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DIY Borax Crystals: How to Grow HUGE Borax Crystals

This is the BEST tutorial for DIY Borax Crystals: How to Grow HUGE Borax Crystals (if I do say so myself).  You might have seen DIY borax crystal tutorials around, but here’s how to make really massive and dense borax crystals – they look like real glittering gems!  Making DIY crystals with borax is like a magic trick for kids and adults!

How to grown HUGE borax crystalsHow to make DIY borax crystalsDIY Borax Crystals

How Do You Grow Crystals with Borax?

Growing crystals with borax powder (a mineral that is sold as a laundry detergent booster) and pipe cleaners is a popular kid’s craft and fun science experiment.  All you need is a pot, some boiling water, some powdered borax, and something for the borax crystals to stick to and grow on – that’s how you grow crystals with borax!  After finding a tutorial online, late one night I found myself in line at a big box supermarket with only pipe cleaners, food coloring, and powdered borax in my shopping basket.  After a little trial and error, I made a few adjustments that helped produce some seriously huge, intensely glittering borax crystals.  I’ll show you exactly, step by step, how I made GIANT DIY borax crystals, including my trial and error process so you can learn how to consistently grow perfect borax crystals – and why the other tutorials might not work.  If you’ve made borax crystals before and they turned out small, sparse or wimpy, read on for my borax crystal trouble shooting tips and borax crystal growing SECRET!

Safety Warning:

I learned after photographing this tutorial that a Bunsen burner is safest to use with a beaker, not a stove top.  To exercise caution, please do not use a beaker (like the one I used) on your stove top.  Use a pot intended for stove top use instead.  A metal pot works fine (I’ve since made borax crystals with a big canning pot)!  But with a glass pot, even one with just a glass lid, you can see the crystals forming, which is very fun for kids to see.  As a final safety precaution: please wear eye protection and gloves as well.

Supplies for DIY Borax Crystals:

  • Powdered Borax
  • White pipe cleaners (or the colour of the crystal you want to make – the fuzzier the better)
  • Pot with lid (suitable for stove top use)
  • Scissors
  • Thread
  • Neon food color pack (that’s what I used – any dye/food coloring works)
  • Pencil or food skewer

Supplies for making Borax crystals

Why Didn’t My Borax Crystals Work?

For my first attempt, I followed a borax crystals tutorial I found online and used the borax crystal recipe provided: 9 tablespoons of borax dissolved in 3 cups of water.  As per the instructions, I put the borax into a heat safe container (a large measuring cup).  I boiled water in a pot, to which I added the food colouring.  Then I poured the boiling water over the powder until it dissolved.  I let the pipe cleaner form soak in this solution for five hours – during which time the measuring cup was wrapped in a dish towel.  I followed the steps to the letter, but ended up with somewhat spotty crystal development:

What to do if your borax crystals don't turn out

At this point, I enlisted the help of my father, who had a degree in chemistry.  Embarrassed that I had failed at a kid’s craft, I made sure to remind him many times that I have a Phd (lol).  After some trial and error, we came up with the ULTIMATE DIY borax crystal tutorial. Let me show you how to make homemade crystals with borax that are dense and super glittery and always turn out perfectly!

How Do You Make Borax Crystals?

  1. Make a loose coil shape with 2-3 pipe cleaners
  2. Tie a piece of string to the pipe cleaner – long enough that the pipe cleaner will be submerged in the middle of the pot, and not resting on the bottom or suspended out of the water.
  3. Fill a pot with approximately 2-2.5 liters of water.
  4. Bring the water to a boil.
  5. Once the water has boiled, turn off the element and wait for the water to stop boiling.
  6. Then add enough borax to make a SATURATED BORAX SOLUTION – just keep adding borax until no more will dissolve.
  7. After dissolving the borax, add food coloring or dye and stir.
  8. Keep the pot ON the hot element and dunk in the pip cleaner form.
  9. Plunk the pipe cleaner in and out a few times to shake off any air bubbles.
  10. Position it so it is suspended and fully submerged, using a pencil or skewer across the top of the pot.
  11. Cover the pot and let it cool on the element, undisturbed, for approximately 8-10 hours.

Making Borax crystalsGrow huge Borax crystals

How Long Does it Take to Grow Crystals with Borax?

It can take a long time to grow crystals with borax: about 8 hours or even longer.  It’s fun to set this up in the evening, leave in undisturbed overnight, and wake up to a gorgeous borax crystal.  You know the expression, a watched pot never boils?  I don’t think a watched crystal grows either, haha.  So don’t worry if, after 5 or 6 hours you don’t see any crystal development.  Leave the borax solution be and you’ll suddenly see a massive growth spurt and find huge glittering borax crystals like these:

How to make giant borax crystals

Can You Use a Microwave to Make Borax Crystals?

I tried a few more borax crystals using the Pyrex measuring cup and a kettle method I described above, and found that I could still achieve larger borax crystals with that method (as opposed to my stove top method), as long as I mixed in so much borax powder that no more would dissolve.  You can even re-heat the borax in the microwave, but borax dissolves better the hotter the water is.  I recommend my method, but if you have to use a microwave, at least make sure you’re following the other steps and making a supersaturated liquid for optimal crystal growth.

Grow crystals with borax

Recipe for Borax Crystals:

The bottom line: if you want to form crystals that are massive and dense, make sure to SUPERSATURATE your borax solution.  Throw those measuring spoons away – you don’t need a borax crystal recipe.  Just keep dissolving borax powder into the water until no more will dissolve.  And make sure to let your borax crystals grow inside the pot on the element you heated the water on.  Use that heat as the element cools so your solution cools slowly – and cover the pot for best results!

Borax crystal troubleshooting

Don’t be afraid to experiment!  Once I got the hang of it, I tried experimenting with the pipe cleaner shapes.  My favorite is this sort of shell-shaped form which made really cool looking DIY crystals:

Pipe cleaner crystals

Can You Made Borax Crystals without Pipe Cleaners?

Totally! You can make borax crystals without pipe cleaners.  The borax just needs something to grab on to – so the more textured a surface, the better.  I recently tried to grow crystals on a pine cone and it worked.  I’ve also seen people grow crystals on books and real life animal skulls – I grew crystals on a plastic skull.  I have tried light objects, like Styrofoam, and that’s the only problem: if an item floats or bobs around too much, the crystals won’t grow properly.  You need something that will either sink or stay suspended nicely, but you can definitely get creative with what you choose to grow borax crystals on.

What Can You Do With Borax Crystals?

You can use these borax crystals for all kinds of fun!  Display them, turn them into crystal ornaments (make a long, icicle shaped pipe cleaner form, repeat these steps, and make borax crystal icicles for the tree)!  You can make sparkling holiday decor for any season – the possibilities are endless!  See below for a cool Halloween DIY decor idea with homegrown crystals.

Making a Borax Crystals Skull:

I made a borax crystals skull by growing borax crystals on a plastic Halloween skull!

How to Remove Borax Crystals from a Pot:

The best part about making borax crystals is that you can redissolve the crystals that form inside the pot, add a little more powdered borax, repeat the steps above, and keep making these huge borax crystals!  And when you’re done, if you have borax crystals in your pot, just heat up the water again to dissolve the borax and remove it from the sides.

Borax crystals science experiment

Pale green borax crystals

Craft ides for kids

Do Borax Crystals Dissolve?

Borax crystals can re-dissolve, so if these get wet – or maybe endure some humid weather – they could de-crystalize.  My Dad suggested coating them with any kind of craft clear finish if they’re going to be handled a lot.  This works to your advantage also: if you don’t like your borax crystal project, pop it back into some hot water to redissolve the crystals into a solution and try forming crystals again.

Crafts all kids will likeBorax CrystalsHow to grown HUGE borax crystals

P.S. Don’t Forget to Pin for Later:

How to make giant borax crystals

How to Grow Giant Borax Crystals

I moderate blog comments so if you have any borax crystal making questions, I’m still here to help.  I’ll see your comment and try my best to reply!  But for faster results, please take a look at the comments below, first, because you might find your answer already there.  I’d love it if you would tag me on Instagram to show me your gorgeous borax crystals!

Looking for More Easy & Cool DIY Projects?



  1. Mac n' Janet
    January 12, 2015 / 1:49 pm

    I voted again and the crystals are amazing. I can remember doing this with a class I taught way back when, but we only made really small ones.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 12, 2015 / 5:31 pm

      Thanks for voting again! I'm so appreciative!! Was your class totally mesmerized? I was, and I can only imagine how amazing this project must seem in the eyes of little ones.

      • Richard D peterson
        January 14, 2019 / 10:47 am

        Question. I have observed a situation occasionally where the solution would almost instantly turn simi solid. What is the cause? I have been trying to reuse my solutions as borax is close to 6$ a box abd I go through a lot making crystals. But I hear that this is generally fine so not sure this is the cause. I don’t know if I got the water to hot. Pot I use tends to give a roiling boil even at high altitude. Most my other pots don’t boil water as well so I don’t use em. It has happened to me twice now. Had to toss the solution as it was ruined afterwards. My best guess is some condition force a super cooling effect but the exact causes are unknown.

        • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
          January 15, 2019 / 10:59 pm

          Sorry for the delay, by the way, your comment was automatically flagged as spam – just wanted to let you know if you’re finding a lot of your comments don’t pop up on websites. In my other reply, I suggest less Borax. I also did make sure it cooled slowly so perhaps your super cooling theory is correct. Make sure you cover the solution during the crystallization process to slow that cooling process. Good luck!

        • Jennie
          April 28, 2020 / 11:01 pm

          Any type of agitation will cause a super-saturated solution to crash out of solution. It would look like a rain of salt precipitation. So if the container is moved or the suspended item is moved, it would cause this.

      • February 15, 2021 / 10:02 pm

        Can you use anything else to color them or just food coloring ?

        • February 16, 2021 / 2:31 pm

          I have only used food color. I imagine other colorants like fabric dyes, alcohol inks, etc. would work. Basically the colorant just needs to dissolve well in the solution. I chose food coloring because it’s easier to clean up if I spill any. Some inks and dyes can be permanent so you need to be a bit more careful.

        • Lindsey Green
          February 26, 2021 / 4:44 pm

          Acrylic ink gives it a rich jewel tone but you have to be careful that you way slow down your cooling time if you still want the iridescent “glass look” or the crystals will form white which will in turn cause the clarity of the died crystal to then take on a more opaque look but its cool to be able to controle the clarity to achieve different looks. Or just grow your crystals in a pressure cooker… Control heat, cool down time and the pressure helps slow down the dumping of he borax from the solution to happen to fast because of the higher solubility of the ink… You can also add i grade alcohol to the solution (reg way of making) to lower viscosity of the solution without having to use pressure or having to take forever slow cooling.

    • dana
      September 15, 2016 / 10:28 pm

      Just spray it with whatever you use to seal your crafts

  2. Lets just build a house!
    January 12, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    pretty sure i did this when i was little, but now that i am reminded how beautiful they are i want to do it again!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 12, 2015 / 5:30 pm

      I think given my penchant for rocks, it's a good thing I wasn't shown this craft as a kid. I'd have started obsessively making rock after rock after rock. Lol.

