Borax Crystal Lamp

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Introduction: Borax Crystal Lamp

The following instructions are for the creation of a lamp made from borax crystals. The lamp is a creative project that may substitute more expensive and similar products such as the Himalayan Salt Lamp. The project is simple to complete, requiring a low skill level. Most of the materials needed are household items and requires access to boiling water. It takes an estimated 45 to 60 minutes to form the lamp (depending on the size you wish to make it) and requires 12 hours to sit and crystallize. Although the wait is long, the ending product will be worth it!

Step 1: Gather Materials

Gather the following materials and make sure you have access to boiling water to create your crystal lamp (the listed prices are estimates from a local Walmart):

  • 1 box of Borax ($4.00)
  • 1 package of pipe cleaners (at least 25 count) ($2.47)
  • 1 heat safe bucket (ours was 4 quarts) ($4.00)
  • Large spoon (preferably heat tolerant and not intended for future cooking purposes) ($0.88)
  • Ruler (long enough to reach across the top of the bucket) ($1.00)
  • 1 large pot (large enough to hold enough water to fill the bucket) ($10.00)
  • Food coloring ($2.96)
  • Craft wire (at least 1 foot) ($0.98)
  • Flat block of wood (approximately 6" x 6") ($5.00)
  • LED light source ($4.00)

TOTAL: $35.29*

*not all prices will be the same, meaning totals can vary

Step 2: Boil Water

    1. Measure out water by filling bucket until there is a gap of about 2 inches between the water level and top of bucket.
    2. Transfer the water into your pot, and heat to boiling on the stove.
      • Keep in mind the more water you boil, the more borax you will need.
      • Keep an eye on the boiling water throughout the process as it might finish boiling before you are ready to use the water.

    Step 3: Form Pipe Cleaner Frame

    1. Form a circle with one pipe cleaner, tying one end to the other. This will be the base of the lamp.
    2. Tie each edge of another pipe cleaner around opposite points of the base.
      • Repeat until there is no room to tie any more pipe cleaners to the base.
    3. Weave the next several pipe cleaners through the "birdcage" structure you have created so far (under one pipe cleaner, over the next pipe cleaner, under, over, cont. horizontally between the pipe cleaners).
      • Repeat until there are few open gaps in the structure.

    Step 4: Measure the Appropriate Length for Wire Attachment to Your Base

    1. Measure a length of crafting wire that is 3/4 the height of the bucket.
    2. Tie one end of the crafting wire to the top center of the structure and the other end of the wire to the center of the ruler.
    3. Put the ruler in the bucket so it may rest on the edges of the empty bucket with the structure inside
    4. Adjust the length of the wire as needed so the structure does not touch the bottom of the bucket.
    5. Remove the structure and ruler from the bucket

    Step 5: Add Boiling Water to Bucket and Dissolve Borax

    1. Add enough boiling water to the bucket to cover your structure when it is submerged.
      • Caution: water will be hot. Be careful while pouring it into the bucket.
    2. To the bucket: add a lot of borax while stirring.
      • enough so that the solution is supersaturated and will not dissolve any more of the solid. The water should become white and cloudy, and there should be some undissolved Borax on the bottom of the bucket.

    Step 6: Personalize Your Lamp by Adding Color

    Add about 40 drops of your choice of food coloring to the bucket and stir.

    *Note: Amount of food coloring sufficient to achieve vibrant color will vary with the brand and amount of water used for the lamp.

    Step 7: Submerge Your Pipe Cleaner Frame Into the Borax Solution

    1. Place your lamp frame into the solution, resting the ends of the ruler on the sides of the bucket so that the structure is fully submerged; yet not touching the bottom or sides of the bucket.
    2. Allow this apparatus to sit for 12 hours, undisturbed, in a cool dimly lit place.
      • You may add a lid or cover to the top of the bucket to keep the temperature and lighting controlled.

    Step 8: Remove Your Crystal Structure From Solution

    1. After 12 hours, remove lid (if you used one) and slowly remove structure from the solution.
      • You may have to pull a bit as the crystals may have formed to the edges of the bucket.
      • **Be careful not to pull too hard. The crystals will be fragile.

    Step 9: Assemble Your Lamp

    1. Cut the craft wire attached to the crystal lamp structure.
    2. In the center of the wooden block base, place an LED light source and cover it with the crystal lamp structure.
    3. Turn the light on and voila! Your very own crystal lamp.


      The borax lamp should be completely crystalized with few gaps in the structure. If there are several gaps and are unsatisfied with the results, try making a new crystal and spending more time on step three: forming the pipe cleaner frame. Be sure to use more pipe cleaners for your next attempt and refrain from leaving open spaces between pipe cleaners.

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      2 Discussions

      How heavy is it?

      That is an awesome unique idea! Those look very pretty :)