Many years ago when I was a cub scout leader, I had the boys try a popular science experiment of growing crystals using Borax. We just used a string dangling in a Borax/water mixture to form crystals. There was nothing elaborate about it - no dyes or chenille stems. And I really don't remember even boiling the water. The crystals formed and the boys were surprised by the results. I wasn't into crafts back then. Things have certainly changed. While skimming through Pinterest a few days ago, I came across a picture of a beautiful handmade turquoise crystal made with Borax. I couldn't believe how pretty it looked! So I had to see for myself and try it out. Just google Borax crystals and you'll find lots of info on how to make. Here's what I did.
Twenty Mule Team Borax
3qt heatproof glass container
Chenille stems/pipe cleaners
Begin by forming a base of chenille stems for the crystals to form on. I wanted a bowl shape so I first made a circle of fuzzy (what I had) chenille stems and then wrapped the circle with more stems, leaving very little space in-between. Finally, I shaped the sides upward and around like a bowl. Then I tied thin twine on one end and connected the other end to the middle of a dowel rod.
Next, pour 2 quarts of water into container and bring to a boil.
Then add food coloring. I used the chart on the box for mixing purple. I wanted the deepest color I could get so I used most of the red and mixed it with blue. I dipped folded paper towels in the mixture to see the shades of purple.
Satisfied with the color, add two cups of Borax and stir to dissolve. Continue adding Borax until it stops dissolving and no more can be saturated. You will see undissolved bits floating.
Dip the chenille stem form into the solution to saturate . . .
Turn off the heat and cover with a piece of cardboard to prevent heat from escaping. Allow to cool naturally and undisturbed overnight.
Pull the crystal form out the next morning, draining off excess liquid back into the container.
All I can say is, WOW!
Allow to dry completely on a paper towel.
Cut off attached twine.To prevent moisture and heat deteriorating the crystals, apply a clear gloss sealant, and it should last for years.
I'm really impressed and amazed how beautiful the crystals are! Can't wait to make more!
Thanks for stopping by
and take a little time to enjoy -