Did you grow crystals from salt of sugar at summer camp? Taking a simple ingredient and watching it grow into magical crystals was beyond amazing. However, growing crystals from sugar or salt took days. Using borax, you make grow crystals in a few hours. On top of that, use your beautiful crystals to make one of a kind pendants.
- 1/3 cup borax (found in the laundry detergent aisle)
- pipe cleaners
- metal loop findings
- waxed twine
- quart glass jar
- hot water
- food coloring (optional)
There is confusion on whether borax is toxic or not. The borax used as a natural cleaning agent is made from sodium tetraborate or sodium borate. It is a salt of boric acid, but it is not chemically the same as boric acid (which is extremely toxic). According the US National Library of Medicine, there is no major danger in using borax, unless it is ingested in high quantities. The bottom line? It’s fine as long as it’s not ingested. As a precaution, keep this necklace out of the hands of small children.
Prep the Pipe Cleaner
Take the pipe cleaner and tie into any shape or size you like. This is what the crystals will grow on. Since the goal is to make pendants in this project, bend and fold the pipe cleaner in a rough pendant shape. Cut off the excess pipe cleaner. Take one of the metal loop findings and insert it into one end of the shaped pipe cleaner. Fold and pinch the metal finding in half and tuck the tail down into the pipe cleaner.
Make as many little pendants as needed. Next, thread a length of string through the loop in the metal findings attached to the pipe cleaner. Once all your pendants are threaded, set it aside.
Make the Crystal Solution
Bring a cup of water to a boil. Remove from heat and pour it into the glass quart jar. Add in food coloring, if using, and mix well. Add in the 1/3 cup of borax.
Mix until the borax is completely dissolved.
Grow the Crystals
Take the threaded pipe cleaner pendants and tie a knot at the end of the thread tails.
Tie the pendants onto a pencil. Make sure that they are long enough to be completely submerged in the borax solution, but not too long so they touch the bottom. Also, space them out enough so that they don’t touch each other or the sides of the jar. Submerge the pipe cleaner pendants into the borax solution and let it sit undisturbed for 6-8 hours or overnight.
The next day lift the pipe cleaners from the solution and ta-da—crystals! Let them thoroughly dry before you handle them.
Make the Pendants
Once dried, remove any loose crystals from the pendant and from the metal loop. Thread a length of waxed thread or thin leather string through the loop and tie a knot at the metal loop and at the end.
Remember, these are water-based crystals, so they cannot get wet. You can also spray them with polyurethane for some projection. Keep these crystals out of the reach of small children just in case they think it looks like rock candy.