Hi everyone! Today for our How To Tuesday I want to share a sneak peek of just one of the exciting projects from our Eco Art Day Off Camp that is coming up on Friday, April 3rd. This is one of my favorite camps to plan for because I have studied both Fine Art and Environmental Science and currently teach in both fields. Recently I have been experimenting with growing crystals at home with simple ingredients. Follow the steps below to make your own eco art crystal garden.
Safety warning: This is a great project to do with kids, but please note that the crystals or water/epsom salt mixture should not be ingested.
Step 1: Gather Materials
You will need the following for one batch of crystals; measuring cup, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of epsom salt (found in your grocery store or Walgreens/CVS), a watertight glass or plastic container, food color, a spoon, and a refrigerator.
Step 2: Decide on Your Container
Depending on how you would like to display your crystals you could choose a clear glass or plastic container. If you plan on removing your crystals from the container then you should choose a plastic container, if you would like to display your crystals in a jar, choose any glass container. Mason jars or votives are just two options.
Step 3: Measure Epsom Salt
Measure one cup of epsom salt and add to your container of choice
Step 4: Measure and Heat Water
Measure one cup of water. The best option for water temperature is the hottest that can come out of your kitchen faucet, or, you can heat your water for about 45 seconds in a microwave. It is important to note that you should not heat your water too much or your crystals will not grow. Remember that this is an experiment, if it goes wrong the first time, just try again!
Step 5: Combine Ingredients
Add the water to the container with the epsom salts and stir for about 1-2 minutes. Most of the epsom salt should be dissolved, but some may still remain at the bottom. Depending on how much you stir, the crystals will look different.
Step 6: Add Color
Add a few drops of food coloring to your mixture and stir. The more food coloring you add, the more colorful your crystals will be.
Step 7: Put in Your Refrigerator
Immediately after stirring and adding food color, set your container in your refrigerator and then wait for the results!
Step 8: See Your Results!
The longer you leave your mixture in the refrigerator, the more will grow! Crystals should begin to form at the bottom of the container in about three hours, but leaving your mixture overnight tends to give the best results.
Step 9: Make more!
Try different colors, use a different container, or get really crazy and add things to your mixture. I have tried adding beads, candy hearts, and pennies for different results. Another idea is to add a little sand to the mix, this seems to make the crystals grow even more.
Don't be surprised if your home becomes crystal cave. The most fun part of this project is testing different types of mixtures. If you love projects that are artistic, eco friendly, and most of all, fun, check out our Eco Art Day Off Camp as part of our Spring Break Camps at One Strange Bird. Day camps are for ages 4-11 and are only $75 per day. You can see all of our camps or enroll online here!
Happy crystal growing!