    • Rashodd Van
      September 22, 2017 / 2:10 am


  3. Jordana @WhiteCabana
    January 12, 2015 / 11:13 pm

    Wow! This is so cool. I don't even know where to find Borax though…does every supermarket have it? And does everyone have beakers in their homes?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 13, 2015 / 12:16 am

      I have found Borax easily. It's with the laundry detergent, usually near a bottom shelf. As I mentioned, you don't need a beaker, but if you can thrift one it helps. But pouring boiling water into a heat proof glass container can work too. Just add tons of borax, and you'll get some biggies!

    • Amy
      November 27, 2022 / 10:53 am

      I boiled water in a pot and then dissolved the borax in the pot and then poured the solution into pickle jars. It worked great.

  4. Meagan Claire
    January 13, 2015 / 6:19 am

    Borax boxes are much prettier in Canada than in Texas. You might like ours more because they're teal. But, they're not nearly as cute.I'd like to try this tutorial, though. I saw some natural crystals on tiny little stands at an estate sale last weekend. The sale priced them at $45. However, the original stickers on the bottom priced them at $4.50. They were old, so… inflation?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 13, 2015 / 3:24 pm

      Wow, that seems pricey! Unless they were something valuable. But estate sale prices seem to be getting nutty.

  5. patty
    January 13, 2015 / 9:19 am

    I want to do this so badly! Now I just have to hunt down some Borax which seems like it will probably be an epic task… We certainly don't sell it at the supermarket.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 13, 2015 / 3:26 pm

      Oh, shucks. I got mine at Walmart, if that helps. My relatives actually use it and they found it at a Canadian Superstore, I think. It's not popular, but I hope you can find some!

    • Sonya Daguinsin
      April 4, 2016 / 5:01 pm

      I had to make 2 trips to Walmart. The first time they were actually out of it. I would have assumed they did not carry it if I had not asked a sales person about it.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 5, 2016 / 1:09 am

      Oh no, what a hassle! My Walmart is always out of the basics, like cauliflower, so I'm not surprised they sold out. It's a good products for doing laundry and cleaning!

    • Anonymous
      July 20, 2017 / 1:25 am

      can you use something other than pipe cleaners?

  6. Linda
    January 13, 2015 / 7:36 pm

    Beautiful and amazing. Thanks so much for sharing, and warm greetings from Montreal. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 14, 2015 / 7:11 pm

      Thanks! Lovely to hear from a fellow Canadian 🙂

    • Anonymous
      July 25, 2017 / 9:30 pm

      Twins or a very fuzzy string would work too, just not as well. The crystals need something to grab onto

  7. Judi
    January 14, 2015 / 5:54 pm

    Loving these crystals and would love to give them a go, never having done it before. However, I've just Googled 'Borax' and all that's coming up is 'Borax Substitute', is this the same thing?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 14, 2015 / 7:16 pm

      Hmmm, I Googled "Borax" and didn't get the same results. When I Googled "Borax Substitute' some hits came up – it's used in laundry/cleaning applications so there were some articles about what to use instead. There wasn't much of a selection when I went to buy some. I found it with the laundry detergents, bottom shelf – almost didn't spot it – and there was only one brand/kind there. It's a mineral and, as far as I know, while there might be substitutes for its cleaning applications, to grow these crystals you need the real deal. If you head to a big box supermarket, I'm sure you'll find some. My in-laws – who prefer organic/natural products – use it, so you might even find it stocked at a whole foods coop, or other natural/health store.

    • Anonymous
      May 14, 2015 / 2:35 am

      Borax isn't sold in UK supermarkets. They tend to only sell borax substitutes around here, if they do sell something like this. You may be able to get hold of some real borax in the UK via small online suppliers, small independent pharmacies or some Boots stores. I got mine this way.

    • Mickey Alice Kwapis
      September 6, 2015 / 12:46 am

      I'm not sure about the UK but in Australia, borax is sold at a home improvement store (like a hardware store, but bigger and with lumber) in the cleaning aisle. It comes in plastic cylindrical containers, not boxes like in the US and Canada.

    • Anonymous
      September 8, 2016 / 9:48 am

      I have never had any problem getting my hands on Borax. I just order it from amazon & that saves me a trip into town which is great since a trip into town takes about 45 minutes just to get there.

    • Silvia E.D.N.
      September 24, 2017 / 6:24 am

      I'm trying to look for Borax on and there's only 1 result that's actually borax and it's 25kg for 50£

      • Lisa Ellis
        September 26, 2018 / 11:29 am

        I have found it: 500g for £4.99 on amazon recently.

  8. cred
    January 16, 2015 / 3:50 pm

    I love these. I've seen tutorials for making snowflakes with kids but i just wasn't that inspired by them- these rock crystals however…. I used to use borax in my laundry and wished I still had some- it's a natural mineral but there is some concern about toxicity in wildlife (Since this naturally occurring, I expect this is must be a concentration issue- too much where it doesn't belong kinda thing) just didn't want to take any chances now that we are on a septic and whatever we use, literally, ends up in our backyard. I wish I had some leftover to play around with these- I bet my kids would love to make a rainbow's spectrum of crystals.Borax should be very easy to find in most grocery stores- our very tiny small town store carries it in the laundry section (20 Mule Team borax has been around for ages). It is also available at most health food stores, too.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 16, 2015 / 4:22 pm

      I saw someone dip in synthetic flowers in the same Borax solution and they ended up having this beautiful finish – like they were covered in ice. I think there's lots of neat ideas out there, beyond the snowflakes (which are cute), but I liked the big 'ole hunk of rock myself. That's interesting to learn about the toxicity. My in-laws use it and they have a septic. I should ask them about that. We have a septic too and I hear you: I am always concerned about what products I'm using. Someone told me that only bleach products are a concern because they throw off the balance of good bacteria, but you're right about thinking about what leeches into the soil. This is so new to me! I really should do some research. I'd love to know what products you use – I'm trying to stick to all natural stuff but I can't quit a certain brand of laundry detergent, lol. I'm happy to hear you've been able to easily find Borax. Hopefully everyone who wants to try this can find some easily.

    • cred
      January 20, 2015 / 4:52 pm

      Ya know, it can be hard to keep such discussions from getting preachy- just saying you use a natural product can put some people on the defensive. I usually try not to discuss it all. It's a personal choice and some people don't want to know that their favourite and often really effective product is less than ideal. Also, I am a terrible laundress and what is fine for me just may not live up to others standards. I dont use bleach either but I counter than by never buying white clothes and I use green bleach (which is hydrogen peroxide). I've been make my own laundry soap for awhile (washing soda, baking soda, grated soap and citric acid) and that's when I started reading about people omitting borax from their recipes due to concerns with toxicity. I know borax is suggested to kill ants and roaches and to use caution doing so if you have pets. But I haven't really done any deep research- weighing the overly vigilant advice from those that don't see anything to be concerned about- sound science would be nice. I just play it safe because of the septic. It is a pain in the butt to make your own and I would never fault anyone from using what works for them.

      • Professor.ED
        March 11, 2021 / 8:03 am

        Pure borax is less toxic than table salt. It works to kill ants by slow desiccation [ just mix/grind 10% borax and granulated sugar together] sprinkle small piles on ant trail, the closer to hive the better. Takes around three days, no more ants. Also kills cockroaches! Some plants maybe sensitive to large amounts of borax. A saturate solution of borax is great for termites on exposed bare wood, just spray on with a garden pump-up sprayer added benefit of preventing dry rot and mold; real plus is that it acts as a fire retardant too. For exposed uses [fences, etc ] mix with dilute antifreeze, let dry, helps prevent post rot at /near ground level.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 21, 2015 / 6:22 am

      I have seen a lot of homemade recipes on pinterest and been tempted! I am also not a good laundress, lol. You're right about it being a touchy subject. Sooooo many seemingly mundane choices are. Well, you've definitely motivated me to do some research and maybe reassess some products. I keep meaning to but it keeps slipping off my to-do list. Not because I'm busy, obviously. I had time to make rocks, haha. Testing our well water is another…

    • Stevii Love
      March 23, 2016 / 6:46 pm

      The Borax I purchased is organic/all natural. It only states being used as a laundry booster, bathroom/drain cleaner and that it's an eye irritant and harmful if ingested. But, I actually got mine for growing crystals and making candle wicks specifically. If you want an all natural non toxic, effective ant killer get a flat surface like the lining of a mason jar lid, and mix equal parts (1 tbsp) baking soda and powder sugar. The ants can't tell between the two grains and will eat/carry back the mixture. After they ingest it, it caused a chemical reaction that makes them implode and the best part is they don't die in your house and the only ant trail leads right to their doom! hahaI have some fur-babies and an almost five year old, so I try the non-toxic route. This ant killer is the most effective and so basic, plus the two ingredients are most likely already in your cupboard/pantry! If a person or cat/dog were to accidentally eat some of it, nothing would happen and that's always a plus!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 24, 2016 / 5:05 am

      Great tip!

    • Anonymous
      January 17, 2017 / 7:47 am

      Borax (Boron) is a naturally occurring (element?) in nature.

    • Unknown
      October 1, 2017 / 5:30 pm

      Borax is actually a compound called Sodium Tetraborate. So it contains boron but it is an ionic compound with sodium and oxygen ions in the structure. it has low toxicity, and is even added to foods (not in the USA but in several other countries). I would not recommend eating it but I doubt it would do any kind of damage at all to septic systems. it is a natural pH buffer so it will stabilize the pH of such systems.

    • Anonymous
      February 2, 2018 / 8:18 am

      Not quite accurate; borax is sodium borate, which is the sodium (Na on the ptable) salt produced when you react Boric acid with sodium hydroxide (NaOH), yielding Borax salt (sodium borate) plus water and heat. It's an acid base reaction.

    • Mikki Wildstarr Kas
      March 20, 2019 / 6:53 am

      When I boil and mix the borax, I submerge a pipe cleaner object into the solution only to find it emerging like a glittery, sandy grainy thing. Not really a crystal at all. Reheating it, it turns into a sandy sludge. What is wrong? ALSO, it is hard to tell what the saturation point is when it is deeply colored.

      • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
        March 20, 2019 / 11:12 am

        Follow these instructions to the letter and it should definitely work. I’ve never encountered what you’re experiencing – my only guess is you might not be adding enough borax.

  9. brikhouse2
    January 16, 2015 / 6:41 pm

    MUST. DO. THIS! I have never use Borax, not even sure I have seen it in stores here, but I will have to take a look. I want to try and make these in all sorts of shapes!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 16, 2015 / 8:05 pm

      Try the lowest, most out of the way shelf. I had to really crouch down to snag some, lol. If you do these you have to share! I'd love to see them in different shapes.

    • brikhouse2
      January 18, 2015 / 7:25 pm

      will do

    • Stevii Love
      March 23, 2016 / 6:39 pm

      Borax, aka 20 Mule Team can be found in any laundry isle, like at Wal-Mart, Tops and so on. My fiance picked me up a big box for just under $5, I made three crystals and still have nearly a full box! I'm making candle wicks with some of it as well.The Borax I purchased, besides being an eye irritant, is organic/all natural. Just wanted to mention that because of comments above that mentioned toxicity.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 24, 2016 / 5:06 am

      Happy you could easily find some. I needed some the other day as a laundry booster and this time I headed to a small grocery store and still found some in with the household cleaners – tucked in the corner! It works so well as a cleaner! I'd only bought it to make crystals but not I'm hooked on the stuff as a laundry brightener.

