How to make DIY Crystal Names
How to make DIY Crystal Names
Kids never tire of seeing things that sparkle and shine. This DIY project will show you how to make crystal names with a technique that is commonly used to make crystal snowflakes. The main player in this project is a common household product, Borax. The results will surely be magnificent and everyone who sees them will want their names in crystal too!
- Pencils or wooden skewers
- Pipe cleaners
- Fishing line (twine or yarn will work too)
- Glasses or plastic container (one for each color)
- A container large enough to hold your name (if you are doing your name as a single piece written in cursive)
- Food Coloring (This is optional, if you want colored letters you can dye the borax solution or you can use colored pipe cleaners)
- measuring cup
- Heat Safe Mixing Bowl
Shape your name
Take the white pipe cleaners and use them to form the letters of your name. Tie the letters with the twine to the pencils or wooden skewers and suspend them in the plastic container, make sure that they fit in the container without touching any sides. You can either form the letters one by one or connect a few pipe cleaners to form your name in cursive, this will make the activity even easier.
Use the fishing line to suspend each letter a few inches from the pencils or wooden skewers.
Mixing the Solution
Heat a large pot of water (the heat will help dissolve the borax quickly) but make sure it is not too hot to burn or scald you. Set out 5 small plastic containers and measure out 3 tablespoons of borax per cup of hot water, use three such cups for filling one container ( i.e. use 9 tablespoons of borax per container).
With a long wooden spoon mix each container until the borax dissolves. Next, added 6-7 drops of food colour to every container and carefully lower each letter into the color of choice. (If you are already using coloured pipe cleaners you need not add the food colouring)
Wait for those Crystals
This may be the hardest part, but you need to keep your patience and wait! Put the containers on a shelf and let them sit overnight where they wouldn’t be disturbed. After a couple hours, you will notice some changes – crystals will start forming on the sides of the container and also settle onto the bottom of the container. (If you have added food colouring it will be difficult to see what is happening to the pipe cleaners through the dark coloured solution)
Pull out the wooden skewers with the crystal letters the next day, and Voila! The crystals that form around the brushes will sparkle in the light and you will absolutely love them!
You can tape these glistening letters to a sunny window for the best sparkling effect.
What is the science behind the crystal formation?
The borax and water solution creates a suspension, i.e. the molecules of the borax are too large to fully dissolve in the water. The mixture has solid particle if the borax that is big enough for sedimentation (settling down). The borax crystalizes on the surfaces it comes to contact with and keeps becoming thicker as the crystals keep building up. This creates a thick layer of crystals on the pipe cleaner giving it a surreal touch, especially when colours are added to the solution.