Kate's Corner: DIY geodes

Published: Apr. 19, 2017 at 11:26 AM EDT
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In this edition of Kate's Corner we are making beautiful crystals.

Here's what you need:

- Glass or vase filled with boiling water

- A pipe cleaner

- Borax

- String

- A pencil, stick or anything that you have around

Since we are dealing with borax and boiling water, parental supervision is needed.

Boil your water. While the water is boiling, we are going to make our hallow cavity for our crystals or form on. To do that we are going to wrap up a pipe cleaner. Then, take your string and tie it to your pipe cleaner. Then, tie that to your pen or stick.

Once you have your water boiling, pour that into your glass. While it's still hot, add your borax. Keep adding until the solution is cloudy and saturated. You'll know it's saturated when the water can no longer hold anymore borax and you'll see some floating on the bottom.

If you want your crystal to have a color to it, add a good amount of food coloring. Stir this all up then drop in your pipe cleaner. Make sure it doesn't touch the sides or else your crystal will attach to the sides and grow crystals.

Now wait at least 8 hours before you take our your pipe cleaner.

Once you take it out, you'll have a beautiful crystal. If you want a bigger crystal, leave the pipe cleaner in longer or make another saturated solution and drop your geode back in.

How does this work? Since the water is very warm, the water is moving fast and can hold more borax. When it cools down, the molecules slow down and cannot hold as much borax. The borax falls out of the water and as they fall they bond with other borax on nucleation sites like the pipe cleaner. The cooler it gets, the more and more borax crystalized on top of the pipe cleaner.