  10. Lynne from Design The Life You Want To Live
    January 24, 2015 / 1:06 am

    Love it!! I love the video that Lindsay did too! I bet if you glued a magnet on them, they would make a gorgeous fridge magnet. You could even make a wee knob. Or necklace. Or you could bring them to my house and we could try them in the treehouse. Yeah. That's my fave idea so far 🙂 xo

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      January 24, 2015 / 4:20 am

      Oh, I just love her video – it's so cute and clever!! Waaaay beyond my capabilities, lol. I like all of your ideas, haha, especially the last one.

  11. Anonymous
    February 14, 2015 / 3:14 pm

    Hi Tanya ! I loved your Post … I need a suggestion please !!! Do you think that I can make Crystal Grow also on a wooden Sphere without using Pipe Cleaners ? Thank you … Marzia .

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 19, 2015 / 3:52 am

      I have seen people grow crystals on faux flowers (fabric) and it worked well. It also liked to grab the string I used and crystals even formed on the inside of the glass. I'm not certain if they would grow on a wooden sphere – there might not be enough for them to hold onto. But I haven't tried it so I'm not sure. Sorry I can't be of more help. I say give it a go!

      • Jesika
        April 19, 2018 / 3:28 am

        Buff the wooden sphere with sandpaper or even like nail file ( lol gettin my girly creative tactics on~motherhood sure does have a way of increasing our alternative uses and multi-use of objects creative ideas lol and then you can also touch your nails up whilst waiting for the water to boil..boom! Two for one time saving!)…. and roughen/toughen buff up the entire outer surface and as much of edges and interior surfaces of sphere and that will give the sphere some good texture to bond and attached to, buffered wood tends to get like “fuzzy” type texture when do a rougher buffing on it l, I’ve used this trick plethora of times for many different kiddie artsy projects and science projects with my little gremlin sons lol!!
        I’m sooooo immensely ecstatic to have found your blog of this and even more so try it with my boys!! Eeeeek!! My youngest son is medically challenged-medically special needs, he has rarer form of auto-immune disease that also causes major rarer types of GI ( gastrointestinal) disorders and diseases so since birth he’s had feedings tubes and medi-port heart implant for feeding infusions and blood transfusions and special blood booster infusions and because of his type of GI complications causing total food allergies and swallowing dysfunctions he’s been fully dependent on feeding tube infusions which means he’s hooked up to his feeding tube infusion pumps and IV pole 24hrs a day every single all day and since birth practically so between that and his rarer autoimmune disease and inactive immune system ( his immune system literally attacks his body instead of supporting it and is completely inactive so doesn’t abd can’t fight off infections and bacteria/diseases/germs etc etc) has meant that he has been quarantined off from most public and outdoor environments and secluded to very highly controlled and quarantined environments and people so like parks-play centers-schools-kid centers-reacreational Parks and zoo’s, museums, arcades etc etc have been huge NoNo’s and off limits to him and when he is sick and or in recovery from one his surgeries and or surgical procedures that often requires abd needs as part of his treatments and therapies for his GI disorders and dysfunctions and whilst doing abd recovering from his regular and sometimes monthly special blood infusions abd blood transfusions he is fully quarantined off even from his brother and limited to me and his homecare nurses and his bedroom and or to the hemoncology ( blood cancer and blood diseases) icu unit in hospital which is a very very quarantined locked down guarded unit like can’t even have balloons or flowers or plants or bubbles delivered to any patients in there or brought in there and have to go through a secured entrance and remove all your outside clothing and wear sterilized scrubs with the mouth guard masks abd surgical shoe covers and surgical hair masks and gloves etc etc and every single toy has to be sterilized and sprayed down with medical grade disinfectant even if it’s still in package etc etc so needless to say he’s gets very limited on fun things to do and play time fun things and so I’ve had to become very very creative on entertainment ideas and indoor adventures and recreational fun for him and distraction therapeutic techniques during infusion times ( each blood transfusion and infusion dose takes between 3-5hrs and done separately and single doses so very time consuming and boring for child stuck in a hospital bed room) etc etc he’s loves loves loves science projects and arts and crafts that include experimenting and chemistry based type stuff he’s my little mad scientist lol he’s like me for sure lol and oddly he has like this obsession with rocks, loves his rocks and always tries to rock hunt when leave house ( and from house windows and sends his brother out to go snatch them up secretly for him lol) and I constantly find handfuls of rocks in his pockets and car seat cushion and cup holder a d his backpacks and even my purse and pockets that he sneaks in somehow he’s a part time Houdini magician apparently too lol so finding this blog is like the most glorious amazing exciting things for me and going to be soooo profoundly awesome for him to see his little head is going to go KABOOM!! This is going to be so much fun for him I can’t thank you enough for posting this and for giving such thorough details too and so many different ideas for it versions for designs and stuff!! This totally made my night abd I can’t wait for him to wake up so I can show him lol I almost want to wake him up right now to show him!! Thank you immensely!!
        If you have any other rock or crystal type crafts and experiments please let me know! It’s hard to find those kinds of blogs and posts very few of them out there that aren’t basically all the same thing just different ingredients!! Ill give my email address so if you or anyone commenting on here can forward me links and stuff I’d know of any good rock/crystal/geode etc type projects, crafts and experiments!!
        [email protected]

        • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
          April 23, 2018 / 12:16 pm

          Hi Jesika, I’m so sorry to hear about you son’s health problems. I can’t even imagine how heart breaking it is for you. I’m so glad this will be a fun activity for him to do at home because he can’t visit museums and other fun places. If I think of any other similar projects I’ll be sure to reach out. Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. Sending good thoughts to your little guy!

    • Camille Massmann
      June 20, 2015 / 12:52 am

      Paint glue onto the wooden surface, then coat it with borax powder. Then let it dry really well and continue like normal You should be able to achieve the same results… I have done this with Alum (a spice used in canning) in plastic easter eggs and it worked great!

  12. Marzia Fattorini
    February 14, 2015 / 4:24 pm

    Hi Tanya ! I loved your Post … I need to ask you two suggestions :1. I am in Spain now and here they don't have Borax at the Supermarket, but I have found a sort of Chemistry Shop with a lot of stuff to do chemical experiments, and I have bought "Dechaidrated Borax" I think is the real active principle … (Because I have asked them Powder Borax) ! But on the box it is written that it is toxic ! I'm worried, do you think it is normal ?2. Do you think that I can Make Grow Crystals on a wooden Sphere without using the Pipe Cleaners ? Thank you so much ! Marzia.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 19, 2015 / 4:01 am

      Hmmm, that is a good question. I think it's "decahydrate"? I did some Googling, and that just means "A hydrate whose solid contains ten molecules of water of crystallization per molecule, or per unit cell." From Wiki: "The term borax is used for a number of closely related minerals or chemical compounds that differ in their crystal water content, but usually refers to the decahydrate."What I bought was just powdered Borax. It can also be called sodium borate, sodium tetraborate, or disodium tetraborate. I think we've got the same thing.I have read and heard that it can be toxic, but only in very high levels. It can also be a skin irritant. I cannot say for certain that what you have would be safe to use. I THINK so but I would hate to put you at risk with my guessing. I would advise that you ask the people who work at the chemistry shop. You can show them my tutorial so they know what you're using it for.

    • Anonymous
      September 24, 2016 / 1:28 pm

      Also make sure that what the chemist is selling is not boric acid because that is not the same as Borax and boric acid is toxic.

  13. Avis Hemingway
    February 15, 2015 / 2:35 pm

    Its my daughters birthday today, and its always been a tradition to gift her crystals that we hang in the window to catch the sun. I’ wondering is there a certain ingredient that enhances clarity, and also can i use something other than the “fabric” pipe cleaners and yarn? like actual rocks and twigs?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      February 19, 2015 / 4:04 am

      I'm so sorry for the late reply. I took some time away from blogging for a family emergency. That is a beautiful tradition! The borax seemed inclined to grow on the inside of my glass beaker and also on the thread. I've seen people cover fabric flowers with it too. I think it should take nicely to something with some grip to it, like a twig. A rock with a lot of texture could work too. But I cannot say definitively, because I only used the pipe cleaners. If you try these items, I'd love to hear how they work! Good luck! And happy belated birthday to your daughter.

  14. Anonymous
    March 4, 2015 / 5:05 am

    This may be a stupid question but I am wondering why the container/beaker needs to be made of glass ? Will a metal container not work ?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 5, 2015 / 12:48 am

      That's actually a great question! The borax should not react with stainless steel, but to encourage crystal growth, a smooth surface should be used. Glassordinarily presents a smoother surface. Any imperfection would result incrystals growing at that imperfection site – instead of the pipe cleaner. Glass has the added bonus of letting you see how the crystals are forming! Also, you can microwave the solution to get it to dissolve again, if you prefer, if you use glass.My Dad, who has a degree in chemistry and helped me with this because I am quite terrible at chemistry, ranked the containers as follows (Pyrex being the best):PyrexUnknown glass that can withstand boiled water without cracking.Stainless SteelAluminumOther unknown metal containers.But definitely, you can use metal if it's easier or more convenient.

  15. Kailee
    March 22, 2015 / 6:31 am

    Do these break easily? I want to make some of these into necklaces for gifts and such but don't want to give them out if they break easily. I love how yours turned out and that you tried different ways.I'm planning on buying the supplies this week because I want some to put on the shelves in my house. OH! & I loved that you mentioned the clear overcoat, I was wondering if that could be an option… glad it is! Just wanted to know about the breaking before I plan on giving them out. Thanks and love your blog!

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      March 23, 2015 / 4:20 am

      Hi Kailee, I wouldn't say they break easy, but the borax does re-dissolve in hot water and even a lot of moisture/humidity can affect them. I wouldn't recommend wearing these. Borax can also be an irritant, so I'd be worried about it touching skin. But for decorating, they're a lot of fun! Not delicate at all for that application (unless you home is super humid or really dry). Happy crafting 🙂

    • Unknown
      November 25, 2015 / 10:31 pm

      Hi, Do you think that if you coat the crystal like in nail polish it would be safer to wear as a necklace?(:

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 26, 2015 / 5:33 am

      I think that some kind of clear sealant would make these safer to wear but I really can't speak to how safe it is to have nail polish rubbing up against your skin either. I just have super sensitive skin so I worry about these things. My advice is to make a small crystal, let it dry for a few days, coat it and give it a whirl!

  16. Tara Baker
    May 11, 2015 / 12:59 pm

    OMG!!! THIS POST IS AWESOME. i love crystals. gotta try this. i accidently did this project with bleach. i have a jare of beautiful bleach crystals.

