Introduction: DIY Pipe Cleaner V.S. Sock Crystals

About: I am a cat lover; housing seven domestic cats. Baking and sewing are some of my favorite hobbies along with bike riding. I also have two show rabbits.

I've always been fascinated with rocks, especially crystals. When I learned about borax crystals with pipe cleaners, I went and scoured my house for any pipe cleaners I could find. When I didn't find any however, I took a small piece of a sock and used string to create the rough shape of an oval. After I had completed this, I finally found a pipe cleaner and decided to compare how they grew. Unfortunately, while the sock didn't work, the pipe cleaners did. This may of been because I didn't use enough borax, or just the fact that it wasn't a pipe cleaner. If you want to try using a sock let me know how it worked out!


- Pipe cleaners

- Borax

- Boiling water

- Food coloring

- Pencil or marker

- Eye pins

- Necklace chain

- Jump hoops (optional)

- Ribbon or string

Step 1: Start the Process

The next step is to shape your pipe cleaners. I just roughly shaped them into an oval and pushed the middle in, creating the geode look. After you shape them, wedge an eye pin in the top so it won't fall out and attach a jump hoop to it. I used ribbon to attach the crystal base to a pencil or marker because it will keep enough space to thread a necklace chain through. While you create the base for your crystal, get out a glass jar (canning jars work well) and start boiling your water. I boiled one cup (you need a little less to fill an 8 ounce canning jar) in a two cup measure in the microwave for 2 mins and 30 secs.

Step 2: Creating Your Solution

As soon as you take the boiling water out of the microwave, pour it into the jar; leaving at least a 1/4 inch of space between it and the top of the jar. Add a couple of spoonfuls of borax and then dissolve it into the water. Repeat this until you can see little grains of borax that aren't dissolving, swirling as you stir. Your mixture should be pretty cloudy. When adding food coloring you will need more that a couple drops for the coloring to show strongly in your finished crystal. Dip your base into the still-hot water and balance the pencil or maker on the top of the jar. Let this sit for at least 8 hours.

Step 3: Finish the Process

Finally... you can take your crystals out! It may be helpful to put them on a plate at first; later transferring them to a piece of paper. If your jump hoop has crystal on it, since it's still wet you can scrape most of it off, or at least enough to thread the chain through. Just let the crystals dry and they'll be finished! To clean the excess crystals out of your jar after you've dumped out the solution, just boil some more water and pour it into the jar. Mix up the water and the crystals should come away from the sides; allowing you to dump them out and thoroughly wash the jar.

Jewelry Challenge

Participated in the
Jewelry Challenge