Do you want to create some magic of your own?
Since unicorns seem to have a connection with rainbows, iridescent creatures, and stars, we’ve included instructions for some of our favorite projects below—the perfect mix of art, science, and magic. Why not surround yourself with some of these things? Who knows, it might even encourage a unicorn or two to pay you a visit.
Scroll down to find:
Indigo’s iridescence projects
Isaac’s rainbowmaking tutorials
Indigo's iridescence projects
Iridescence can be found in many places in the natural world. Here are a few examples. Keep an eye out for others as you’re exploring outdoors. And when you find yourself indoors, you can always make some iridescence of your own. (See below.)
Creating iridescent paper:
A bowl, or even better, a baking pan with a flat bottom (i.e. 8x8 or 9x9 pan)
Clear coat nail polish
Like most art (and magic), this requires a bit of experimentation. So, be prepared to explore and discover. First, cut your paper into sheets that fit easily inside your bowl (we used 4" x 6" pieces). Fill the bowl/dish with a couple of inches of water. Put the black paper in the water, wet it on both sides. Then, with the paper floating in the water, let one drop of the nail polish fall onto the surface of the water. It will immediately begin to spread. Quickly (as soon as the polish spreads...no more than a few seconds), lift the black paper out and put it on a towel to dry. If your polish forms a thin coating on the water, just empty your bowl and start again. Hint: hold the paper flat as you lift it. If you take the paper out at an angle, the polish often slides off the paper and back into the water (not very magical). Wondering what to do with your iridescent paper? Read on.
Create your own iridescent feathers (1 of 2 projects):
Iridescent paper (see above)
Pencil, if you’d like to sketch your feather shape before cutting
Some of the most beautiful bird feathers are iridescent—creating feathers is a perfectly magical way to use the iridescent paper. See below for a few shape ideas. You can also find feather templates in various places online if you prefer to trace.
Create your own iridescent feathers (2 of 2 projects):
White craft feathers (available at craft stores or online)
Iridescent medium (Liquitex iridescent medium, for example)
Mix a bit of the medium into your acrylic paints to create the iridescent effects and then experiment—try painting dots, patterns, gradients, stripes—to find your own kind of painting magic. You can also imagine/draw the birds that these feathers might come from! Hint: a light touch works best—water down the acrylic paint so it’s not too heavy. Also, paint lightly along with the grain of the feather. You can use heavier paints when adding details like dots.
Possibility + Wonder = Magic
Isaac's rainbowmaking tutorials
Make your own rainbow (1 of 2 approaches):
Clear glass filled with water (fairly close to the top)
2 pieces of white paper, one cut as described below
Unless you’re sitting in the dark, there’s a rainbow nearby. This rainbowmaking plan works best with sunlight, although it can work with a flashlight, too (you may need to darken the room if you use a flashlight). Fill a cup with water nearly to the top. Put it in a place where sunlight can shine through it. Cut a vertical slit in the paper and tape to the glass so sunlight can travel through (see photo). Then, put a piece of white paper on the surface opposite the glass so the rainbow shows up better. Experiment with the size of your rainbow by moving the glass around.
So, this sure seems like magic. Where’s the science? Well, white light is a combination of all of the colors of the rainbow. When light passes through the water, the light separates into the colors of the spectrum. The same thing happens when light passes through a prism—it bends and separates so we can see all of its colors. Which leads to our next rainbow tuturial:
Make your own rainbow (2 of 2 approaches):
Source of light (flashlight, etc.)
Experiment with shining light through a prism—sunlight, flashlight, lamp, etc—to see how the light travels through the prism and out the other side. This will work with all sorts of light, not just sunlight. Yes, it’s science. But come on, it’s also magic.
If you really love rainbows, you might consider hanging a crystal from your window, as Elementa does. Then you can pay attention to the times and places rainbows appear.
Make some stars of your own:
Monoceros (greek for unicorn) already exists in the night sky. Why not create a few constellations of your own—unicorns, other creatures, or any combination of stars you’d like. Because more stars = more magic.
There are specific things that often appear near unicorns, that unicorns may leave behind, or that may even attract unicorns. And while some can be fleeting or difficult to collect (fog, for example), here are some to consider:
Abalone shells (or, any shells with iridescence)
Heart shaped stones (as well as any stones that catch your eye for one reason or another)
Seeds with stars (in fact,all seeds, especially those with interesting shapes, are possibilities)
Come to think of it, anything star-shaped works
So, keep your eyes open for these unicorn calling cards. (Have a look at the cards page to find more calling cards.) They are beautiful and magical in their own ways. And, if you are so inclined, you might use them to create an enchantment or two. Elementa recommends:
1. Create moon or sun shapes with seeds or stones.
2. Create your own outdoor or indoor museum to display your collections.
3. Add magic by putting your creations and collections in places where they can absorb moonbeams, the scent of flowers, or the light of the stars.
Keep in mind:
If you’re paying attention, you’ll find stars everywhere, not just in the sky.