This is quite an old Something New. Last year, we had a brief period were we were making borax crystals and researching other homemade crystals. We furiously made crystals around xmas of 2015. That's around the time that I started this post. I had intended to make more crystals, take more pictures, and complete the post.
But clearly, that's not exactly what happened.
Around January of 2016, we stopped making crystals. But I still think this is a fun project and worthy of a Something New.
Borax crystals are easy and fun to make and require only two ingredients (three if you want colorful crystals), as well as time and patience and a few supplies..
What you'll need:
A sauce pan or pot
Clean empty Jar
A pencil or popsicle stick
A spoon for mixing
Food coloring (optional)
This is an easy experiment/project but does require boiled water and some space, so an adult and a clean kitchen area are suggested if performing with children.
Boil water and add to jar. Mix in borax some at a time until dissolved. Then add more borax, mix until dissolved, etc... until no more borax can be added. We got our borax at our local supermarket in the cleaning department. Borax is a mineral used in many detergents and usually comes in a cardboard box.
Once your water is totally saturated (at this point add in your food coloring if desired), place a sting suspended on a pencil into the jar. I tied a knot in the end of my string for weight and volume. You can also use a crumpled piece of foil, an egg shell, a small rock, or any other small object that you don't mind being covered in crystals. Leave your project in a safe place at least over night but even for a day or two.
Crystals will start to form in a few hours and will weigh down the string. If crystals start to form across the surface of the water, you can break them away. Where any crystals start to form more will attach to them, crystals will start to form on the sides of the jar. You can break them away, or you can leave them. After a day or two, you can remove your crystal, let it dry, and hang where you like.
These crystals are fragile and after a long time they will revert to powered form, especially if kept in a warm dry place. If you jar spills during this experiment, the water/borax mixture will revert to power on the counter/floor, etc.. So be careful! These crystals will melt in water, so it's best not to dip them back in boiling water or leave them anywhere they could get wet. Overall this is a temporary experiment, but a fun one! You can empty the jar, scrap off any crystals that formed on it, to reboil and start again. The crystals are very pretty and it's interesting to see how they farm, what shapes and size they take, and how they revert.
Let me know if you try this project!