Crystal Snowflakes – Grow your own!

Final-crystal-snowflake

I wanted to grow Crystal Snowflakes with the kids after the Christmas craziness had died down but I needed to find the key ingredient BORAX. One of the hardest parts of crafting in Italy is finding what you need! I discovered online that borax is called borace and can be purchased in farmacies but when I went to look for it – no luck:(. Instead, what I found was Boric Acid (also used as a disinfectant) and decided to grow crystals using this alternative. The good new is that it worked!

You will need:
Chenille stems
hot water
string
30 g boric acid
craft sticks

Let’s get started:
Step 1: Cut a chenille stem into three equal parts and form into a snowflake.
chenille stem snowflake

Step 2: Fold one of the longer branches of the snowflake over so that it can become a hook for the string.
secure string

Step 3: Using a craft stick, lower the snowflake into the solution of boric acid/water. To make this solution disolve 30 grams of boric acid in 240 ml boiling water. Stir until all the powder disappears.
usecraftstick

Step 4: You can grow multiple snowflakes at the same time but make sure that the chenille stems to do not each other or the sides of the glass. Let set for 30 minutes to 2 hours.
in liquid2

Once you have grown your crytals to the desired size, take out of the boric acid solution and hang to let dry. The BORAX cyrstals are far more resistant than these crystals which are quite delicate. In fact, we hung our snowflakes and then tried not to move them so that we would not damage our delicate masterpieces! This is a great experiment to do at school because the crystals grow really fast and are inexpensive to grow!

Try it out and tell us how it works for you
Alison