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      May 11, 2015 / 5:25 pm

      I didn't know you could make crystals with bleach! I'm off to do some Googling 🙂

    • Anonymous
      November 11, 2016 / 8:20 pm

      That is so cool!😱😱😱😱

  17. Rebecca Carter
    May 31, 2015 / 12:52 am

    Making my first batch now. Sexy red ones! I hope they turn out well. Thanks for sharing your chemist's version. 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 14, 2015 / 9:21 pm

      Ooo, red sounds fun! I hope they turned out well, I'd love to see a photo!

  18. Anonymous
    June 29, 2015 / 7:17 pm

    how stable are these? do they need to be sealed to prevent them from disolving due to accidental water contact or breaking down?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 14, 2015 / 9:22 pm

      Sealing would be a good idea if they're going to be exposed to water or humidity. They will re-dissolve, so I don't recommend them for jewellery or for kids to play with.

  19. Anonymous
    July 7, 2015 / 5:03 am

    How long do the last?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      July 14, 2015 / 9:23 pm

      It depends on the climate. They can, technically, redissolve so in a really damp or humid place you might have troubles. But they are quite solid and, at the size I made, not very fragile so if they are just for display they should be good! But if you try them and have troubles, let me know! This kind of craft is new to me.

  20. Anonymous
    October 13, 2015 / 7:43 pm

    What must the temperature be on the stove

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      October 16, 2015 / 1:42 pm

      High enough to boil water, so for my stove that was the highest temperature. Once the borax dissolved, I turned off the element but left the Pyrex on the stove so that the borax solution cooled slowly.

  21. Lyone Fein
    November 2, 2015 / 12:24 am

    I wonder if I can make jewelry with these crystals?

    • Tanya from Dans le Townhouse
      November 2, 2015 / 3:35 pm

      Hmmm. I am inclined to caution against that. While they aren't delicate when they're done, they could redissolve again. So if the jewellery got wet or someone perspired a lot you could have trouble. But if you played around with some type of sealant that could mitigate this problem.

  22. Sully
    November 19, 2015 / 10:54 pm

    How many pipe cleaners did you use to get the giant ones? Will the crystal be as big as your pipe cleaner form is? or does it expand quite a lot? Thanks!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 20, 2015 / 12:39 am

      The crystals will be bigger than the pipe cleaner form because they grow around it. I used about six for the really massive ones, but I varied the sizes a lot as I was experimenting.

  23. kburns012
    November 21, 2015 / 5:08 pm

    Anyone know if you can recrystalize an already crystallized pipe cleaner? I'm trying to make my shape look more like a rock than a blobby spider web lol

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 23, 2015 / 12:21 am

      I did try doing that. It makes some of the borax re-dissolve but then it will re-attach and grow bigger. However, the results were not as consistent as starting fresh with new pipe cleaners. Sometimes it ended up a bit lopsided. If yours is looking too spidery, try making a form that has fewer gaps. Also you can try a larger container and then more borax – you might not have enough borax for the size you're trying to make. It should cover really densely.Good luck!! I'm here to help if you have any questions – I'd love to see your finished product. If you're on Instagram, you can tag me (@danslelakehouse) 🙂

    • Anonymous
      July 19, 2017 / 11:36 am

      Do I really have to use pipe cleaners? Is there any substitute or is pipe cleaners the only choice? I heard that sponges could be used too.

  24. Gonzalo Zamora Jr.
    November 23, 2015 / 4:50 am

    What if they were painted in a clear nail polish or a fixative spray used for painting? Would they have a lesser chance dissolving and make it less of a skin irritant?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 23, 2015 / 3:06 pm

      I'm not sure fixative spray for paintings would be strong enough. Maybe something like a varnish or water proofing sealant? I meant to experiment with this but moved on to other projects. Making the borax crystals is really inexpensive so if you have some kind of clear coat already you could experiment a little. Once you've coated it and that coat has dried completely, wipe the crystal with a damp cloth to see if the water alters it. Whatever kind of sealant you use, perhaps look for one that is water proof? Let me know if you try it!

  25. Andres Duran
    November 25, 2015 / 5:38 pm

    Can you use flour , surger, or salt? Please reply.☺

  26. Becky Ann Designs
    January 3, 2016 / 8:31 pm

    Can these borax crystals be used for jewelry? Such as wire wrapping or maybe drilling holes in them. And are they sturdy, not crumbly?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 4, 2016 / 3:57 pm

      They aren't crumbly but they cannot get wet so I would not use them for jewellery.

  27. Anonymous
    January 5, 2016 / 12:02 am

    Awesome tutorial!!! I had a question though. When I tried to make these before, they didn't grow around the entire pipe cleaner form. I think it was because I didn't add enough Borax. Approximately how much Borax did you use to get the giant crystals?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 21, 2016 / 5:24 pm

      Sorry – I missed your comment! I'm not really sure – I just kept adding until no more would dissolve. Your pipe cleaner form might also be too large for your container. See the photos to see how large my container was. Any smaller and your pipe cleaner form should shrink too.

  28. Brianna Smith
    January 21, 2016 / 3:25 am

    I'm incredibly late to the party but could you please tell me if I need to use food coloring? I can but it would be a lot easier to do without it

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 21, 2016 / 5:25 pm

      Sure, you can make them plain white – they will look like salt/sugar crystals. Make sure you keep the pipe cleaner white, or you'll see it's outline because the crystals will be somewhat translucent. But definitely you can skip the coloring!

  29. solomon asad
    January 22, 2016 / 1:41 am

    Where can I find a Pyrex Beaker? (In Canada)

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 22, 2016 / 3:16 am

      Mine is from an antique shop. Try or You can put a want ad with a photo on Kijiji, that often works for me! But it's not crucial, you can use a giant pot too.

  30. solomon asad
    January 22, 2016 / 9:01 pm

    Do you know if there are any variables we can change in the process of crystallization to have a different crystal outcome. For example in a dark or lit room, cold or hot water, etc.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 22, 2016 / 11:54 pm

      Any experimenting I did is chronicled above. You have to use hot water, so that's not a variable that can change. I made some crystals during the day and some over night and didn't notice a difference. Slowing down the cooling process of the beaker seemed to have somewhat of an impact. Honestly, this is a fun project so fiddle around and try it for yourself – you can make mini ones while you're experimenting, if you don't want to waste borax.

  31. solomon asad
    January 23, 2016 / 4:24 am

    Can't you try changing the solvent. For example Juice, Distilled or Spring water etc

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 23, 2016 / 5:45 am

      You're right, I didn't think about that. Not sure if distilled or spring water would make a difference. Juice? Don't know, honestly. You will need to experiment and let us know 🙂

  32. Erin Mataj
    February 6, 2016 / 4:44 am

    Okay, just stumbled upon your site….I am just in awe of every project you have done, plenty of photographs for us visual folks and the projects come out looking top notch. I'm not into the shabby chic look, I like clean lines, modern contemporary with a big to mid century thrown in. I also feel like I can do them also! I also love your art pieces! I'm sure like you have experienced that, when you push your limits of what you think you can do, it becomes addicting and you just keep on pushing and moving forward until eventually, you are putting plumbers and handy-men out of business. Thanks for the inspiration and keep up the amazing work!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 6, 2016 / 7:51 pm

      Thanks Erin! I appreciate your comment – and so happy to hear you like a little MCM thrown in 🙂

  33. lisa
    February 6, 2016 / 6:44 am

    Hi! I want to host a group project of making these over the coming weekend. I'm wondering if I can have multiple pipe cleaners in a jar at one time?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 6, 2016 / 7:52 pm

      Yes, you could do multiple ones but you'd need a really large container and smaller crystal pipe cleaner forms. Otherwise you might end up with spotty crystal growth. As well, they might grow together! The Borax crept up the string and sides of my beaker in addition to the pipe cleaner form. I suggest doing them individually, if you can. Remember that it take a long time, too, for crystals to fully grow. Have a fun weekend!!

  34. Anonymous
    February 15, 2016 / 3:43 pm

    How did you clean the container? Also, would a regular pot that you use yo cook things in work instead of the beaker?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 15, 2016 / 9:53 pm

      I just washed it out with soap and water – the borax dissolves no problem. I would pick up an old pot thrifting and use that instead – don't use one you cook with. I'm sure it's fine if you wash it out but I can't in good conscience recommend it. But yes, you can use a pot instead of a beaker for this project.

  35. crazyadventuresinmotherhood
    February 22, 2016 / 10:46 pm

    I just wanted to let you know I tagged this blog post as well as your blog itself on my new blog post after my kids and I had made crystals from a youtube video we had watched that used your blog and tagged it. if you wanted to check it out. Love all of your DIY stuff! Can't wait to try them!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 23, 2016 / 3:13 pm

      Thanks for sharing!!

  36. Anonymous
    February 25, 2016 / 3:55 am

    I love how the colors of your crystals look so vibrant! Approximately how much food coloring did you add to your 2L of water? I've been growing borax crystals with my daughter for 2 weeks now and they always look so pale no matter how much more food coloring I thought I've added.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 25, 2016 / 5:06 am

      That is a good question but a difficult one to answer because I made a lot of crystals from the same dye bath so I got a little messy with the measuring. You can see in the photos that my dye bath was definitely pretty inky as I dipped in my pipe cleaner form. By the end of the experiment, I had used most of the green and blue dye bottles (so two in total). Different brands might be weaker/stronger too. I say pour in an entire tube or two. You can grow crystals in the same water (just add more borax and boil again) so you don't have to worry about the wasting the dye. I bought mine at WalMart and it was really, really inexpensive.

  37. Jaidevi
    March 12, 2016 / 9:14 am

    if i dont have food coloring can i use acrylic paint?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 12, 2016 / 12:57 pm

      I don't know but I think a fabric dye or any kind of liquid dye is best if you don't have food coloring.

    • Diana Neff
      August 31, 2017 / 5:15 am

      Powder dye works too. Just dissolve a small amount in the boiling water–vibrant colors

    • Marlena
      August 29, 2018 / 1:37 pm

      Did you try the acrylic paint? How did it turn out? Any pictures of you did try it? I just started my first batch using a metallic black acrylic paint and am anxious to see how it turns out! I’m hoping for a smoky quartz look with a bit of shimmer. I’m also trying to find a true iridescent white to mix in (think white color shift…kind of like a clear opal). Fingers crossed!

  38. Anonymous
    March 16, 2016 / 3:21 pm

    Do you think if we took a crystal, we could soak it again and make it bigger?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 16, 2016 / 9:40 pm

      I tried that but the Borax redissolves. You are better to start fresh. If you're not getting them big enough, increase the size of the vessel and then add more borax. I bet your beaker or whatever you're using is to small in relation to the pipe cleaner form you've made.

  39. Anonymous
    March 20, 2016 / 3:23 am

    Tanya, have you thought about tucking a little light bulb under the dome shapes you made? I've seen Himalayan Rock Salt dome shapes inverted over a little light bulb attached to a wooden base and thought of your crystal creations. This might be a project for my grandson and I to try…

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      March 20, 2016 / 3:17 pm

      Hmmmm, I can't think of a reason why that wouldn't work. The heat could cause a reaction with the borax, but I'm not sure what kind. If you try it, let me know how it turns out because I'd love to see! At the very least, you and your grandson will have a ton of fun. Happy crafting 🙂

      • Debbie T
        April 6, 2018 / 12:16 am

        Those tiny LED lights don’t put off heat and put out a lot of light! Perhaps that would be the way to go!

