Time Requireda few hours to overnight, depending what you want
MaterialsYou can use pretty much any recipe for growing crystals. Good choices would include sugar, salt, Epsom salts or borax. I chose alum because I wanted large crystals on the egg and quick results. If you want to completely coat your egg with sparkly crystals, borax or sugar would work best. The amount of borax, sugar, salt or Epsom salt is different from the amount of alum. Basically, keep adding material to the boiling water until it stops dissolving. Use this saturated solution to grow the crystals.
- an egg
- 1 cup boiling hot water
- 4 tablespoons alum (which is the size of a typical container in the grocery store)
- a pin or needle
- food coloring or Easter egg dye (optional)
- string or a pipecleaner (optional)
Prepare the EggYou have a few options here.
- Crystal Geode Egg
If you want to make a geode, carefully crack the egg or cut it in half. Rinse off the shells and allow them to dry before continuing.
- Crystal Egg
You can use a hard-boiled egg to make your crystal egg. This results in a heavy egg that can be used as a tabletop decoration.
- Egg Ornament
Use a pin, awl or Dremel tool to pierce a hole into each end of the egg. Push the pin or an unbent paper clip into the egg to scramble the yolk. Blow into the hole on one end of the egg to remove the egg. If you have trouble, try enlarging the hole. The crystals will grow over the bottom hole, so it isn't critical to have an inconspicuous hole.
Make the Crystal EggThis is how I made the egg in the photograph:
- Pour 1 cup of boiling water into a glass.
- Stir in 4 tablespoons of alum. Keep stirring until the alum dissolves.
- If you want colored crystals, add a few drops of food coloring. The eggshell picks up color easily, so a little dye goes a long way.
- Put the egg in the glass so that it is completely covered by liquid. If you blew out the egg, you'll need to submerge the egg until the air bubbles escape or else your egg will float. If you like, you can suspend a hollowed egg using a pipecleaner or string.
- Allow a few hours for crystal growth. Once you are pleased with the crystals, remove the egg, hang it or set it on a paper towel, and allow it to dry.
Crystal Egg Recipes
- Sugar Crystal Egg
Dissolve 3 cups of sugar in 1 cup of boiling water.
- Borax Crystal Egg
Dissolve 3 tablespoons of borax into 1 cup of boiling or very hot water.
- Salt Crystal Egg
The solubility of table salt or sodium chloride is highly dependent on temperature. Stir salt into boiling water until it stops dissolving. Sometimes it helps to microwave the solution to a rolling boil to get the salt into solution. It's okay if there is some undissolved salt at the bottom of the container. Let it settle out and then pour off the clear portion to use to grow your crystals.
- Epsom Salt Crystal Egg
Dissolve 1 cup of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) into 1 cup of very hot tap water.
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