A few weeks ago I was at my sister-in-law's house and noticed this really awesome crystallized piece of art. It was actually her daughter's name that had been crystallized, but she said she had done it a couple years back using this recipe and done snowflakes also. I love it when I stumble upon something new and different, plus it's a great way to see science in action.
This project does require adult supervision as it uses boiling water and borax (which must not be ingested). A small child could help by stirring the mixture if they can be careful not to splash the hot water. My 5 and 7 year olds did a great job with this part. I did not let my 2 year old do any of the stirring.
To do this project you will need:
(sugar or salt can be used in its place, it just takes longer for the crystals to form)
I found my borax at Wal-mart next to the laundry detergent.
Fill a wide mouth jar with boiling water and add 1 tbsp. of borax at a time, stirring until it's dissolved. You may also opt to tint your water with a little food coloring.
Start by taking your pipe cleaner and cutting and bending it into the desired shape. Here Maisy used a little help in getting this snowflake shape. Be sure to leave a longer piece coming off the top so it will be able to wrap around a pencil.
It is suggested that you use 3 tbsp. of borax to 1 cup of water. I didn't measure my water and some of my jars seemed to be a little too diluted because the crystals took longer to form or just didn't form as many.
Gently lower the pipe cleaner shape into the water and place it somewhere where it can sit undisturbed for an entire day. Yes, patience is needed in order for the crystals to form.
Here's a couple of our finished ornaments. We made a few snowflakes, a wreath and a star. Here's a couple of our ornaments:
In the summer we made this using borax.
Have you experimented with borax crystals or made crystals in another way?