Crystal Christmas Ornaments

Grow your own pretty crystal ornaments to hang with a solution of Borax.

What you need:


Furry pipe cleaners (various colours)

Glass jars (big enough for decorations to dangle easily inside)

Nylon thread

Clothes pegs or pencil

Disposable gloves

Safety glasses (optional but recommended)

What to do:

Bend the pipe cleaner into the shape of the decoration you want to make. For a christmas tree fold a green furry pipe cleaner in half, and bend into a Christmas tree shape, with both ends twisting in the middle at the base of the tree. Cut off the ends.     

Tie a loop of invisible nylon thread to the top of your decoration. This will be used to hang the decoration in Borax solution, and later to hang your ornament. Twist the nylon thread loop onto a peg (or pencil), and check that the ornament can easily dangle inside the jar.                               

These next steps require adult supervision. Put on safety glasses and disposable gloves. Carefully fill a glass jar with boiling water. The glass jar will be instantly very HOT! Add Borax powder to the water, and stir to make your saturated solution (about 3 tablespoons per 250ml, keep adding borax until the powder no longer dissolves - saturated solution). Borax is not consumable. 

Lower the ornament pipe cleaner into the Borax solution, and use the peg/pencil across the top of the jar as a prop to allow your decoration to dangle in the solution. Ensure the ornament isn’t touching the sides or bottom of the jar. Set a side. You can cover the jat with paper to stop bugs falling in the solution. 

After 3 days your cyrstlas should be finished forming and you can remove the decorations from the jar.

Place decorations on paper towel and let dry. They are now ready to give away or hang up for decorations.

Why is it so?

Borax becomes suspended in the water – hot water holds more Borax than cold water – allowing the solution to become supersaturated. As the solution begins to cool, the water molecules move closer together and the excess Borax that cannot be dissolved attaches to the pipe cleaner. This forms crystals on the pipe cleaners.

Inspect each decoration for unique crystal formation.   

Borax (also known as sodium borate, sodium tetraborate or disodium tetraborate) is a naturally occurring mineral and salt, that is mined from seasonal lakes. It is commonly used as a detergent alternative or laundry booster, and can sometimes be found in the laundry aisle of supermarkets.