Introduction: Grow Crystals

This instructable shows you how to grow your own crystals, using Copper Sulphate.

Step 1: Materials

To produce Copper Sulphate crystals, you need the following:

1) Copper Sulphate in powder form
2) A glass jar
3) A small button
4) Some thin (plastic coated) wire
5) A paper clip
6) A spoon

Step 2: Prepare the "Crystal Seed"

First you need to prepare the paper clip and button. This acts as a base or "seed" for your crystal. Unwind the paper clip and thread the button through it, as show below.

Then, cut the wire in half so that you have two pieces. Tie each wire to each side of the paper clip.
This arrangement ensures that the "seed" remains submerged in the saturated solution.

Step 3: Prepare the Solution

Pour some hot water into the jar.
Add copper sulphate to the hot water and dissolve. Keep on adding copper sulphate until no more dissolves. Repeat this process until the jar is almost filled to the top with solution. Remember: it is extremely important that the solution is saturated! This means that if you add any more powder to it, it does not dissolve after stirring well. Your solution should be dark blue, and no light should pass through it. Copper Sulphate is very soluble and can be absorbed through the skin, so please wear gloves when preparing the solution.

Step 4: Place the "Seed" and Wait

Lastly, place your prepared wire and button in the solution so that the button is suspended about half way into the jar. Do not move the jar once this is done. Leave the jar as it is for 24 hours. Crystals will have grown around the button and along the wire. Leaving your jar for longer will produce larger crystals. Remember, the more saturated your solution was, the bigger your crystals will be. You can remove the crystals from the jar and dry them with some paper towels. You have now made some Copper Sulphate crystals!

Below is our video of this instructable:

Comments

author
bakkos (author)2014-01-15

i used to grow cupper sulfate, and to prevent it, ialways used clear, transparent nail polish. it isolates Crystal from air, moisture, Water.

author
ZohairShafi (author)bakkos2014-10-24

Did that always work? I want to make one. Worried about it getting dry and loosing its colour.

author
VictorY25 (author)ZohairShafi2016-08-29

lol

author
solipsil (author)2010-02-05

I'm wondering, is there a translucent material that can be painted on to "seal" it and prevent its decay? this could make an awesome necklace..

author

I dont know if this will help 6 years since yoi asked this question, but a clear nail polish will do the trick. Coat the crystal in the polish and it will last longer. ☆

author
DaggerTA (author)2015-02-06

Hi

author
ZohairShafi (author)2014-10-24

Should i be worried about the crystals loosing the water molecules if kept in the open? Or is it necessary to keep them in airtight containers?

author
ninjakid11 (author)2014-05-26

nice. I might try it, or fail. <8(. Although I might be able to sell it in my shop.

author
juju__ (author)2014-03-27

my sister spilt the solution on me (by mistake) should i be worried?

author
studleylee (author)2013-12-18

How would you grow a large pentacene crystal?

author
911no (author)2009-08-07

What can be made with these crystals? can you make jewelry?

author
Eirinn (author)911no2009-08-31

The crystals are toxic, i suggest you don't ;) they're usualy made in high school chemistry experiments.

author
loverbey (author)Eirinn2011-10-30

this might have been mentioned at the start!

author
Eirinn (author)loverbey2011-10-31

It really should have.

The chemical was once used as a vomit inducing drug. I doubt they're lethal (everything is lethal in large quantities, even water).

author
Project 23 (author)2011-10-17

great tut man, definitely trying this and subscribing :))

author
zakamooza (author)2010-12-29

how many grams of copper sulfate to ml of water ?

author
ssukhi (author)zakamooza2011-07-05

U just have to make a super saturated solution, much like sugar crystals. When making sugar supersaturated solution, the water turns yellow. I"m not sure about coppersulfate

author
TruckerDude (author)2009-09-16

If you are concerned about toxicity in this project, search about.com for growing sugar crystals. They are in fact edible.
Another method (is not edible) use laundry blueing, ammonia, salt and water.

author
Thundertydus (author)TruckerDude2009-10-08

I was told that if I leave it out, it will shrink and fall apart, true?

author
DrCoolSanta (author)2007-12-11

Copper sulfate is beautiful but poisonous, you should not touch or eat it, great instructable but harmful. Use something else instead

author
Eirinn (author)DrCoolSanta2009-08-31

True, eating this stuff will make you uh...empty your stomach faster than lightning. That's the best case scenario, the worst case scenario is copper sulphate poisoning and depending on the concentration...well you know where i'm going (can get really bad). They're beautiful, just don't eat them, touching should be fine hehe. (just backing the other commenters up).

