This is something you HAVE to try! The end result is amazing and they sparkle beautifully in the sun. I have seen a number of blogs around Christmas time that use borax crystals as ornaments, but we are now March and I am just getting around to making them so we made Shamrocks. I am tempted to make shapes for every season!
You will need Borax, boiling water, a wide mouth glass mason jar, green and white pipe cleaners, string, a pencil and food coloring. Borax can be found in the laundry isle. It is natural, but that does not mean it is safe. Borax should not me inhaled or ingested, so be careful.
To make Borax Crystals, you will need:
First, twist your pipe cleaner into the desired shape. I set out a few templates of shamrocks (printed off the internet) for the kids to look at. You will need 3 cups of boiling water per mason jar, 1/2 cup of Borax for each jar. The more saturated your solution is, the larger your crystals will be. Stir until all the borax is dissolved and the solution is clear, add food coloring if you desire. Tie a string around the tail of the shamrock and tie the other end to a pencil. Gently lower the shamrock into the solution making sure that it is not touching any sides or the bottom. Set the jar in a safe spot that will not be disturbed. We let ours sit overnight and the kids were amazed to find the pipe cleaners were transformed into crystal-encrusted decorations. Gently cut off the string and display in your window.
These crystals are so simple to make. Kaleb loves to experiment so this was the perfect project for him. I loved that he added his twist on the experiment by coloring one pipe cleaner with markers to see what would happen. Next time I will encourage him to use sharpies instead of washable markers.
These shamrock crystals were so easy to make. I am not convinced that the food coloring changed the crystal color by much. The color that you see is the pipe cleaner showing through. I love them and the sparkle beautifully in the sun. These would be fun to make with the kids and give as gifts for grandparents, teachers, neighbors and anyone special. Just change the shape of the pipe cleaner to suit the occasion.
Here is a link to a fun list of great experiments that my kids love.