Estimated reading time: 6 minutes
Borax makes it easy for your kids to experiment and grow crystals of their very own! Let’s experiment for Valentine’s Day and make heart crystals. Make shimmering crystallized icicle ornaments with pipe cleaners, Borax, and water!
How to Grow Borax Crystals – Valentine’s Day Heart
Gather your kids around the table for this fun exploration into science at home. You can sit down and teach your littles about How to Grow Borax Crystal Valentine’s Day Hearts. No need to run out and buy mommy that special Valentine’s Day gift when they can make it at home with you.
Borax is a common laundry product (also known as sodium borate) that whitens, brightens, and freshens clothes. I also like to use it when cleaning around my home, especially when I need to Degrease my Kitchen Cabinets. But when mixed with water in a concentrated solution, it can form beautiful crystals on craft pipe cleaners or any textured surface.
When Borax is mixed and dissolved in water for a number of hours as the water cools, it begins to create crystals. If leftover night, you will see your crystals begin to grow into a thicker heart.
Here is a FUN FACT. Hot water can hold more borax than cold water. When the hot water becomes saturated with borax and cools back down, the Borax returns to its natural state, leaving crystals behind.
If you would like to learn about the science behind growing crystals, read this article.
What You Will Need For Borax Crystals – Valentine’s Day Heart
- Plastic Container (Don’t use glass as it may shatter when adding in boiling water)
- Boiling Water (one or more cups, depending on your container size)
- Pipe Cleaners molded into hearts
- Shop Stick, Pencil, or something to dangle your crystals from until completely formed
- Borax Powder (3 tablespoons per cup of hot water, I used 2 cups of water in my container)
- Red Food Dye
How To Make Your Borax Crystals – Valentine’s Day Heart
1. Begin by boiling your water. Keep in mind for this project you will need 3 tablespoons of Borax per 1 cup of water.
2. While waiting for it to boil, take your pipe cleaners and start forming your heart shapes. Form your heart from the center of your pipe cleaner. Leaving extra length to wrap onto your chopstick, pencil, or stick.
If you make a larger heart crystal, you can yarn to hand your hearts instead of the extra pipe cleaner.
3. Get your container ready. I knew before starting that my container could hold 2 cups’ worth of water. In my container, I pre-measured my borax (6 tbsp or 3 tbsp per cup of water).
Once my water was boiling, I added it to my container and then my pre-measured amount of borax. You probably do not need to pre-measure. I am just OCD.
4. Next, stir your borax and water mixture until dissolved, then add in the coloring of your choice. We did red. The dark you go, the darker your crystals will turn out.
I would go as dark as possible as borax doesn’t absorb food coloring that well.
5. Now you are ready to make crystals. Put your pipe cleaner shape into your container, with the chopstick or pencil lying over the opening.
You don’t want the bottom of your shape touching the container. Keep it just above the bottom.
It takes time to grow
6. Let soak for at least 6 hours. It is okay to check on them (we did). Plus, it is fun to watch the progress. For best results, we let ours soak overnight.
As you can see, even though our Borax mixture was deep dark red, our Borax Crystal Hearts turned out pink. Just remember that if you end up adding in lighter colors, the crystals will turn out very light pastel.
Now it is time to decorate your house for Valentine’s Day with your NEW Borax Crystal Valentine’s Day Hearts.