Introduction: Liquid Crystals

Picture of Liquid Crystals

An experiment with liquids led me to the result of 'liquid crystals'. If you take a closer look, you can see the crystals are made from gelatin. Follow the next steps to create a liquid crystal!

Step 1: Gelatin

Picture of Gelatin

First make the gelatin as indicated on the packaging. For one crystal you need just one or two sheets of gelatin. Soak in water, then heat the sheets with 5 spoons water in a pan and mix until it is a smooth jelly.

Step 2: Mold

Picture of Mold

I made a 'mold' from the tip of a plastic bag, a funnel and a cup, to poor the gelatin into.

Step 3: Color

Picture of Color

Add some color to make the crystal complete! I used pink and green ecoline (ink) to drip into the gelatin.
After that you can put it into the refrigerator.

Step 4: Ready!

Picture of Ready!

Step 5: Extra Experiment With Food Coloring

Picture of Extra Experiment With Food Coloring

Members like Radiograf and Fixfireleo gave me the tip to try food coloring instead of ink, so the crystals are edible.
The problem with food coloring is that the colors 'sink', you can see this in the first photo.
A little stirring helps. The colors aren't like the ink, but are great if you want to decorate a cake or something like that!

Another nice idea is to use jelly.


Victor Does (author)2015-01-18

They might be used where "flexible screen" are needed. ;)

Nrgdragon (author)Victor Does2015-06-04

They wouldn't be able to withstand the heat from running a current through it but funny idea lol :)

trusttheleaf (author)2014-11-13

thought it was potash alum
since our hs teach had us do that as a christmas project

kenyer (author)2014-09-22


ZaneEricB (author)2014-09-19

The ink disipates differently due to its viscosity.... think oil in water.... try a food grade coloring powder mixed with water and add in xanthan gum or Carrageenan gum... mix until a similar constitency between the ink and mixture is reached...hope this helps ;-)

radiograf (author)2014-07-24

If you used food colouring instead of ink these would be edible.

Joekevdv (author)radiograf2014-07-24

Hi radiograf, nice idea. I thought about it, but when you only add food coloring I think it doesn't taste so good. But I guess I could try to add some fruit or flavours to make it tasteful!

Joekevdv (author)Joekevdv2014-08-08

Tried it! I added one more step to this Instructable dedicated to this experiment.

badideasrus (author)Joekevdv2014-07-25

at this point i'd just be using jello...... it's basicaly gelatin anyway, and already has flavor....shoudl work the same no?

ladybgood (author)badideasrus2014-07-27

use the sugar free jello, and add about half the water. google "jello jigglers"

joshuainthebox (author)Joekevdv2014-07-25

Ummm...jello shots ;-)

ArtsMe (author)2014-07-28

will these be as solid as stones are?

chocolatechip (author)ArtsMe2014-07-29

no, they are like jello

ArtsMe (author)2014-07-28

will these be as solid as stones are?

thesnowtheriver (author)2014-07-27

these colors are rich and beautiful because they are made with artist-type inks. i doubt you could get the same jewel-like results with food coloring. but i do not know...............

a2112drummer (author)2014-07-25

acoleman3 (author)a2112drummer2014-07-27

i also found it amusing. one must have a dry sense of humour to appreciate such bits of witticism.

fixfireleo (author)2014-07-27

if you used food coloring, it should be safe to eat and could be used as decorations on cake, etc.

Cats Science Club (author)2014-07-25

This is very cool looking. Did you enter it into any contests? Went to vote for you but don't see the banner.

Thank you! I didn't know which contest to enter, any idea?

The summer one for sure. Freeze it and it is a frozen treat, so the frozen treat contest :-)

Great idea, I ordered some food coloring to test if I can make ice cubes with water and food coloring.

dan3008 (author)2014-07-25

embed led's in them and they would be amazing for party lights... Might melt though

Joekevdv (author)dan30082014-07-25

Maybe if you use epoxy harsh or transparent silicone instead of gelatin!

We were thinking the same thing!

Cats Science Club (author)2014-07-25

It was funny.

Serodie (author)2014-07-25

Very neat idea!

amandagrrl (author)2014-07-25

Oooh! These would be so much fun to play with. I think that using food colouring and then plunking them in my nephew's kiddy pool for him to play with would be great!

Bongmaster (author)2014-07-25

its not that kind of liquid crystal.

omnibot (author)2014-07-25

Am I alone in thinking these would make awesome jelloshots?

lumpyspacePrincess410 (author)2014-07-24

That's awesome!

mnmama (author)2014-07-24

I'm thinking diamond shaped Jello Jigglers would be cute for my nieces birthdays. Good idea on the jewel shaped mold.

watchmeflyy (author)2014-07-24

Awesome! The gifs are great. :)

doodledoos (author)2014-07-24

these are awesome! and that's a great idea radiograf

loompiggytutorials (author)2014-07-24

This is beautiful!

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