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Grow your own crystals

Make these beautiful crystals at home using supplies from your pantry!

Grow your own crystals

Please note that this project uses Borax, a common household cleaner/chemical that can be harmful if ingested by little ones. Use constant supervision and do not allow children to eat or inhale Borax! This is based on a pretty common grade school science experiment that teaches about the properties of crystals. Here is more information about the chemical properties of Borax:

Step 1: Gather necessary materials:

You’ll need:

  • 1 large empty recycled glass jar with a wide mouth
  • Large pipe cleaners
  • Borax (20 Mule Team Borax Laundry Booster)
  • 1 Tablespoon measuring spoon
  • 1 spoon for stirring
  • Boiling hot water
  • Pencil or craft stick
  • String (or embroidery floss, twine, or dental floss!)
  • Food coloring (optional)

Step 2: Twist your pipe cleaner in shapes. We made a star shape.

Step 3. Cut a piece of string about 8-12 inches long. Tie one end to your pipe cleaner shape and the other end to your pencil or craft stick.

Step 4. Boil water and pour it into your jar. Add food coloring (optional).

Step 5. Using a tablespoon, measuring in the Borax. Pour in four tablespoons at first. Then, mix. If the Borax completely dissolves you’ll need to continue adding spoonfuls until the water is cloudy. Our large mason jar used 10 tablespoons. Wash your hands after mixing to keep things safe!

Step 6. After your solution is cloudy and you’ve reached saturation, it is time to suspend your pipe cleaner shape. Dip your shape into the jar until it is fully submerged. Balance the pencil/craft stick across the mouth of the jar so that your pipe cleaner is centered in the middle. Make sure that no part of the pipe cleaner is touching the sides of the glass jar. Crystals will also grow on the walls of your jar as well and could attached your pipe cleaner to the jar’s wall.

Grow your own crystals

Step 7. Wait! Your crystals will take up to 24 hours to fully grow, although you will see some growth after only a few hours.

Grow your own crystals


Step 8. Examine your crystals with a magnifying glass. What do you see?

Grow your own crystals

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