DIY Crystal Hearts with Borax A Step-by-Step Guide
I had so much fun making these magical DIY heart crystals for Valentine’s Day using Borox. Watching the pipe cleaner heart turn into a sparkling crystal formation over a 24-hour period was amazing and would make a great science activity to try with kids, I love projects perfect for kids and adults of all ages!
When Cindy from DIY Beautify shared her crystalized hearts I knew I had to try it. I’ve seen so many variations of these but hers are just beautiful!
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- 1/4 Cup Borax powder (you can find this in the laundry aisle)
- 2 Cups Water
- Pipe cleaners (I used chenille sticks)
- Popsicle stick, Pencil, or chopstick
- Mason jar or wide mouth jar
- Boiling water
Heart Cookie Cutter (optional)
- Decorative string of your choice if you’re stringing the hearts together
Step 1: Creating the Heart Shape:
First thing is to create your hearts. I cut my pink pipe cleaner in half, it was just a personal choice.
Form the pipe cleaner into the shape of a heart and twist the two ends together to secure them. I used a small cookie cutter to help form my heart but this isn’t necessary. Make sure the heart will fit within the opening of the mason jar.
Step 2: Attach a string to the pipe cleaner heart
Tie the string to the top of the heart, then tie the other end of the string to the popsicle stick with enough length to allow the heart to be fully submerged in the borax and water solution without touching the bottom of the jar. Depending upon the size of your hearts and the size of your jar, you could add more than 1 heart, I did three in each, just make sure they are not touching each other.
Step 3: Preparing the Water Mixture Solution
The ratio of borax powder to boiling water is 3:1. I was using large mason jars so I used 2 cups water and 6 tablespoons borax. I boiled water in a teapot for easy pouring but you could also use a medium stock pot.
Carefully pour the borax powder into the glass jars and add your boiling water into the jar stirring as you pour. Continue stirring until all of the borax powder is dissolved. You want enough water in the jars so the hearts are submerged fully.
Step 4: Submerging the Hearts
Gently drop the pipe cleaner heart into the borax solution so that the pipe cleaner heart hangs in the middle of the jar. Let your popsicle stick rest on the top of the jar. Again, ensure they don’t touch the other hearts on the sides or the bottom of the jar.
Step 5: Crystallization
This is where the magic begins, set them aside in a quiet place so they won’t be disturbed for 24 hours! After a few hours, I saw some subtle changes. The next morning I had beautiful borax crystals
Step 6: Drying
Once the crystals have formed, carefully remove the hearts from the solution and allow them to dry on a clean, dry surface (a paper towel works for this). Trim off the string using scissors.
What causes the chemical reactions
As the borax mixture cools to room temperature, the water molecules move closer together again. This makes it so there is less room for the solution to hold onto as much of the dissolved borax. That is when the crystals begin to form and build on one another as the water lets go of the excess and evaporates.
This is such a fun chemistry experiment to do with the kids using simple ingredients that you can find at your local grocery store. You can display anywhere in your house for Valentine’s Day!
Tips and Tricks:
Use different colors of chenille pipe cleaners, white, red, and pink would be pretty together!
If you only have a white pipe cleaner, add different colors of food coloring to change the color of the pipe cleaner.
You can create snowly-looking stems using this method with sticks found outdoors.
Don’t forget to pin for later!
Handle borax with care, Borax is sodium tetraborate, a naturally occurring mineral which can cause skin irritation and is NOT safe to ingest. Use extra caution when creating this science project with the little ones. Make sure eyewear and gloves are worn and they never touch their mouths.
I hope you will give this fun science experiment and amazing craft a try, if you do, make sure you share your pictures with me!
Here are a few more fun Valentine’s Crafts, thank you so much for stopping in today!