Well, you can plant them! They were originally invented to add moisture to plant soil. The amazing thing is the plants suck the moisture out of the water beads when the soil starts to get dry. The water bead swells back up next time you water the plant, effectively storing moisture for the next time the soil starts to dry out. These are especially helpful for those that don't remember to water their houseplants very often!
Pretty decorations. I used clear ones in glass vases with Color changing submersible LED light balls for decorations at oldest daughters Graduation Party. I decorated dollar store vases with ribbons and decals in her theme (music) then let the bead filled vases sit there all day and when night came, just clicked the light balls on and dropped them in for a lit up display. So pretty!
Candle holders: Fill a short glass vase with water beads and add a long taper candle and they will hold the candle in place. Or use a large vase, add water beads and water then place a floating candle on top.
Flower holder: Fill a glass vase with water beads and some water then add fresh cut flowers. The beads will help stabilize the flowers so you can arrange them.
Glow light: For a fire-less approach, activate a glow stick and place inside a vase full of water beads to illuminate the area.
Make an air freshener: Add a few drops of essential oil to the water when you hydrate the water balls. Drain when full size and place in a shallow bowl for a cool looking air freshener.
Water beads come in many colors, I just happen to use clear for both pictures. The colors can be mixed together or even layered for a really cool look.
Sadly, now that you shelled out the cash....that is about all that water beads AKA Orbeez are good for. The upside is, at least they are good for something! Now, what are you gonna do with all that slime the kids just had to have?
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