use ones safe to eat in case a piece breaks off and placed in a beverage. If you’re unsure about which flowers are edible, ask your local florist.Ice Bowl Materials:
- Two large smooth bowls or containers with at least a 0.5″-1″ space between the two when nested (the thicker the ice “wall,” the better)
- 3 cups brightly colored flower petals, rinsed (I used 3 cups of rose petals; amount may vary depending on the size of the ice bowl and flowers used)
- Painters Tape
- Liquid measuring cup and heavy mugs (optional)
1) Before starting, test your freezer space by securely shutting the freezer door with the larger bowl inside. Make sure to also check if the smaller bowl will be large enough to hold one or two bottle(s) you wish to display or serve.
2) Layer petals and add water to create a 1″ base (minimum) in the larger bowl. The petals will float to the surface so you’ll need to press them underwater to make sure they get wet, which helps freeze them into place. Freeze until solid. If you wish to have herb or flower stems upright, rest or tape chopsticks above the water line and gently tie stems with string or dental floss so they can freeze in the base.
3) Center the second bowl on the ice base and use painters tape to keep it centered. Fill the space between the bowls with petals and pack them in if you want a lot of color coming through the ice. If needed, use the liquid measuring cup to gently add water, especially if attempting an ombre pattern with the petals (you can also freeze each color layer if you want a true ombre effect). If the center bowl floats, place a few empty mugs in it to help weigh it down. Leave at least an inch of space between the water line and the top of the bowl to allow for expansion. Return to the freezer until the top is frozen, about 2 hours. Add a little more water to cover any petals that might have floated above the water line, unless you want some exposed. Return it to the freezer and, if possible, freeze overnight.
4) After the ice bowl is completely frozen, run warm water over the outer bowl to help release it from the ice. Repeat to release the center bowl. It’s ok if the water splashes on the ice since it will help loosen the bowls. If you wish to smooth out an area or the rim, dampen a clean dishcloth with warm water and rub it along the area. Wipe excess water off the ice bowl with a paper towel, place it on a plate (so it won’t stick to the shelf) and return to the freezer until needed.
5) About 15 minutes before guests arrive, quickly run cool water over the ice bowl so it will shine and loosen the plate if it’s stuck. Fold a face towel in a deep pie dish or shallow pan depending on the size of the base, place the ice bowl on it, and wrap the bottom of the pie dish or pan with a dish towel to help hide it. This will help contain water as the ice melts. You may want to check it occasionally to prevent a mini-flood at your soirée. If you are not concerned about the melting, be creative in how you want it displayed. Put a little water and a few ice cubes in it to help chill the bottle(s).
- Your hands may get cold while taking the bowls apart. Wearing clean dishwashing gloves may help a little while giving you the ability to grip the bowls and ice.
- Give yourself – and the bowls – time to “unstick.” It may take a little elbow grease and determination.
- If you have general concerns about watermarks or water-rings on a favorite piece of furniture, don’t place the ice bowl on it since the water or cold temperature could damage the piece.
- The petals may color transfer to the towels as the ice bowl melts. Depending on the type of flower used, use stain-remover before washing the towels. The flower coloring should come out.
- Since I had to transport my ice bowl, I laid a clean dish towel in the larger bowl and placed the ice bowl in it after “unsticking” it. This allowed me to remove the ice bowl easily on-site. On the morning of the party, I used an insulated grocery bag to transport it. The bags typically keep items cold for three hours, but if there’s freezer space at the party location, use it! You can also insulate it by wrapping it tightly in newspaper and a brown paper bag. When you’re ready to display the bowl, rinse it or dunk it in water, to give it a shine.
- Use flower blooms instead of petals or small river rocks in the base.
- Use a bundt cake pan. Fill the pan with petals and water, leaving room for water expansion. Just test the hole size if you plan on using it to chill a bottle.
- Place in a pool or pond with floating candles in the center.
- Create large ice balls by freezing water in balloons filled with petals (remove the balloon casing once frozen) for a large galvanized tub or other beverage container. Place in the tub with a few large bags of party ice and water.
- Use large cocktail shakers within the larger bowl.
- Let your imagination run wild! Just make sure you can remove the ice from the form or container.
If you happen to make one – or many – take a picture of it and share! Be sure to include a note on the type of flora you used.