When I posted a photo on my FB page of 1 of my recent crystal growing specimens, I got a ton of questions asking how, how, how?
So, if you’re one of those who always wanted to know how to grow your own crystals, this is the blog post for you!
You know I love my crystals for their healing props but I feel it’s really important to also get to know them in a different way; to learn how & why they grow, how Mama Earth cooks them up in her kitchen. This FUN activity gives us a little insight into that process. And you end up with some drop-dead gorgeous crystals in the end!
Plus this gives me a good excuse to geek out all the way!!
I know from many years in my old science classroom days that kids, teenagers (& adults!) really enjoy seeing the crystallization
MAGIC at work! So, pretty sure you’re gonna eat this up with a spoon!
What’s a geode?
Basically, geodes are round rocks that have a hollow interior usually from a gas bubble, in which some sort of usually volcanic hydrothermal fluids got trapped in. These hollows create the perfect crystal growing environment since they usually contain a supersaturated crystal growing solution (Yes, I know…CRAZY-GEEK-FEST terms! I explain what that is in the featured video…but, Yo! you’ll love it…that’s a little hint).
Geodes can take thousands or even millions of years to grow…but these babies will only take a couple of days. How lucky are you?!
- Halloween: how about a fluorescent twist? Just sub the water & food coloring solution with glow water
- Winter Holidays: grow some snowy white geodes, skip the food coloring & you’ll get clear crystals that will look like clear or milky quartz!
- Easter/Spring Equinox: just make ‘em! Any color, go wild
Oh! In case you didn’t know…I have a slight obsession with the TV show Breaking Bad…just a slight, barely there kind of thing. Yes, even without TV I managed to get completely addicted to it.
Stuffs You’ll Need:
(Note: this will make 1 color. If you’d like to make different colors…& I’m pretty sure you will, you’ll need to repeat these steps for each color)
- Used eggshells
- about 2/3 c (~157 mL) Alum powder (check the spice section of your local grocery store or click on link for my favorite brand, make sure your brand has potassium for better results!)
- White school glue (like Elmer’s)
- Small paintbrush
- heat-resistant glass container
- 30-40 drops of food coloring
- 2 c (~ 0.5 L) hot water
- Glass stirrer or spoon
- Paper towel or drying rack
Procedure for How To Grow Your Own Crystals:
- Make sure the inside of your eggshells are all squeaky clean & dry
- Add a drop of white glue to the inside of your egg shell as well as the edges & use the paint brush to “paint” it around covering every bit of the interior of the egg-shell. Keep adding drops of glue until it’s all painted up.
- Now, quick! Before the glue dries…generously sprinkle in your alum powder. Cover every bit of the interior, shake out the excess & add more. Let your eggshell halves dry overnight.
- The next day, it’s time to make your crystal growing super-saturated alum solution! Heat your water to almost boiling then pour 2 cups (~0.5 L) of that hot water into a heat resistant container. Add 30-40 drops of food coloring. In this case, the water is our SOLVENT, or the part that is doing the dissolving.
- Now begin adding your 3/4 cup (~177 mL) of alum powder into the heated water. The alum is your SOLUTE; the substance that is being dissolved. Don’t pour it all in at once, add slowy & stir with your spoon or glass stirrer as I demo in the video. Keep adding (more than the suggested amount if needed) until your solution reaches super-saturation. TIP: If you do have undissolved alum powder at the bottom (as you should) you can force it to dissolve by placing the solution in the microwave for a 1 min or 2 then stirring again. Use CAUTION if you decide to do this as it will be very hot, but doing it will prevent alum powder from wanting to collect with the powder at the bottom, therefore more crystals on our geodes!
- Now let your solution cool at room temp. for about 30 min.
- Using your spoon gently dunk 1 of your eggshells in your super-saturated crystal growing solution, pushing it down to the bottom of the container with the open end of the eggshell facing up. If you choose to add another eggshell try to make sure they don’t touch each other much…you’ll get better crystal growth.
- Leave the container in a safe spot overnight (at least 12 hours). This, Chick Pea…is where the MAGIC happens! Allow your crystals to grow without being bumped or disturbed. If you can stand to leave them in longer than just overnight, you’ll get bigger crystals. Can you stand it?
- On the following day, using a spoon very gently fish your geode out of the solution. Want them to grow bigger? Gently dunk it back into your solution to hang out for another day or so. Don’t worry about the color too much now as it will lighten up considerably once it dries & becomes sparkly & BRILLIANT!
- Once you’re satisfied with how they look, place them on a paper towel or drying rack for a few hours to dry.
Now that you’ve grown this gorgeous beauty how do you keep it looking its best?
Be careful not to keep it in too humid of an environment since that will cause it to start dissolving. We don’t want that. So after you’ve admired it for a few days, you can wrap it in paper to keep it dry & keep dust from settling on it & then store it in a closed container.
So are you amazed that Mother Earth takes these (yet much more complicated) steps stretched over a longer period of time & creates over 4500 different types of minerals & crystals and has been doing so for the better part of 4.6 billion years!? I KNOW I AM! Completely & totally amazed & respectful of the entire process.
I hope you have a ton fun trying this out all on your own or with your kids or some friends. If you do try it out please post your results on my FB page or comment below & let us know how it worked out or if you discovered any cool tips to share! I’ll add them to this post so all the Crystal Hotties can benefit!
Happy Crystal Growing!!
P.S. If you enjoyed this post, please share it along so others can try this out with us & share in the FUN!!