  40. Anonymous
    April 9, 2016 / 7:57 pm

    For those looking for borax…if a store carries it, it will most likely be found in the laundry soap section. Thanks for this wonderful idea,Tanya. After I make mine, I'm going to try to water proof them w/ rustoleum's water proofing spray that can even be used to water proof cardboard.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 11, 2016 / 5:41 am

      That's a great idea!! I'd love it if you'd let us know how that works out. Have fun making these 🙂

  41. Laura
    April 12, 2016 / 1:03 am

    Hi Tanya thanks for this great craft idea. I want to do this with my pre-school students (4 year olds), or at least show them the process. Since I have to keep them safe and the school does not allow us to use small stoves in the classroom… Do you think I can boil the water beforehand and bring it in the classroom right away to start dissolving the borax (so they can see this part of the process)? Would being away from the stove mess up the reaction? Or could I microwave the water and bring it in to start the process? Please let me know what you think. Thanks!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 12, 2016 / 5:41 am

      Hi Laura, microwaving the water or even using a portable water kettle (I'm sure your staff room has one) should work. I've seen other tutorials where borax crystals weren't made on the stove top that just helped me grow them really large. Bring the microwave or kettle to the classroom, because transporting a piping hot jar of borax might end badly (I'm thinking of your safety too). You can always experiment a bit the day before and grow one on your own, just in case. But as long as the water is super duper hot, and the borax can fully dissolve, you should be good! It does take a long time though, so you might want to set it up at the very beginning of the day and reveal the crystal growth at the end of school – or perhaps let it grow overnight?

    • Laura
      April 13, 2016 / 1:57 pm

      Thank you so much for your suggestions and your prompt response Tanya. Have a great week!

  42. Anonymous
    April 19, 2016 / 4:26 pm

    Do you have to use a glass jar

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 19, 2016 / 8:00 pm

      No, you can use a pot instead.

  43. cheryl jordan
    April 20, 2016 / 5:07 pm

    Tanya what can you seal these with or can you? If using for jewelry pieces I would love to seal them as to make them durable. Thanks

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 20, 2016 / 9:31 pm

      Hi Cheryl. I don't know that I would recommend these for jewelry. The borax can redissolve if wet and could be a skin irritant. You could try a spray on sealant like Rust-Oleum's never wet (it completely repels water) but I haven't tried it. Some kind of spray on shellac/lacquer should do the trick! But I'm sorry, I never added that step to my own crystals – little kiddos pried them out of my hands and absconded with them before I could!

      • Debbie T
        April 6, 2018 / 12:28 am

        I have used clear nail polish for pendants I make with glass Aquariam pebbles and have never had a problem with it irritating my skin, and I have very sensitive skin. Also, there is a product called “Triple Thick” which is a brush on glossy sealer and it actually goes through the dishwasher and holds up! People in one of my FB craft groups glitter wine glass stems and seal them with Triple Thick and it works like a charm! There is no strong smell to it, so I am fairly certain it would not be a skin irritant. All the craft stores have it by the acrylic craft paints, near other sealers. I coat the rocks I paint with it and love that stuff!

  44. Barbara Moses
    April 30, 2016 / 11:58 pm

    Could I hide some kind of prize in the middle for the kids to break open and find.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 1, 2016 / 12:41 pm

      They are pretty solid. But that's because the crystal growth is dense. Little pieces might break off, but overall it's sturdy. You could hide a prize inside something else and grow a thin layer of crystals around it…?

  45. Heidi
    May 14, 2016 / 6:19 am

    I am going to have to try this during the weekend. I have been curious mostly how long they last because I want to combine them with already baked clay sculptures I will make. I have some ideas for sealants I could use but the one I am most excited to try out is giving them a brushing of clear epoxy resin for a few coats. Just another excuse to don my mad scientist's jacket. :p

    • Precious
      February 7, 2017 / 6:58 pm

      Hey did you ever try the sealants and how did it turn out?

  46. tamoa29
    May 19, 2016 / 2:16 pm

    Can you tell me how to do this but have a hole in it to make jump ring to be able to go through it? And is this so fragile that it will break easily??

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 26, 2016 / 6:15 pm

      I'm not sure how to inset a jump ring. Maybe insert a straw into the pipe cleaner so the crystals around it to leave an opening? I DO NOT recommend this for jewelry purposes as it can be a skin irritant and cannot get wet (in the rain, washing hands, etc)

  47. Anonymous
    May 26, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    Do you have to use a glass container? In other words, could I just use a metal pot?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 26, 2016 / 6:15 pm


  48. Vanessa Andreassen
    May 27, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    I just tried making a second crystal in the same glass coffee pot I used for the first one and it exploded! It was scary and made a total mess! But now I'm curious as to how am I suppose to remove the crystals that have built up inside the vessel, I still have another coffee pot and a pyrex measuring cup that have a lot of crystals built up on the bottom and sides.?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 27, 2016 / 2:54 pm

      Hi Vanessa, oh wow, that's scary! It was likely a weakness in the glass. Was it Pyrex glass? To remove crystals, just warm up some water in it. The crystals are water soluble and will dissolve again. I found that even soaking my glassware in hot, hot tap water dissolved a lot of the built up crystals but heating it on the stove or microwave will certainly get rid of them. Make sure you use glass rated for stove top use if you're going that route.

    • Chronidu
      June 8, 2016 / 3:39 am

      This is unfortunately exactly how I exploded my Pyrex Beaker! I had made my first crystal and went to make another, putting it on low heat, and the crystalized borax exploded in response!The crystals when applied to direct heat explode in reaction so you have to be super careful about it. It would probably be much safer to poor warm to hot water in to melt them. Basically, if you have crystals on the bottom of your container, don't put them directly on the heat! Melt them from the inside or else you risk broken glass everywhere hahaA great example though is putting one of the tiny broken off pieces of crystals in a hot pan and seeing how it jumps and sizzles, great learning experience!

  49. Unknown
    June 2, 2016 / 6:45 pm

    I would like to use this as a vbs craft~ what other type of container will work and can you put multiple pipe cleaners in the same container?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 2, 2016 / 10:06 pm

      Anything you can boil or heat water to a high temperature in (eg. Metal pot) and yes, but they might grow together…

    • friend
      June 27, 2016 / 6:16 pm

      We did this as a VBS craft this year. each kid had a solo type cup that we poured water into. We just used sink water (which got hot enough to scald) in a pitcher and added borax until no more would dissolve. We could fill about 5 cups with a standard size pitcher and one box of borax was enough for about 35 cups. ours were not this impressive but they turned out quite well. Just make sure they don't touch each other or the sides/bottom of the cup.

  50. bear
    June 4, 2016 / 2:13 am

    My crystals came out really good the first try. I than did the second step dissolving the first batch, that was not a good idea I boiled the water when I put back my crystal rock it melted….so sad. I had to start all over. My end product AWESOME!!!! I made a really big rock thanks to your directions. You rock lol.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 5, 2016 / 5:41 pm

      Lol.Yes, the borax crystals will dissolve in water so you can't add more to one. Happy it turned out giant in the end though!

  51. Anonymous
    June 14, 2016 / 1:01 pm

    I got decahydrated borax but it didnt work. I waited for a couple of days but nothing happened. I now tried the same thing with salt and I am waiting.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 16, 2016 / 4:20 pm

      I'm not sure how to help with troubleshooting. My only thought is the water wasn't hot enough or there wasn't enough borax. Did any crystals form?

  52. Mystik Rider
    June 16, 2016 / 11:37 am

    This looks awesome. Will be my first time ever doing this….wondering how long do these last and how fragile are they.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      June 16, 2016 / 4:21 pm

      They are pretty study. They will redissolve, though, and humidity can affect them which is why I don't recommend for jewelry making purposes. But they won't crumble in your hands, that's for sure!

  53. Anonymous
    July 10, 2016 / 1:38 am

    When you say pour lots n lots til saturated im not sure what you mean are we talking 4 to 5 cups, half a box??

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      July 11, 2016 / 2:05 am

      I mixed in more, until no more would dissolve. Then I knew it was enough. I used a whole box to make about 15 or so? But I'd re-dissolve and just add more to each bunch. So it's so hard to say how much fir that first one. What's really important is that you put so much, that no more will dissolve. Start with a cup and go from there. It works best if you focus less on the specific measurements, and more on the solution itself. Sorry that's so vague! But it works, I promise 🙂

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      July 11, 2016 / 2:05 am

      *for lol not fir

  54. Anonymous
    July 25, 2016 / 4:16 pm

    Our crystals are sitting overnight as I type – green. I used about 8 cups of Borax in 2L of water. It still didn't look "supersaturated" to me. ie. the crystals still seemed to be dissolving but I decided it was enough Borax. The crystals have already started forming!We used a metal pot. Aluminum I think.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 3, 2016 / 10:03 pm

      I'm so sorry – your comment was caught by the spam filter and I just saw it! I'm so excited your crystals worked! Did they turn out huge???

  55. Tina Burkart Gibson
    August 1, 2016 / 8:23 pm

    You can make crystals with epsom salts as well but I'm not sure of their sustainability. How do you dispose of the left over water when you've made all the crystals that you want?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 1, 2016 / 10:37 pm

      Interesting! I just poured my leftover solution down the drain. People use Borax for laundry, so I figured it's not a problem disposing of it that way.

  56. chrisa
    August 3, 2016 / 6:46 pm

    I really want to try this on a book. I saw an art piece that was gorgeous! But no tutorial. Your blog has great reviews on growing get the crystals, any tips on how you would go about it?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 3, 2016 / 10:04 pm

      Hmmmm, that's a good question. The crystals will form to any surface which has some grip – they even creep up the jar. But would a book turn weird when it's soaked in water?? Could you form the crystals on something else, break them off and glue them on to the book? I think affixing these crystals would be your best bet because anything you grown the crystals on needs to be submerged for 8 hours.

  57. christopher crane
    September 2, 2016 / 2:45 am

    Great post. Curious if you could pass along a question to your dad… unless you know of course! This question was spurned by a few of your observations: 1. Saturating the water with borax gave you bigger crystals because the water was holding more borax and thus had more to give to the crystal making process. 2. slowly cooling the water is better as it gives the crystals more time to develop. I have also read that you get more perfectly forming crystals because the crystals have more time to arrange themselves. So… with that in mind, I began thinking how you could SUPER-saturate the water even more. We all know that water molecules get further apart from one another when they are heated which is why temperature effects water solubility. What would happen if you used an Autoclave / Pressure cooker instead of just a pot/beaker on the stove? Boil the water, saturate it, then over saturate it, pour the solution into the autoclave with the unabsorbed extra borax and superheat the water. would it absorb even more borax?I would have tried this but I don't have an autoclave or pressure cooker and am dubious that it would make an appreciable difference. What does dad think?!?!?!?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      September 6, 2016 / 6:33 am

      I was worried about giving potential dangerous advice, so I definitely defaulted to the guy with the chemistry degree here! Here's my Dad's reply:Larger crystals come from a lot more saturated solution, and slower growing. The water should come down in temperature slowly.A super saturated solution at the elevated temperature would only promote faster crystal growth.The autoclave increase pressure and therefore drives up the BP of the solution. A lot of bother, and danger for a mild increase in potential growth. Hard to control a steady decline in temperature and pressure.Slow and steady wins the crystal growth race.

