DIY Geodes

To Make

I take back what I said in tenth-grade chemistry: I don’t hate science.

I hate chemistry class and the feeling of being so far behind I’d never catch up and the pages and pages of equations.

But not science. Science is really cool.

So it is with a respectful nod to science that I present to you my experience making geodes.

This adventure was suggested by my friend Bethany, who found a tutorial on the Hellogiggles facebook page. You can also see the tutorial on youtube.

It really is as simple as they make it look. borax+boiling water+pipe cleaner= crystal.

Now I took a look at some other tutorials online, just to get an idea of any variations people may be doing. I tried a few different versions, and found the following.

Some tutorials suggest that you need only 3 Tbs Borax per 1 cup water, when I used this formula, the pipe cleaner was visible through the crystal formation, and one side was often completely naked. The best ratio for me was about 7-9 Tbs Borax per 1 cup water.

Food coloring was often skimped on, too. Some tutorials suggest just a few drops per cup, but I found myself needing much more than that to make any difference in the color of the crystal and especially when I wanted vibrant colors. However, one tutorial informed me that the color of the pipe cleaner is what decides the crystal’s color, so I’ll have to try that in the future.

I made most of my geodes with coiled pipe cleaners, but to get that hollowed geode look, just press in the center of the coil to form what looks like a tiny bowl.

Liquid gold leaf around the edges really completes the look.


The Takeaway

This project is a great one for kids, students, science classes, or just your own amusement. While a bit messy, it’s relatively simple and very inexpensive. I’d definitely do it again.

Tips

  • Try a ratio of about 7-9 Tbs Borax to 1 cup of water.
  • To add just a tint of color to the crystals, use about 8 drops of food coloring. For more vibrant color, increase by 4 drops at a time.

If you try this out, let me know with the hashtag #thetakeonadventure!

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