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Project

Crystal Snowflake

This snowflake's sparkly clusters are made by dipping shaped pipe cleaners into borax dissolved in boiling water with food coloring. As the water cools, borax forms crystals that cling to pipe cleaners.

Materials

  • Pipe cleaners
  • String
  • Pencil
  • Jar
  • Borax
  • Blue food coloring
  • Boiling water

Steps

  1. Step 1

    Twist three 5-inch pieces of pipe cleaner together to form a snowflake, then add a 1 1/2-inch piece to each point. Tie the flake with string to a pencil. Find a big enough jar so the suspended flake won't touch the sides.

  2. Step 2

    Fill with 3 tablespoons borax and 1 drop blue food coloring per 1 cup of boiling water. Hang the snowflake in the jar. Let sit overnight; remove.

Source
Martha Stewart Kids, Volume 6 2002

Reviews (18)

  • lsboedi 9 Dec, 2010

    If you have a large enough container, can you do more than one at a time? Is there enough solution to cover say 3-5 snowflakes if they are done in a large bucket with the right parts water and Borax?

  • cph0602 6 Dec, 2010

    I am a 6th grade science teacher, and had my kids make these to decorate our classroom tree, and they look awesome! You will need at least 2 cups of water to cover most ornaments (so, 6 tablespoons borax, 2 cups boiling water, and a few drops of food coloring). Form shape out of pipe cleaners, attach to string and tie to a popsicle stick. Place ornament in mason jar,so that it is suspended by the pop/stick, make sure ornament is completely submerged, but not touching the bottom/sides.

  • lisawalters 4 Dec, 2010

    I thought that these instructions were rather unclear. Do you suspend the snowflake above the mixture, do you dip the snowflake, etc. I googled it and found a site that has a bit more instruction, thought that I would share as it looks like a great project! http://www.food.com/recipe/crystal-ornaments-borax-145914

  • AHuckwell 3 Dec, 2010

    I followed the recipe exactly and only got a few crystals floating on the top of the solution. Any suggestions?

  • beetimmills 3 Nov, 2010

    Does the "snow flake" have to be submerged in the solution" or just a small amount in the jar?

  • Tiffany_Sun 23 Sep, 2010

    Yes, you can try using the borax solution a second time. Blue food coloring gives a nice tint, but it's not absolutely necessary.

  • xjenjenjenx 7 Dec, 2009

    do you need the food coloring?

  • CalliMakesDo 6 Dec, 2009

    Can the borax solution be used a second time for another snowflake?

  • Hughlene 27 Nov, 2009

    250 ML = 1 cup

  • conga 18 Jan, 2009

    Who can tell me how many is a cup in "ml"? Many Thank s for answer.

  • DanniiB 12 Jan, 2009

    stina73 we use to make these when i was at school and to my memory just used standard table salt the chrystals take a bit longer to develop but it works much the same way

  • tinlover 11 Jan, 2009

    These are SO beautiful!! I made several sizes. You can reuse the solution if you heat it enough to put the borax back into solution and of course add more water and borax. I like the look of rock candy so I will make some fake, using this recipe. Two notes: don't use metallic pipe cleaners--not enough fibers for the crystals to grab. Borax is sold as "20 Mule Team"

  • conga 9 Jan, 2009

    Hallo Martha, can you tell me, how many is a cup? I donn n n n t know that, bacause In n n n m from Germany. Please can you tell the quantity in "ml" ? Thank you very much for your answer. Greeting Gabriele

  • stina73 11 Dec, 2008

    Can you use something else instead of borax? In Germany you can't buy borax anymore out of safety reasons. It is not healthy.

  • stina73 11 Dec, 2008

    Can you use something else instead of borax? In Germany you can't buy borax anymore out of safety reasons. It is not healthy.

  • LindenBlossom 29 Dec, 2007

    The teacher in me loves this project - I'll be trying it out with my class to create not only a pretty take-home gift but also teaching them about how minerals can be dissolved and formed at the same time. They'll love it!

  • LindenBlossom 29 Dec, 2007

    The teacher in me loves this project - I'll be trying it out with my class to create not only a pretty take-home gift but also teaching them about how minerals can be dissolved and formed at the same time. They'll love it!

  • LindenBlossom 29 Dec, 2007

    The teacher in me loves this project - I'll be trying it out with my class to create not only a pretty take-home gift but also teaching them about how minerals can be dissolved and formed at the same time. They'll love it!