  58. Unknown
    September 4, 2016 / 11:21 am

    Any suggestions on how to get the borax crystals off? I soaked my pipecleaners in one of my good containers and didn't even think about the fact that my container would be coated in a layer of crystal.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      September 6, 2016 / 12:17 am

      It's easy – just heat up the water again until the borax dissolves. It will redissolve easily and then you'll have a liquid again which you can dispose of.

  59. Anonymous
    October 15, 2016 / 11:30 pm

    What did you use to varnish the borax crystal……. Would clear nail polish work

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      October 17, 2016 / 1:05 am

      I never varnished them myself but I imagine clear nail polish would work. Make a little mini one and try it out 🙂

  60. Anonymous
    October 16, 2016 / 5:51 am

    Hi, I just dropped by to say thank you! Our 6 year old son dropped and broke a crystal someone had given him. He was heart broken. The next evening upon googling diy crystals I ran across this awesome step by step instructional. He was so thrilled that we made several in different colors and shapes. We have shared this with many of our friends and they are having a blast at it as well! We are in southern illinois and again, thank you!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      October 17, 2016 / 1:10 am

      Awwww, thank you so much for your comment! You really made my day!! I'm happy so I could help make your son smile 🙂 You can tell him I totally understand: my Mom bought me a gorgeous green malachite rock for my mantle rock collection and one day when I was cleaning I dropped it and not only did it smash into pieces, it crashed into a glass box below which had my childhood rock collection in it. I was heartbroken too – it happens to adults as well! So glad he can make his own now!

  61. Anonymous
    October 20, 2016 / 12:32 am

    I did the progect yesterday and opened it today and it was a MAJOR letdown do you know what i did wrong

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      October 20, 2016 / 4:25 am

      Oh no! Can you tell me a little more? What does it look like?

  62. Anonymous
    November 11, 2016 / 8:06 pm

    Do you have to use food coloring?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 11, 2016 / 11:11 pm

      Nope, you can leave them white or try another kind of coloring agent, like Rit Dye. I just like food coloring because it didn't stain my counters like dye can.

    • Anonymous
      November 12, 2016 / 7:19 pm

      Thank you Tanya!

  63. Anonymous
    November 12, 2016 / 7:21 pm

    Can you substitute the borax for Alum or Epsom Salt?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 30, 2016 / 12:08 am

      There are some other tutorials out there for using Alum, I'm afraid I've never experimented with it.

  64. Kerri Tom
    November 28, 2016 / 5:38 pm

    We're in the process of making Christmas ornaments. It's looking good so far, but I'd love to do some kind of clear coat finish. Has anyone tried any of the ones suggested in the comments? I am tempted to do the nail polish, since that's pretty easy for little hands to use, I think, but it's pretty noxious for little noses, too, so I'm interested in other suggestions. Tia!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 30, 2016 / 12:07 am

      There are some better nail polishes out there with fewer chemicals. Zoya is a good brand. Could be a way to experiment with a nail polish fixative that's easier on little noses. Let us know what you try!

  65. lih yang
    November 29, 2016 / 7:45 pm

    besides pipe cleaner, is there any other i can use?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 30, 2016 / 12:09 am

      Yes! This will stick to other materials, the pipe cleaner is just nice and textured, offering a good adhesion. But the borax wanted to climb up the sides of my Pyrex glass. I've seen people dunk in fabric flowers and the borax clung to them. Try experimenting and pick things with some texture that can be soaked in water with no problem.

  66. Anonymous
    November 30, 2016 / 6:29 pm

    Hi All!So I've been making these crystals as ornaments for Christmas. I'm about one week in, making 3-6 per day. I have found a perfect method which I can articulate later – but my biggest concern is FADING! After about 3 days on my kitchen counter, my crystals fade from the saturated blues, reds and pinks to cloudy versions of themselves.Can anyone provide insight? I'm running out of time to start a new project as my ornament party is in 17 days!Thanks!Rachel

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 30, 2016 / 7:37 pm

      Hi Rachel, what a fun idea! Mine didn't fade so I don't know if I can help. Are you using food coloring? Maybe try concentrated dye instead?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 30, 2016 / 7:38 pm

      Hi Rachel, what a fun idea! Mine didn't fade so I don't know if I can help. Are you using food coloring? Maybe try concentrated dye instead?

  67. Kells Hunter
    December 2, 2016 / 5:58 pm

    This is amazing. I really want to do this with my elementary school Chemistry Lab kids. We only have class every Tuesday, however, so I was wondering what would happen if we left them to set and then didn't get back to them until a week later. Would it simply form crystals until there was no longer any borax to crystalize, or would it completely ruin the project because of the long sitting time?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 13, 2016 / 5:11 pm

      I can't see an extended growth period causing any troubles. The water may become kind of gross, though, but I'm not sure.

  68. Katharyne Pies
    December 13, 2016 / 2:31 pm

    Just found this and really enjoyed doing it with my kids! Would it be alright with you if I posted this project on my blog with a link to your site?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 13, 2016 / 5:11 pm

      Of course, thanks for asking!

  69. kayla
    December 19, 2016 / 11:49 pm

    Did you just twist the pipe cleaners into a closely wound spiral? I love the shape of these!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 20, 2016 / 7:44 pm

      I made a pretty dense coin shape. A spiral, like you say, with very small gaps between the pipe cleaner as I wound it into a disc shape. That helped create a nice, dense crystal.

  70. Joe Rico
    January 15, 2017 / 10:15 pm

    What can I use to substitute borax

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 19, 2017 / 3:37 am

      You can use sugar and food coloring to make rock candy!

  71. Anonymous
    January 19, 2017 / 8:46 pm

    Hello TanyaIn your description, you mention using a pipe cleaner…so is there something else we could use for "skeleton" to make the solution crystallize on it then pipe cleaner ? what in the pipe cleaner make the solution attach to it.. is it the fuzz or the metal wire in the middle ?the other how to make crystal larger size… like around 6 inches length and 1 inch tight.. a much larger UNIT.. instead of several miniature ?it seem if i make a circle with the pipe cleaner..i end up with a basic geode shape…so cab i make a shape specific about the geode, like deep, like if it has wall ?Michel Cotefrom Montreal

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 20, 2017 / 3:25 am

      Hi Michel! Great questions. In my experience, the borax wanted to climb right up the glass sides of the Pyrex so I think it will cling to many things. I have seen people use fake fabric flowers, too. I think the idea is something fuzzy or with some texture the crystals can grab on to. But some experimentation might yield interesting results! It can be redissolved and used again, so don't worry about wasting the Borax. To make a larger crystal, there needs to be a large enough container to dissolve a lot of Borax. The shape and size of the form dictates the end size, but so too does the borax. Too small a solution and the crystals will be sparse. The size of beaker I had in the photos will grow the massive kind you're looking for. You can alter the shape to create more of a geode but sometimes the borax won't behave. It attaches however it wants, but usually in a uniform way so if you make a concave shape, it shouldn't fill that crevice but form around it to create the geode I know you're talking about.

      • Debbie T
        April 6, 2018 / 12:44 am

        I am thinking it might be fun to try coating pine cones! It would look like they are coated in snow or ice. I would use the recipe for smaller crystals on those however. People have asked how they could do a sphere, I would take a ping pong ball and wind some nubby style yarn around it and try- no wait that won’t work because it would float… about a small round rock or anything round that you can wrap yarn around and would be heavy enough so it doesn’t float!

  72. Anonymous
    January 19, 2017 / 9:13 pm

    Hi TanyaMichel again, i forgot one question, quite important…you mention under some circumstance the crystal could "melt" partially ? how much melting..? enough to do like chocolate ? once melted..will it recrystallized again by itself back ? i wish to put mine into a glass bottle and sealed it.. so if after few month it will not be possible to get back to it…but if it regrow by attaching itself back to the main one, then it is not so bad…thank you for your precisionMichel CoteMontreal

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 20, 2017 / 3:27 am

      No problem! It will only have problems in high humidity. I mention that because people wanted to use it for jewellery but I think the risk of sweat and bathing (like handwashing) could put the structural integrity at risk and I wanted people to avoid that. It will redissolve, essentially. Once it does that (like if it was put in water, for example) you can definitely re-grow it.I hope I answered all of your questions? Just let me know if you have others!

  73. Anonymous
    January 22, 2017 / 1:32 am

    hello Tanyaabout answer.. i get some, thanks…but i ask about size.. maybe i wasn't clear enough.. i wanted to know from your experiences if you could grow crystal quartz long like shard or wand like ? i wish to obtain long unique piece that would be something like around 6 inches long each shard instead of a bunch of small bit of crystal…and about melting, my concern is once i broke the crystal in piece to make a handful of them, they will be put in a glass bottle and sealed way to open the bottle anymore…because i will sold those to client…it will not be possible for me to regrow them in a container.. it as to reattach them self from the bottom of the bottle to the main crystals bits…without any one to intervene.. is it what it does or if there is not much humidity, they will stay in perfect shape ? i do not want to offer them to trick people, i want to be sure they will keep their shapethank you for your adviceMichel

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 26, 2017 / 1:01 am

      You can grow any shape you like! It just depends on the shape of the form you place in the borax solution. Make a want or circle – whatever you want.I am not sure how they will live in a bottle. My best suggestion is just to try it out before you start selling them.

  74. Anonymous
    January 31, 2017 / 1:32 pm

    Sooo nice! Thank you for your tutorial! I would love to make a square sheet of this crystal. Can it be done or the final shapes cannot be predicted? e.g. 10 x 10 cm and 1cm depth?

    • Precious
      February 7, 2017 / 7:05 pm

      Hey has anyone tried this with a ball of foil?curious if it will stick to it

  75. Unknown
    February 11, 2017 / 8:14 am

    I am looking forward to making these crystals. I have found the 20 mule borax in my local stores and was going to only use it for a different science experiment with my daughter this weekend, but I am excited about being able to make crystals. I found a recipe for crystal making with Alum. Unfortunately, its an ingredient I was not able to seek out when shopping yesterday.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 12, 2017 / 11:20 pm

      I think some people have found Alum in bulk food stores, if that helps the search! Happy you found Borax easily – let me know how your crystals turn out 🙂

    • Kansas
      May 13, 2017 / 8:47 pm

      You can find Alum in the spice section of most grocery stores. But they are small quantities, the size of a small spice bottle.

