Picture of Salt Crystal Garden
Alright this is an old one. I learned this in grade school, they probably don't do it anymore because it involves dangerous chemicals like water. But it's fun for the kiddies.

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Step 1: You will need

Picture of You will need
Laundry Bluing, getting hard to find, it's a suspension of Prussian Blue in water.
Salt (table)
Clear Household Ammonia
Toilet Paper Roll Core

Step 2: Procedure

Picture of Procedure
Mix equal quantities of water, ammonia, salt, and laundry bluing together. Pour solution into a bowl and stand a tp roll in the bowl. Over the next 18-24 hours the crystals will form.

Step 3: Optional steps

Picture of Optional steps
Optionally the cardboard, and subsequently the crystals can be colored with drops of food coloring.

Other porous materials can also be used such as terra cotta and coal (the traditional substrate).
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KwartzKitten2 months ago
I'm going to try it! It may be the one thing I can actually grow.
alexwin5 years ago
I couldn't find Mrs. Stewarts Blueing, so I'm trying it with "RIT White Wash Bleach Alternative". Hopefully they're the same.
acm321 alexwin5 years ago
wait, bleach?
it's not actual bleach, right?
because if it is mixing it with ammonia will make mustard gas, which is poisonous and will kill you
I wonder what happened to alexwin. Hopefully it wasn't real bleach that he mixed with ammonia but that would explain why he never commented back on this.
I tried this, but couldn't get it to work - I used "Bluette Laundry Bluing".  I couldn't find Mrs. Stewarts.  I used 2 T of each ingredient.  Can you tell me what I might do differently?
I think it's the blueing. I looked at the MSDS and Bluette is Ultramarine blue, a sodium aluminum silicate compound, whereas Mrs Stewart's is Prussian Blue an iron compound.
Turns out, you're right. I called the Mrs. Stewart's company and they told us they had tried the very same experiment on their competitors blueing and it doesn't work.  In other words, it HAS TO BE Mrs. Stewarts because of the requisite ingredients it contains. They offered a "Salt Crystal Garden" kit for $9.00.  Can be purchased on their website - Thanks for your quick response. 
Is there any way of doing it without the blue stuff? xD I have no idea where to even start looking for it...
aicerg14 years ago
we did this at school but we added epsom salt and food coloring
I remember doing this when I was in 1st grade! I had always wanted to do it again but could never remember. Thanks for posting! (:
robot7975 years ago
were could i buy the stuff in holland?
im not gonna lie...that looks absolutely gross
hottie106 years ago
i love it
alexa7 years ago
lets play a game called "read the title"
how do you play?
by reading the title :-P
dang! i lost.
its ok
thebear16 years ago
good instructable i 65 years young can remember doing this as a kid we used a lump of hard coal, back them we burn coal for heat, give a 5 on this, lots old time fun things are being lost to kids, now thanks for posting
canadian nh6 years ago
can I use powder ammonia since liquid one isn't available, and is it fragile? how long it lasts? thanks
Tool Using Animal (author)  canadian nh6 years ago
it is extremely fragile and collapses at the touch. I've never heard of powder ammonia, so I don't know.
canadian nh6 years ago
thanks for response, in fact ammonia available in kuwait powder white color, but I'm going to Canada sure I'll find liquid. Thanks again
Yeah that crystal growth footage is tight. I need to make a sculpture with this process. Does anybody whose made this know what the density of the crystals are like, are they too delicate?
too delicate
Love the movie! We just did this with a bunch of kids at VCS. It was a big success. The crystals are very delicate and collapse when you touch them. They do grow right back in a day or so. Instead of a TP roll, you can shape a pipe cleaner into a tree or snowflake or something and stick that in a sponge. The crystals will grow on it, making a cool sculpture.
Kral6 years ago
ItsTheHobbs6 years ago
what does the bluing do?
you can do it too without the bluing only it is then a lot less fun. so I did it without the bluing only I throwed it away cuz it smelled that bad
Is the blue stuff critical?
Absolutely, it seems to act as a nucleation point for crystal formation. it is available online, but the shipping is more than the product
(removed by author or community request)
No, it's Ferric hexacyanoferrate.
I don't know for sure. but I doubt it it is. Gonna find out as I just made a mix with out it. Here in the oil patch you do find such growths around pipe connections that carry brine, but seep ever so slightly. Often seen on oil well stuffing boxes.
4014467 years ago
omg i havn't laughed in a long time and that "they probably don't do it anymore because it involves dangerous chemicals like water" crack really made me laugh by the way great instructable.
I kid you not, in downtown Louisville at the Waterfront they have signs that warn people not to play in the fountains because they "contain high levels of hydrogen." I kinda face-plained it the first time I read it, but it seriously works to keep people away. :P
I bet the water also contains high amount of dihydrogen monoxide! That stuffs really bad, accidental inhalation can kill!
bahaha use large complicated words and people will stay away... also bright colours help to make it look important.
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