author
DrCoolSanta (author)Eirinn2009-09-16

You know, keep away from children and stuff. Just mentioned it is harmful, to be safe on the safe side, otherwise they don't mind having us use it in school experiments and such. Copper Sulfate is one of the most beautiful crystals, a really awesome salt, green flame, nice colour and beutiful crystals.

author
Shadowfury (author)DrCoolSanta2009-02-21

It is toxic, but only if you ingest the powder or crystal. In solution it is harmful to skin. In short, yes, you can touch the crystals, just not the solution.

author
tacamaral (author)Shadowfury2009-08-31

You can cover the crystal with varnish - common, transparent varnish - and you can touch it. : )

author
albaroxxs4life (author)2009-04-06

where can we buy Cupric Sulfate???

author

in some home improvement stores they sell it as stump remover or allege killer, I had no luck at lows or homedepot so i just went to ebay and bought 2lbs for $11

author
DrCoolSanta (author)2009-03-24

Sugar and Salt crystals are not so beautiful and also they tell you to not touch it so you don't even have a chance to ingest it.

author
AdamK (author)2007-10-11

For all those with material boundaries:
This can be done with any crystalline powder, including salt (which turns out pretty cool) and sugar (rock candy!!).
Add lots of food colouring for added fun. ;)

author
iglo1234 (author)AdamK2008-10-25

REALLY is it the same way

author
Shadowfury (author)iglo12342009-02-21

Yes. The crystal structure will differ, though.

author
Biohazard1194 (author)2008-12-13

" For all those with material boundaries: This can be done with any crystalline powder, including salt (which turns out pretty cool) and sugar (rock candy!!). Add lots of food colouring for added fun. ;) " Sooo... if i made this with sugar... i could EAT it? without harm? right? just make it the exact same way... with sugar? or salt (For looks. not eating xD)

author
Shadowfury (author)Biohazard11942009-02-21

Yes, you could eat it without harm. Just be sure to use pure sugar (with or without food coloring). Same goes for salt (might not taste too good, though).

author
sullidish (author)2009-02-21

can you touch the crystal after it has formed?

author
Shadowfury (author)sullidish2009-02-21

Yes. Cupric Sulfate is not harmful to skin. Just do not ingest the crystals, due to their toxicity.

author
!Andrew_Modder! (author)2007-09-14

that looks cool :-)

author

you can use Alum, found in any grocery store, used in pickling process.

author
zimmemic25 (author)2008-10-25

if u dry copper sulphate, it turns white... so can i dry the crystals and get white ones or will they become powder form again?

author
iglo1234 (author)2008-10-25

can u chisel them or would they shatter?

author
Plasmana (author)2008-09-15

Beautiful crystals! I am going to make some!

author
Gh{O}sT (author)2008-08-07

are they really THAT vibrant!

author
thedog458 (author)2008-05-02

do u need to wear gloves when holding the Crystals

author
jespo0o (author)thedog4582008-07-27

not really , coppersulphate solution is toxic if contacted with skin or mouth (you have to be a moron to swallow the stuff :p) but in crystal form it's safe (as long as it is dry)

author
Gh{O}sT (author)jespo0o2008-08-07

ceeewwwwllllll im making it!

author
cipshadow (author)2008-06-22

How much does it last? Because I know some kind of sulphate crystal which last only half a minute

author
miy (author)2007-09-23

Do you know how to make your own copper sulphate ? the easier way i mean...

author
plumbiumpenguin (author)miy2008-04-29

Copper sulfate is pretty readily availabe if you live near a stained glass supplies store. It is labeled something like "Copper patina" and, while not being the pure stuff(there is stuff like mineral acid), it should work for this experiment.

author
Illuminati (author)2007-09-29

How much copper sulfate did you use to achieve a crystal of that size? I've got plans now of using a large pickle jar and making one approaching the size of the jar. I also plan on using a few ultrabrite white led's as a base for the crystal formation so that once it's grown i can have a giant glowing crystal suspended in a large jar. It would look very cool.

author
thegamist (author)2007-09-20

can u toutch the crystal when its done???

author
jongscx (author)2007-09-17

If you use fishing wire to hang your seed, you could hang it and it would look like it's floating. Hang it in a clear, cylindrical container or a big pickle jar and use a down-light on it (oooh... you could use color LEDs or a color-changing LED thing) and you have a funky looking lamp. Heck, you could use something with copper in it (too lazy to look up what) and you'd come up with a green crystal. Label it as Kryptonite and put a green LED down-light...

author
higgrobot (author)2007-09-14

Very cool, does it need a coat of clear before handling it? can you dunk it in a new batch of solution to get a bigger crystal?

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