Miss R (almost 6) is very taken by all kinds of crystals, rocks and gemstones. She finds them so fascinating that she often borrows books about rocks and minerals from the library at school and has me read them to her cover to cover at story time. Once, a long time ago, I spotted making crystals from borax on Pinterest and told Miss R that I would do that with her one day. She did not forget, and has regularly been reminding me of my promise for a couple of months now, so I thought that it was about time we got our act together and made the crystals. It was actually really easy, plus the crystals are fast growing so we did not have to wait a long time to see the results of our project. Not surprisingly, this was a HUGE hit with Miss R, and she is pretty excited at the prospect of taking some of the crystal ornaments in to school for news later in the week.
Important: Borax is definitely not safe to use around kids who are likely to try tasting or putting it in their mouth. It can usually be found in the cleaning aisle at the Supermarket or at Bunnings if you live in Australia.
You will need:
• Borax (we used a whole tub and made lots of ornaments in different colours, but you need not do as many)
• Pipe Cleaners
• Craft sticks
• Jars or glasses
• Food colouring (optional)
• Boiling water
Bend pipe cleaners into different shapes, then tie them with string to the craft sticks. We learned by experience that it’s important not to make the shapes too large if you are using mason jars because the rim is narrower than the jar itself, and you need to be able to get the crystals out once they have grown. A couple of our jars needed to be smashed to get the crystal out without breaking it.
Fill each jar with boiling water from the kettle and stir in 1/3 cup of Borax until it has all dissolved. Add a few drops of food colouring if desired. Tie the pipe cleaner shapes on to the craft sticks with string and hang over the jar so the pipe cleaner shape is completely immersed in the solution. We managed to fit two pipe cleaner shapes on to each craft stick.
Leave on the shelf for several hours or overnight, until the solution has completely cooled down and crystals have formed on the pipe cleaner. We made our jars in the morning at around 11:00am and by 3:00pm the crystals had formed, to the girls great excitement.
So pretty! For more crystal-growing ideas visit my board Crystals, Rocks and Jewels on Pinterst.
Happy Handmade is a colourful collection of craft ideas for kids by some of the best ‘mom’ craft bloggers on the net. Check it out here.