Arctic Bubbles

bubble Precious jewel, you glow, you shine,

reflecting all the good things in the world.

– Maya Angelou

Last winter I experimented with freezing bubbles in a photo quest.  It didn’t really work out (ok, it was an epic fail).  When I heard our temperature would plummet to minus 16 this week, I re-arranged my plans to channel my creative energy into cracking the code on this mystery.

“Life is mostly froth and bubble, Two things stand like stone -- kindness in another's trouble, courage in your own.”  ― Adam L. Gordon

I captured a few tiny frozen miracles.

Take a peak… then I will share my tips in case you are fascinated with bubble science!


Here comes the sun.



frozen bubble3 frozen bubble1 IMG_1557 IMG_1492


An Ordinary Bubble Solution

3 cups filtered water
1 1/4 cups Dawn dishwashing soap
1/8 cup glycerin (I found mine at Michaels)
  1. Pour the water into a bucket or bowl.
  2. Add dishwashing soap to the water.
  3. Pour the glycerin into the solution and mix some more.  Mix gently and try to avoid creating bubbles as you stir.
  4. Then add a little more glycerin, especially if you drove all the way to Michaels to buy it.  I seriously added more… like another 1/8 cup, but I can’t be sure.  It seems like the secret ingredient.

Without a handy bubble wand, I improvised.


5 Tips for Freezing Bubbles 

1.) Apparently you don’t need sub zero temps; just temps dipping below 32 degrees F.   My test occurred in the -10 to -14 range.

2.) Obviously wind affects your experiment.  A protected area is ideal.

3.) Bubbles blown from the balcony have no better chance of survival compared to the bubbles created a few feet from the ground.  I thought that perhaps more “float” time would yield a stronger freeze.

4.) After blowing a bubble, capture the floating beauty with the wand.  It will freeze while it perches (of course assuming its freezing)

5.) If you really want your photographs to capture the light, try snapping your photograph at the level where the bubble rests.  Consider wearing your ski gear :)

I have a lot to learn on perfecting the bubble mix and process!  My quest for the perfect frozen bubble continues!

Washington-based photographer Angela Kelly is my idol. With temps in the 9 to 12-degree range she has captured spectacular frozen bubbles.  Take a peak.

In case you live in a beautiful warm locale and want to try an alternate bubble project, let me recommend my giant bubble method.  Details here!  

IMG_1238Missy is less enthusiastic about this cold snap.

I would love to hear your tips and success stories!


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13 thoughts on “Arctic Bubbles

  1. Naomi January 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm Reply

    Your results are amazing! I tried it here (Houston) last week and it so didn’t work. It was 28 degrees… maybe not quite cold enough?

  2. ordinary-creative January 13, 2014 at 5:00 pm Reply

    Naomi – Thanks for sharing the bubble love! Carpe Diem the moment when your Houston temps dip lower… maybe 20 degrees or lower will yield success! A rare situation I assume in Texas. Thanks for stopping by…

  3. Susan Michael Barrett January 17, 2014 at 6:55 am Reply

    Debbie – Oh my sweetness. Those clear bubbles are beautiful. I love Maya Angelou’s quote, your photos, and the idea of seeing myself or life with such delicacy. Wonderful post.

  4. Ann Bailey Saylor January 17, 2014 at 10:32 am Reply

    I’ve heard of doing this, but we haven’t tried it yet. I love your pictures! I’m going to repost this at and

  5. Marcie January 17, 2014 at 4:57 pm Reply

    These are so cool!! I’m definitely going to have to play with this one. Thank-you!!!

  6. Deborah Weber January 17, 2014 at 5:40 pm Reply

    How delightful! And I love your photos. I can’t wait to try this myself. I actually have a morning practice where I sit on my front porch with my first cup of morning coffee and blow blow bubbles every day. But I haul in the bubble solution, along with the chairs, when the weather turns cold in late autumn. Given our exceptionally cold winter, I can see I’ve missed quite a few opportunities for some frozen treats.;-)

  7. Tiffany January 18, 2014 at 8:36 am Reply

    Well this certainly is a fun experiment. I’ve never heard of this before. How unique and pretty!

  8. Ruth Packard January 18, 2014 at 6:33 pm Reply

    Amazing. Love it! We’re just a couple hours south of Angela but I couldn’t get the bubbles to freeze. Thank you for correcting some of my mistakes. Bring on the cold again. I am sooooo ready!

  9. Kelli Spencer January 18, 2014 at 9:14 pm Reply

    I love the pictures. Bubble victory or not, the scenery was fantastic.

  10. Jean January 19, 2014 at 5:11 am Reply

    Wow, Debbie! I really love the photos… cool beans! errr… bubbles! Thanks for sharing your talent and your persistence! Much love, blessings and peace to you!

  11. Sue Grilli January 19, 2014 at 8:28 am Reply

    Oh my! This is fantastic. I would never had thought of freezing bubbles but the photos are amazing. Thanks for sharing your technique!

  12. Harmony Harrison January 20, 2014 at 1:35 pm Reply

    Wow! All my years of bubbling experience, and I never once thought to freeze them! Great photos, and a tremendously wonderful idea. Hey… can you blow bubbles into a big, empty freezer, quickly shut the door, and then open it back up to find frozen bubbles? (I’d try, but my freezer keeps insisting on being full!)

  13. […] subzero days I found a little hobby a few years ago.  You might recall other posts on the topic of frozen bubbles and my pursuit to find the most effective recipe for creating the magical spheres.  (To go back in […]

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