  76. Boneta
    February 16, 2017 / 4:31 am

    I want to try this!!! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  77. Rebecca
    February 17, 2017 / 4:34 pm

    It might be helpful to some if you could post a picture of your pipe cleaners before placing into the solution. I simply made a circle and the only thing coated in crystals was the pipe cleaner, the middle was still open. I didn't realize I had to also wrap the circle with additional pipe cleaners. Trying again today but not sure I looped it close enough. Not as easy as it seemed lol.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 17, 2017 / 9:41 pm

      I'll see if I have any left, this tutorial is from two years ago 🙂

  78. Erin
    February 21, 2017 / 1:57 am

    Hi Tanya! I just saw a link for how to grow crystals around a mason jar lid, which then formed a tiny tealight holder. Started searching pinterest for something more EPIC and precise, and bam here I am! :DI'm wondering if I used small jars (like canning jars), glued borax around the outside and followed your directions, would the grow around the jar? Also, what would stop the crystals from growing INSIDE the jar (since what I really want to make is a larger candle holder). So many thanks to you and your dad! :D-Erin

  79. TAT
    March 11, 2017 / 4:10 am

    this looks like so much fun and I'm curious to find out how to make the shapes I would like. I have no large glass containers and I want to know if anyone used something other than glass while doing this. I do have an old fashioned speckled camping pot that I believe is coated in enamel. (they're mostly blue and speckled with white if you know what I mean). I'm going to try that and hope for the best. Is there a reason not to just use a lid from a pot? It seems as though you're trying to keep the heat in to give the crystals more time to form so…why not?

    • Debbie T
      April 6, 2018 / 12:51 am

      I watched several You Tube videos on this last night. What they did was put plastic wrap over the top and wrapped a towel around the container to kind of insulate it and hold the heat.

  80. Anonymous
    April 5, 2017 / 7:58 am

    Can't wait to try this with our granddaughter. About the one at the estate sale for $45, maybe it was a REAL crystal. Thanks for the recipe.

  81. anonymous
    May 1, 2017 / 10:29 am

    Are there any other ways to get the crystals off the sides besides reheating it?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 7, 2017 / 5:00 am

      Just warm water should work, or pour in boiling water from a kettle. But hot tap water should do the trick.

    May 1, 2017 / 10:52 pm

    After your crystalsite are set will they melt if you get them wet?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      May 7, 2017 / 4:59 am

      You can redissolve them with enough water.

  83. Rachelle Izard
    May 15, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    This is awesome! I can't wait to try it! I want to make some very large white ones. What is the largest you've made? In order to make white, would you just do this process without the food coloring? Thank you for sharing your knowledge!!!

    • Anonymous
      August 16, 2017 / 5:18 am

      No food coloring and you're good to go. Place it in a well lighted area so you can watch your crystals grow.

  84. Eden
    June 17, 2017 / 5:20 pm

    I use canning jars and put them in a crockpot insert with towels aroundI to insulate. I have gotten some big crystals that way! I'm thinking to try that with it in a water bath on warm one of these days to see how that changes the size.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 17, 2017 / 4:43 am

      That's so smart! Thanks for sharing 🙂

  85. something
    July 5, 2017 / 1:54 pm

    how can you clean borax from a, say ceramic bowl without leaving any behind?

    • Anonymous
      August 16, 2017 / 5:15 am

      Yes, hot water melts the crystals.

  86. Anonymous
    July 13, 2017 / 11:57 am

    Instead of using pipe cleaners are there anything else I can use?

  87. Anonymous
    August 16, 2017 / 5:13 am

    I have made some large and small borax crystals. After a week or two, what looks like a very tough white film starts growing and spreading on the crystals. Looks and spreads like white mold on cheese. Can't scrub it off without defacing the whole thing. Any idea how to fix / prevent this? Guessing I'll just have to clear coat before that happens. I never really know when the crystal is completely dry but spray it anyway.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 17, 2017 / 4:42 am

      The humidity can have an effect of these so if they were somewhere super damp or humid I can see them wanting to revert back. I recommend sealing them once they're done to prevent that.

  88. Andrea Martin
    August 16, 2017 / 9:41 pm

    i did this with my teacher last year and had a lot of fun

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 17, 2017 / 4:43 am

      So happy to hear that!

  89. crazytown mama
    November 30, 2017 / 12:10 pm

    Hi! You have a wonderful tutorial! I found it AFTER we made crystals with the kids of course (eldests science class was doing a crystal growing lab). Anyway, as we did that I got the great idea to stuff pom poms/pipe cleaners inside glass christmas balls and then put the slightly cooled borax liquid in the ball… it made a great crystal snowman inside the ball — problem was so many crystals grew on the ball that you can't see it unless you peer down from the top!! Any ideas on how to not get crystal growth on the glass? thanks so much!! (my backup plan is to look for those plastic snap open globes but im hoping to figure this out)

  90. Ανδριάνα Μπάρτζιου
    December 5, 2017 / 9:09 pm

    I live in Greece and it's was very difficult to find this borax. It is everywhere on the net and all but it's not smth you can find at the supermarket. Here, at least. Mum asked the owner of the nearest pharmacy and the kind lady was able to find us some. Apparently, it's smth that canonly be found at pharmacies in Greece. Anyway, I can't wait to make crystals. I loved yours and hope mine turn out as lovely as yours. Thanks. darling!!

  91. Brown Yes
    January 9, 2018 / 12:37 am

    How do you turn the crystals that form on the glass back into solution? I am having a problem doing that. Thanks. Also, how do you get rid of the left over solution. Thanks.

  92. cmx
    January 27, 2018 / 7:39 am

    Is it possible to grow the crystals on a natural rock "host" like lava rocks?

  93. chloe tibe
    February 10, 2018 / 5:01 am

    Thank you so much for sharing your knowlage i will give it a go now and for who doesnt know where you can buy borax i found it here :)

  94. Anonymous
    February 13, 2018 / 9:09 pm

    Jusr Great this can Help me and my Cousin's

  95. Carpenth H
    March 5, 2018 / 6:55 pm

    Instead of the beaker, and more readily avalaible, Mason/canning jars. They are made to withstand heat over and over. I used one on my stove top ( gas stove, and careful ) for a different science project. I am going to use one for this too.

  96. Amanda White
    April 6, 2018 / 5:20 am

    So Trying this with my brownie troop for their science badge they are begging me to let them do this I hope it goes well.

  97. Adrienne
    April 9, 2018 / 11:12 am

    Do you know if you can reheat and reuse the solution?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 9, 2018 / 9:46 pm

      Yep, you can. That’s a great idea, but you’ll need to add more Borax otherwise the second batch will end up skimpy.

  98. Tanya
    April 23, 2018 / 10:00 pm

    How long does it take for the crystals to grow?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 24, 2018 / 9:36 pm

      To get them really big, I think it was about 8 hours? It definitely takes a bit of time, but it’s worth it 🙂

  99. Anonymous
    April 27, 2018 / 6:03 pm

    I made two,they just came out looking like blue pipe cleaners with salt on them instead of crystals 3: I did all the instructions correctly,please help

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      April 29, 2018 / 6:48 pm

      The biggest issues is often the sizing. Working with a really small container and really big pipe cleaner won’t create the density. Get a bigger container and fill it until you can’t dissolve anymore borax – look at the size of my beaker for reference. Good luck!!

  100. Silvia Di Nucci
    July 6, 2018 / 6:01 am

    Hi, I’ve read in another blog someone had trouble cleaning the container off the crystals that formed on it. /i have not tried yet, but as I have no beaker I was thinking of using a metal pot. Is it safe? Thank yu!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      July 9, 2018 / 1:31 am

      I never used metal but I know it’s not difficult to get the crystals off glass – just heat the water again and they dissolve! Easy peasy.

  101. Samantha F
    August 24, 2018 / 11:04 am

    Love the post! Im making centre pieces using large wine glasses and I want to add crystals to the bottom. How would you suggest growing crystals on glass?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      August 28, 2018 / 3:40 pm

      That’s a good question! When I made these, the crystals wanted to creep up the sides of the glass beaker so I think if you just dunk in the wine glass and let them form the same way, it might work? Another option might be to wrap the bottom of the stems with some white pipe cleaner or textured thread – to give the crystals grip.

  102. Kelsey
    September 20, 2018 / 10:32 am

    Hi! Im doing this for a science fair project. Im going to make Borax crystals but use different temperatures of water and compare how big the crystals are. Any tips??

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      September 20, 2018 / 10:56 am

      Make sure you leave yourself lots of time for this project because they take awhile to grow. I’d grow one first and get a feel for the project and then start your experimenting. Make sure you measure so the same amount of borax is in each version because that really makes a big difference. Good luck!

  103. Yukiko
    October 13, 2018 / 5:53 am

    I used to make salt crystals by making saturated saltwater and leave it to dry on a plate in the sun LOL

  104. Julie Rae Kasner
    October 22, 2018 / 11:53 am

    WOW! This is so beautiful!! I can’t wait to try this! Thank you for the great tutorial.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      October 22, 2018 / 12:44 pm

      Thank you! So happy you like it.

  105. May Lee
    November 27, 2018 / 3:31 am

    Hello Tanya, My . . . I enjoyed your tutorial and the blog. I also enjoyed all the comments. I noticed several people who were wondering what other medium could be used to allow the crystal to grow. I just read the STEM experiments for kids and one was using seashells. Mix borax in boiling water, stir making sure enough borax, as specified in your recipe. Depending on the # of seashells for the project, make sure the Pyrex bowl is large enough, so the crystals will have ample groom to grow. Anyway, put the seashells on the Pyrex bow, one by one. Pour the borax mixture over the seashells and let it set/cure for 24 hours. This is a beautiful project, especially if the crystal seashells will be placed on a crystal bowl with white sand on it.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      November 27, 2018 / 11:11 am

      I’m so happy you enjoyed this tutorial and my blog 🙂 Thanks for this information! Sea shells would make such a neat borax “geode” with a nice shape and realistic look. I appreciate you taking the time to add some handy information so others can enjoy it. Now I’m tempted to make more too haha.

  106. The Rock Collector
    December 10, 2018 / 2:17 pm

    I Love the beautiful crystals you made,and i want to try this project but i do not have a beaker, so anything else i could use? Thank you

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 10, 2018 / 2:43 pm

      Thank you! Totally – anything glass would work. The thrift stores normally have really large Pyrex measuring cups (like a 4 cup or bigger) for cheap (usually with the numbers faded so that’s why they were thrown out). Something like that works too! The beaker was just handy and the bigger the volume the better. I was able to grow such large crystals because I had a massive volume and could add a lot of solution.

  107. The Rock Collector
    December 10, 2018 / 5:05 pm

    Thank you. Their is one more thing i need to know ,could i use a ridged rock for this project?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      December 10, 2018 / 10:16 pm

      I’m not sure. I know something textured, like pipe cleaner, works but the crystals did want to form up the glass beaker. I just don’t know if they’ll stick, you’ll need to experiment yourself if you’re using something different than my tutorial.

  108. Richard D peterson
    January 14, 2019 / 10:52 am

    Having issues with my borax occasionally. I do not know if it’s an environmental factor or something I’m doing but twice now I have had a batch of borax solution instantly crystallize and the whole jar became a simi solid mass of unusable borax with the consistency of damp salt. Any ideas what’s causing this?

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      January 15, 2019 / 10:58 pm

      I’m not 100% sure because this didn’t happen at all for me, but I think you’ve made TOO concentrated a solution? Try dissolving the borax only until no more will dissolve in the water. Try using less of the borax would be my recommendation.

