Introduction: Crystal Candle Holders

About: I like sewing and crafts,and trying new things. I'm vegetarian and always looking for new recipes. My cat's name is Mirko and likes to be in the centre of things, so you will see him in several of my instruc…

You may be familiar with making snowflakes from Borax crystals.  In this instructable we will be making Borax crystal candle holders the same way with the magic of science.

Admittedly this is my third instructable on making candle holders so it may seem like I have a bit of an obsession. But what can I say, one can never have enough candles.  Especially if you have sparkly crystal candle holders.

Step 1: Gather Supplies

  • *Borax -can be found in the laundry aisle
  • Chenille stems/pipe cleaners
  • Clear glass tea light holder
  • String
  • Large container, preferably glass
  • Measuring spoon and spoon for stirring
  • Scissors
  • Pencil or dowel
*I checked the MSDS for Borax, it is not flammable so it is safe to use with candles.  But if you are uncomfortable with this you can use LED tea lights.

Step 2: Form

Create the framework of your candle holder with the pipe cleaners. Use loops, spirals, figure eights or try something different when designing your frame.  Check that it fits around your glass tea light holder.  Keep in mind that when the crystals form the diameter of the pipe cleaner roughly doubles.

Step 3: Supersaturate

Precautions: (see MSDS)
Don't use containers or utensils that you used mixing Borax again for food.  Borax is also an irritant so use gloves.

I didn't have a glass container large enough to fit in my frame so I used a 2 litre ice cream container*.  I filled the container with 1.5L (5cups) of boiling water and gradually added about 250ml (1cup) Borax while stirring.  As you are adding check for cloudiness in the solution, you can stop adding then.  Once it has become cloudy the Borax is no longer dissolving and your solution has become supersaturated, ready for the creation of crystals.

*My ice cream container is plastic #5 (polypropylene) which has a melting  point above 130oC, so it can handle boiling water.  But glass is preferred if you have it since you can better see when the solution is saturated and you can watch the crystals form.

Step 4: Submerge

Tie some string to your candle frame.  Be careful how you attach it as it may warp the shape when it hangs.  Drop your frame into the supersaturated solution and tie the other end of the string to a pencil laid across the lip of the container to anchor it.  Move your container to a cool dry location where it won't be disturbed. 

Step 5: Drain

By the next day the crystals should be fully formed.  Pour the remaining solution in the container down the sink.  Leave your frame hanging a while so that it drips dry or you can transfer to some paper towels.  Once completely dry cut off the string that you used to suspend it with (you probably won't be able to untie it because crystals likely formed around the string too.)  Add your glass tea light holder and a candle.

Try using different colour pipe cleaners or adding  several drops of food colouring to your solution in step 3.