Ways & How

How to Grow Crystals

How to Grow Crystals

We may think that only kids looking for a science project would want to know how to grow crystals, but creative people have use for this skill too. Grown crystals can be used creatively. They can be used for jewelry for school or church plays, especially during the holidays. Colored sugar crystals can be used to make baubles that help actors look the part of royalty or the rich. Crystals also make lovely holiday decor for trees, wreaths, or gifts. Growing crystals is easy. Read on to learn how to do it:

  1. Prepare your materials: 1 cup of water, about 3 cups of sugar, some food coloring if you want colorful crystals. For equipment, you will need a stove, a pot to boil the water in, a glass jar (a Mason jar will suit the purpose really well), a teaspoon, a long piece of string, a pencil, and a paper clip (optional). The pencil should be long enough to sit across the mouth of the jar without falling in. You will also need an area with little vibration or disturbance where you can leave the solution while waiting for the crystals to form.



    And for little kids, you will need lots of patience.

  2. Make sure your jar is squeaky clean. Food particles, grease, or lodged dirt may affect the process and prevent the crystals from forming properly. Before using it, wash the jar in warm, soapy water to make sure it is thoroughly clean.

  3. Put the water in a pot and bring it to a boil. Kids will need adult supervision for this, especially when pouring the boiling water into the glass jar.

  4. Slowly, one teaspoon at a time, stir the sugar into the boiling water and dissolve. Do not rush this; each time, make sure the sugar is dissolved completely before adding the next teaspoonful. Continue adding sugar until the water is fully saturated and the sugar stops dissolving. You will see it begin to gather at the bottom of the jar. Your solution is now ready for the next step.

  5. If you want colored crystals, this is the time to add a drop or two of food coloring. Use one color per jar; adding different colors or too much food coloring to a single jar will likely result in a muddy color.

  6. Tie one end of your string to the middle of the pencil. Measure your string so that the other end reaches the bottom of the jar; tie a paper clip to this other end if you like. Although a free-hanging string will work, tying a paper clip to the end will make the crystal form faster and grow bigger. This is because it will have a larger surface area to grow on.

  7. Place the jar in an area where it can sit undisturbed. Any movement may cause the sugar crystal to break from the string/paper clip as it is forming.

  8. Check on the jar the next day to see how the crystal is forming. Continue observing it for several days to see how big it gets.

Other substances can be used to grow crystals. You can try using salt or alum instead of sugar and see how the results differ. Although the resulting crystal will be fragile and may not sustain prolonged active use, you may enjoy watching it form into strange shapes. Try out the steps above to learn how to grow crystals and start a crystal garden.

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