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How To Grow Crystal Spikes in the Sun

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Epsom salt crystals needles grow in a matter of hours. You can grow clear or colored crystals.

Epsom salt crystals needles grow in a matter of hours. You can grow clear or colored crystals.

Anne Helmenstine

Most crystals take days or weeks to form. Use this technique if you have a sunny day and want crystals FAST!

Difficulty: Easy

Time Required: 1-3 hours

Here's How:

  1. First, a sunny day isn't required, but it will help! You want rapid evaporation of the water to form the crystals, so select a warm, dry place to grow crystals (sunny porch or window is great).
  2. Use the scissors to cut black (or other dark color) construction paper so that it will fit in the bottom of the pan.
  3. Add 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt to 1/4 cup warm water. Stir until the salt is dissolved.
  4. Put the construction paper in the pan and pour the salt solution over the paper.
  5. Put the pan in the place you have selected for crystal-growing. As the water evaporates, you'll see lots of spiky crystals.
  6. Have fun! Use a magnifying glass to see your creations up-close.

Tips:

  1. This is one of the fastest, least toxic methods of growing crystals. You can substitute regular salt for Epsom, but the resulting crystals won't be as exciting.
  2. Wash your hands after handling Epsom salts. Don't drink the solution and avoid spilling it on yourself.
  3. Experiment with adding water colors or food color to the salt solution.

What You Need:

  • black construction paper
  • pie or cake pan
  • warm water
  • Epsom salt
  • scissors

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