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Quick Crystal Growing Projects

Crystals, Fast!

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Growing crystals doesn't have to be a tedious, time-consuming process. It's true perfect specimen-quality crystals can take some dedication to produce, but if you want crystals and you want them now there are projects that give instant gratification. In addition to being quick, these projects are also safe for kids.

1. Cup of Crystal Needles

These epsom salt crystal needles form within a matter of hours.
Anne Helmenstine
Grow a cupful of epsom salt crystal needles in your refrigerator. It's quick, easy, and safe.

2. Borax Crystal Snowflake

Borax crystal snowflakes are fun and easy to make.
Anne Helmenstine
These crystals grow overnight, but if you start them right before you go to sleep, it's almost as good as instant crystals.

3. Quick Sheet Crystals

These sheet crystals crystallize very quickly. Food coloring was added to color the crystals.
Anne Helmenstine
This project will ice a pan with a sheet of crystals within seconds. Very fast, very cool.

4. Crystal Spikes in the Sun

The instructions, as written, call for evaporating the crystal solution on construction paper, but I prefer to use thinner and less-colorsafe tissue paper for quicker and brighter crystals.

5. Patio Table Crystals

If you grow crystals on your patio table, you'll get to see it become a sheet of sparkling rainbows.
Anne Helmenstine
Turn the surface of your glass patio table into a safe place for kids to explore crystals. Here's an easy crystal project you can do on any warm, sunny day using ingredients from your kitchen.

6. Salt Crystal Rings & Ferns

You can see needle-like and fern-like crystals in addition to salt rings.
Anne Helmenstine
You can use heat for force salt crystal evaporation. The water evaporates and rings form while you watch.

7. Alum Crystals

In the Smithsonian kits, these are called 'frosty diamonds'.
Anne Helmenstine
Alum crystals grow quickly. The crystals in this photo grew overnight.
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