Introduction: 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.



Step 1: You Will Need

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


Step 2: 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

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).

Comments

author
_Radium_ made it! (author)2017-04-13

If one figure a way to remove the paper medium without damaging the Xtals, one can build really nice lamps using this.

author
_Radium_ made it! (author)2017-04-13

Nice.
Other crystalline substances can work too, both organic and mineral chemicals.

author
SallyJ11 made it! (author)2016-02-29

where can i find the mrs stewart bluing, i'm from indonesia.

author
KwartzKitten made it! (author)2015-01-26

I'm going to try it! It may be the one thing I can actually grow.

author
alexwin made it! (author)2009-10-31

I couldn't find Mrs. Stewarts Blueing, so I'm trying it with "RIT White Wash Bleach Alternative". Hopefully they're the same.

author
acm321 made it! (author)acm3212009-12-05

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

author
noname420 made it! (author)noname4202010-11-21

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.

author
umax610p8 made it! (author)umax610p82011-07-21

poof

author
elizabethteacher made it! (author)2010-01-05

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?

author
Tool Using Animal made it! (author)Tool Using Animal2010-01-05

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.

author
elizabethteacher made it! (author)elizabethteacher2010-01-05

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 - www.mrsstewarts.com. Thanks for your quick response. 

author
CraftBear made it! (author)CraftBear2011-01-17

Is there any way of doing it without the blue stuff? xD I have no idea where to even start looking for it...

author
aicerg1 made it! (author)2010-10-24

we did this at school but we added epsom salt and food coloring

author
MinnieMelissa made it! (author)2009-07-01

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! (:

author
robot797 made it! (author)2009-05-18

were could i buy the stuff in holland?

author
watchurmouthyoungman made it! (author)2009-02-21

im not gonna lie...that looks absolutely gross

author
hottie10 made it! (author)2009-01-03

i love it

author
alexa made it! (author)2007-12-04

WHAT IS THAT SUPPOSED TO BE!?!?!?!

author
merseyless made it! (author)merseyless2008-12-20

lets play a game called "read the title"

author
wolf555hound made it! (author)wolf555hound2008-12-20

how do you play?

author
zimmemic25 made it! (author)zimmemic252008-12-21

by reading the title :-P

author
wolf555hound made it! (author)wolf555hound2008-12-21

dang! i lost.

author
merseyless made it! (author)merseyless2008-12-29

its ok

author
thebear1 made it! (author)2008-12-21

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

author
canadian nh made it! (author)2008-12-20

can I use powder ammonia since liquid one isn't available, and is it fragile? how long it lasts? thanks

author
Tool Using Animal made it! (author)Tool Using Animal2008-12-20

it is extremely fragile and collapses at the touch. I've never heard of powder ammonia, so I don't know.

author
NachoMahma made it! (author)NachoMahma2008-12-21
author
canadian nh made it! (author)2008-12-20

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

author
conceptualstratagem made it! (author)2007-07-31

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?

author
merseyless made it! (author)merseyless2008-12-20

too delicate

author
CindyTee made it! (author)CindyTee2007-08-01

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.

author
Kral made it! (author)2008-10-12
author
ItsTheHobbs made it! (author)2008-08-19

what does the bluing do?

author
firefighter1333 made it! (author)2008-06-28

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

author
Tool Using Animal made it! (author)2008-06-28

No, it's Ferric hexacyanoferrate.

author
401446 made it! (author)2007-07-20

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.

author
jessyratfink made it! (author)jessyratfink2007-09-01

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

author
zachninme made it! (author)zachninme2007-09-06

I bet the water also contains high amount of dihydrogen monoxide! That stuffs really bad, accidental inhalation can kill!

author
egadsman made it! (author)egadsman2008-01-09

bahaha use large complicated words and people will stay away... also bright colours help to make it look important.

author

heh.

author
musicalbee2003 made it! (author)2008-01-06

anything I can substitute for amonia? Essence of dog pee, maybe?

author
TraumaComet made it! (author)2007-11-19

Alternatively, you can also use dog shampoo made for white dogs. we used it at a daycare I worked at. The shampoo contains alot of bluing, especially the kind of shampoo that is meant to be diluted before use. Great instructable!

author
moomoocows made it! (author)2007-09-08

what is the laundry bluing and can I use something else

author
Tool Using Animal made it! (author)Tool Using Animal2007-09-08

It's prussian blue and so far as I know there is no substitute.

author
capricorn made it! (author)2007-09-01

Sweet :) One question, since I cannot seem to find that prussian thing in Belgium, will it work if I use water and some pigment?

author
Okinell made it! (author)2007-08-16

This was too cool.... Thanks for the posting. I am almost 54 yro. and can remember when my Dad did this a couple of times but for some reason we/he used a lump of bituminous coal. I am not sure where you could find coal here in Southeast Texas, or where we found some unless it was some we had brought back from the narrow gauge train out of Durango, Colorado. Anyway, thanks for sharing something that brought back some fun times as a kid. I just wish some one could/would tell me where you could get those little "putt-putt" metal boats my Dad use to bring home. You would light this little candle that caused this small hollow metal "bladder" of sorts to heat up and propel the boat around the bath tub. They came in very small to fairly good size ones.

author
John Smith made it! (author)John Smith2007-08-31
author
Heringhaus made it! (author)Heringhaus2007-08-31

I bought some ( boat) on the net just google putt putt boat Don

author
Weissensteinburg made it! (author)2007-05-20

Is the blue stuff critical?

author
static made it! (author)static2007-08-31

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.

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