  109. Asclepius
    February 6, 2019 / 10:48 pm

    Borax, sodium borate is not acutely toxic. Its LD 50 (median lethal dose) oral dose is 14 g/kg in rats, which is the amount needed to cause severe symptoms or death. Fatal doses for humans are “estimated” to be 5 to 6 g for children and 10 to 25 g for adults. This is similar to the toxicity of table salt and is large due to the sodium. Boron should be recognized as an essential mineral as it was shown in the 1920’s to be essential for life by stabilizing ribose. Everything is “toxic” if you are exposed to too much, but the “dangers” of boron have been exaggerated for over 100 years. The reason? Well, before refrigeration and the use of nitrate preservatives, all foods were sprayed with a weak borate solution which worked great. However, the refrigeration companies paid off scientists who claimed that borate was toxic. This fact is not widely known, but you can find the evidence by searching the subject in google books (late 1800’s). There are also several recent review papers in the scientific literature on the health benefits of lows dose of borate 3-10 mgs/day. So one need not worry about making borax crystals, unless you plan to eat them.

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 10, 2019 / 10:38 pm

      Thanks for this excellent information!

  110. Ellrina Breedt
    February 20, 2019 / 6:20 am

    Hi there
    Can you smash this with a hammer to make loose crystals when dry to be used in and on a painting making geode?
    And can you add glitter to the solution?
    Thank you from South Africa

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 20, 2019 / 12:59 pm

      I think the best thing is to make one and experiment! I never smashed mine nor added glitter so I can’t say definitively. But I can’t see either being a problem. You can also order little shards of fake crystal online, although I’m not sure about availability in South Africa – but I do know it exists. Happy making!

  111. Amelia McGreevy
    February 26, 2019 / 6:15 pm

    Hi! Thank you for your post! I do have a question though… with your colossal sized crystals, have you or do you know if you can break them into smaller pieces once fully dried? I’m looking for smaller crystals to use in some art but wanted to see if you had any input on how wel these break or come off the pipe cleaner!!

    • Tanya from Dans le Lakehouse
      February 26, 2019 / 6:46 pm

      Have you thought about just growing smaller crystals? I’ve never tried breaking mine but the question has come up from another reader. You don’t need to make the massive pipe cleaner form – you could just grow them on one pipe cleaner “strand” or shape it to whatever you’d like for your art.

  112. July 31, 2019 / 2:29 pm

    This method helped me create some beautiful crystal pipes. I bought some cheap glass pipes from a shop, sanded them so they had some texture, suspended then in the solution, and six or seven hours later they were coated in beautiful crystals. I filled them with water so they wouldn’t float against the sides of the jars I used, and then used hot glue to plug all the holes before soaking them, and pulled it back out after. I wish I could post a picture.

  113. Jr
    August 16, 2019 / 11:09 am

    Hi. Love this tutorial but havent tried it yet as i still am not sure how to shape pipe cleaners. Have you any photos of pipecleaner stage please

    • August 16, 2019 / 12:03 pm

      Sorry I didn’t snap any at the time and I’m out of them right now. I did a bunch of different methods with the pipe cleaners. Basically you want a loose shape so the crystals can form all around. Like a messy, loose coil shape. I’ll try to rustle up some and take a photo. But honestly you can’t go wrong and as you make them you’ll discover new methods.

  114. August 17, 2019 / 2:22 am

    Can we use detergent instead of borax ?
    The detergent still has borax in it … is it fine ?

  115. Lilly
    February 4, 2020 / 10:05 am

    Good Morning Tanya, I have an interest in making these, however, in a larger scale. I will be using it for a centerpiece. However, I cannot find something large that can hold the hot liquid. I’m thinking a 5 gallon bucket, like those from home depot. My concern with my experiment, is the weight on the table, do you have any idea? And how long before my gathering can it be made Does it dissolve? Should I use a specific pot for this purpose alone. Would a few of these be harmful in a room full people? Pardon all the questions, I’m a newbie.

    • February 5, 2020 / 6:43 pm

      Hi Lilly, you ask some great questions! I’m not sure I can answer them all, but I’ll try. The Home Depot bucket sounds like a good idea, although I’ve never used plastic myself so I can’t guarantee it holds up to hot water… I know restaurant supply places also sell really large pots that size – I found a pretty cheap one locally and use it to store chicken feed. As for the weight on your table, I’m sorry I can’t answer that. The borax crystals won’t dissolve unless they’re soaked again in water so as long as they stay dry they should be fine for the event. I can’t see any reason they were be harmful in a room full of people – they didn’t off-gas or anything but I never made them as massive as you plan so I can’t say for certain. I just made a few for fun so some of your questions I can only guess at because I don’t have the experience.

  116. February 21, 2020 / 6:46 pm

    Wow, that is so great. I have some borax and I am going to try it. I was wondering if you could include in your blog a picture of the actual pipe cleaners and how you arranged them prior to putting into the solution. Thanks for your great instructions.

    • February 22, 2020 / 12:05 am

      Hi Sylvia, sorry other people have asked and it’s been so long since I did this project I no longer have the supplies but I should get some and demonstrated. Truth be told, I did something different each time and it always turned out – I just coiled it into a disc-type shape, fairly loosely coiled.

  117. becky
    March 11, 2020 / 3:55 pm

    I had used your method and the crystals came out great, but after a month they started turning white. You cant get the residue off. I’m sure its the borax coming through, but I sealed them like you suggested with a spray. Any ideas on how to save them?

    • March 11, 2020 / 4:25 pm

      Hi Becky, I’m sorry I don’t know why that happened. It could be the temperature/humidity. I never sealed mine, though many people who followed this tutorial did, so perhaps the sealant was the issue? Sorry I can’t be of more help!

  118. Olga
    July 15, 2020 / 4:10 am

    Hi Tanya, I really loved your post and I’m eager to try it, crystallisation was a big thing in chemistry class back in the day! But I was just wondering if the container where the pipe cleaner coil would be suspended, i.e. where the solution would crystallise needed to be glass?

    • July 15, 2020 / 11:26 am

      I actually experimented recently and a metal pot worked too! Glass is nice because you can watch the crystal growth and monitor to make sure it doesn’t get stuck to one side. It’s also easy to see for mixing the solution. But a metal pot works just fine.

  119. Luna Granger
    July 25, 2020 / 6:45 pm

    They are sooooooo cool!☺

  120. Sara Jones
    July 25, 2020 / 6:52 pm

    My daughter (7 year old) loved it! She was so thrilled!

    August 12, 2020 / 9:22 am

    I finally purchased all the items need to make Borax crystals. I didn’t realize I should use white pipe cleaners – mine are baby blue and light brown – I thought the crystals would be too thick to see through. I want really large bright beautiful crystals but you say it’s best to add Borax until no more will dissolve. But another website said that this will result in “cloudy” water and “cloudy” colored crystals. Is that true? So you’re saying I can safely use my old ( 8 cup) Pyrex measuring cup to boil water on a stove top as long as the burner I’m using is cold when I start and heated slowly?


    PS i need help from ny Macrame plant hanger experts reading this post. I can’t decide if I’m starting with the right quantity (is it 4) of cords/rope …and I’m confused as to how long to make each one so the so space for the plant container is the right size? Are there any FREE plant hanger directions plans that give exact measurements of everything? I also want to add wood beads at the tie off spots.

    • August 14, 2020 / 2:04 pm

      First: don’t use anything not intended for stove top use. I have since tried this project with an old pasta pot and it worked great. So something meant to be used on a stove element should be used – not your Pyrex measuring cup.

      Colored pipe cleaners are fine – especially if you’re using dye or food coloring. These WILL be dense. White is best, but use what you have.

      The crystals will not be cloudy – see my photos. They are big and sparkly and I added Borax until no more will dissolve.

    • Cynthia Bliss
      November 15, 2021 / 6:51 am

      Can you grow crystals without using a pipe cleaner?
      What would happen if you just left the solution sit?
      Would it grow into a large crystal as the water evaporated?

      • November 15, 2021 / 3:41 pm

        If it doesn’t have anything to stick to, it will grow on the insides of the pot. But you don’t need to use pipe cleaner. I’ve grown borax on plastic and I’ve seen other people dunk in books and shells and it sticks to that also.

  122. Trieva
    January 22, 2021 / 12:44 am

    Hi I just wanted to let you know that as soon as I can get to the store, I will be trying this and experimenting with a bunch of different sealants, so will comment again with what worked best. Im not sure its going to work but today I tried starting an epsom salt crystal. I have no pipe cleaners so I cut open an old highlighter and used a bit of the center instead. I hope it works because the water immediately went bright yellow so maybe the crystal will be similarly coloured. I plan to also try using some bigger crystals in the cement geode projects that Made By Barb does on pinterest. I have been doing them with broken glass and would prefer something a little safer for my hands. Haha I will post any results, good or bad.

    • January 22, 2021 / 11:33 am

      I’m very excited about your experiments! Can’t wait to hear about the results!

  123. Kylie
    January 29, 2021 / 1:02 pm

    Hello! I am looking forward to trying this craft! I am a little confused about what exactly to do with the pipe cleaner. I know the crystals form to it, but I couldn’t see in the pictures how it was attached/suspended to the string and in what shape, etc. Can you assist please?

    • January 29, 2021 / 3:49 pm

      Tie a piece of thread somewhere near the top of your pipe cleaner “form”. Then use that string to suspend the pipe cleaner form in the solution. Place something across the top of your container (like a ruler or stick) and hang the pipe cleaner from that. Basically you want the pipe cleaner form you made to dangle in the middle of the solution – it can’t touch any surface.

  124. Kay
    February 16, 2021 / 9:40 am

    Hi there, what other colourants can I use besides food colouring? Acrylic paint, tempera paint? Water colours?

    • February 16, 2021 / 2:31 pm

      I have only used food color. I imagine other colorants like fabric dyes, alcohol inks, etc. would work. I’m not sure if watercolors would be vibrant enough. And I worry acrylic paint wouldn’t dissolve. Basically the colorant just needs to dissolve well in the solution.

  125. Sherry Tomasso
    May 27, 2021 / 3:30 pm

    Can these crystals be broken up (like with a hammer) to use in resin art. Similar to how you would use crushed glass or beach glass?

    • May 29, 2021 / 3:39 pm

      Well, inside these crystals a pipe cleaner form for the crystals to stick to and form around, so you’d have to skip that step in order for them to be broken up. But yeah, I think you could… When I made mine some crystals formed up the side of the glass and they could have been broken up for the kind of look you’re thinking of. You try all of these steps but maybe not putting anything inside for the crystals to attach to. Then they’re likely form on the walls of the glass and will already sort of have the look of crushed glass. You’ll need to experiment a bit…

  126. Bonnie J. Bohnet
    July 22, 2022 / 8:44 am

    When I was a kid about 65 years ago….. We used to take an old fish bowl, and make crystals. I think we used ingredients like coal, bluing (a product to whiten clothes, if it is still sold)… and food coloring to make them different colors. Does this sound familiar to anyone, of is it just an old ladies poor memory..

  127. Janice Goff
    August 13, 2022 / 2:49 am

    I SO wish these awesome DIY blogs had a printable version of their ideas!

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