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Free Printable: Crystal Creation Christmas Ornaments

Rachael Yunis|December 14, 2017

Here is a fun way to make Christmas ornaments that sparkle! 

There’s no end to the creativity you and your family can put into this activity. The simple recipe ratio you will use to create all things shiny and bright is:


Note: A free printable of this activity and lesson (including additional photos) can be downloaded by clicking this link.

  1. Set out different colors of pipe cleaners and let your family use their imaginations to create any ornament shapes they want. You can use cookie cutters as a template.
  2. Get creative and use other materials, such as small Styrofoam balls and toothpicks to build a snowman that will fit into your heat-resistant, crystallizing jars (We used Mason jars used for canning). Tie a string around your ornament. Tie the other end to a pencil. Your ornament will hang inside of your jar, so make sure that the string is long enough to dangle your ornament in the crystallizing liquid but short enough to keep your ornament from touching the bottom of your jar. The pencil will straddle the mouth of the jar and hold your ornament in its place while it crystallizes. Practice this while your jar is empty.
  3. Add 1/3 cup of Borax to your Mason jar and 2 cups boiling water. Stir the mixture to make sure all of it has dissolved. Borax is NOT edible! Please make sure children are supervised.
  4. Place your ornament in the liquid and set it aside where it won’t get bumped, but where you can watch the crystals form. This will take a few hours so keep checking back. If you leave your ornament in the liquid overnight, you will get the biggest crystals.
  5. If you make an ornament that naturally floats, like a Styrofoam snowman, use toothpicks to hold it in place. You can always add a little bit more water to make sure your ornaments are covered in the liquid mixture.
  6. Once your crystals form to the size you prefer, slowly remove your ornaments and let them dry on a paper towel.

Many familiar items are made up of crystals. Examples are salt and sugar. Borax is a laundry detergent that quickly forms beautiful crystals. Water can hold a certain amount of Borax in a solution. When you heat the water, you make it capable of holding more than it would at room temperature. When you add your ornament to the liquid, the tiniest fragment of Borax caught on your ornament will cause the crystals to form around it, especially as the solution cools and the water can no longer hold as much Borax in the solution. Marvel with your children at how the clear liquid changes into beautiful crystalline shapes. Let your children look at them up close with a magnifying glass if you have one.


If you enjoyed this science activity. Check out Apologia’s award-winning homeschool science curriculum for grades Kindergarten through 12.

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