This fun science experiment doubles as a gorgeous home decor project! Crystallize foam eggs with the kids then use them in your spring home decor!
It may only be February, but spring is in the air here in Tennessee! Daffodils are blooming, trees are budding, and even my iris are starting to peak out of the ground. It has me in the mood to decorate for spring!
This month’s FloraCraft® Make It: Fun challenge was to create a spring project using their foam egg shapes. As a former scientist, I love it when I can bring science into my crafting. I had this crazy notion to grow crystals all over the foam eggs to make them a spectacular piece of home decor. And it worked!
Not shown: twine, heavy duty magnets, Popsicle stick, toothpick, food coloring
Borax is a standard detergent that you can find at your local grocery store.
Before we get into how to grow the crystals, we need to figure out the setup of our experiment. The main drawback to growing crystals on foam is that foam floats. And to grow crystals over the entire surface of the egg we need it to be completely submerged in our solution. So we are going to rig it!
1. Cut a toothpick in half and push the sharp ends into each end of the foam egg, about halfway in.
2. Tie a short piece of twine to one toothpick and a longer piece to the other end. Tie the other end of the longer piece of twine to the Popsicle stick.
3. Place the end of the short piece of twine between two heavy duty magnets.
4. Place the egg contraption, magnet end first, into a Mason jar and rest the Popsicle stick on the rim. Set a third magnet under the jar.
The magnets attached to the twine will be drawn to the magnet under the jar. Adjust the lengths of twine as needed to be sure the egg will be in the center of the jar (from top to bottom). The magnet under the jar and the Popsicle stick can both be adjust to be sure the egg stays away from the sides of the jar. If the crystals growing on the egg or the side of the jar touch, they will fuse together.
1. Boil enough water to fill the jar.
2. Once boiled, carefully add the water to the jar. Do not fill all the way to the top! Adding the egg will displace the water so it will overflow if too full.
3. Add Borax to the water while stirring. Continue to add Borax until it no longer dissolves in the hot water. We are creating a saturated solution.
4. Add food coloring if desired.
5. Add the egg contraption as you practiced previously. Be sure the egg is not touching any of the sides of the jar.
6. Wrap the jar with a dishtowel and cover the top with a potholder so that the solution cools down at a slow rate.
Leave for 12-24 hours. The more saturated the solution you create, the bigger the crystals will be. Once you remove the egg from the solution, remove the toothpicks and set the egg on paper towels to dry.
The coloring is really faint. If you want a more intense color you could try spray painting the eggs and allowing them to dry prior to placing them in the solution. I like the subtle color of the crystals shown here.
These little crystal eggs can be displayed as is or further decorated. I thought they looked pretty cute with these little faux blooms in them! I simply inserted the stems in the holes from the toothpick.
Now I’m itching to crystallize some more things!! This is a fun project to let the kids help with. Just be sure an adult handles the boiling water.