How It Works
DIY crystals

Home science experiments: Grow your own crystals

DIY crystals

As part of our home science experiment series, we are showing you how to gets hands on with science to make learning more fun.

Read on to find out how can grow your own crystals using just salt and water!

You will need:

  • 75g of Epsom salts
  • 125g of water
  • Dish
  • Food colouring

Crystals1

Step 1: Prepare the mixture

Boil some water and pour it into a container. Next, slowly tip the Epsom salts into the container, constantly stirring the mixture. Wait until they have totally dissolved.

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Step 2: Make your crystals

If want to see the results more clearly, add in food colouring. Pour the mixture into a bowl, with just enough liquid to cover the base. You could line it with a sponge.

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Step 3: Watch them grow

Place your container in a warm, sunny place. The water should begin to evaporate and, bit by bit, your crystals appear. They will be very fragile, but you can see amazing patterns.

DIY crystals

What you’ve learnt:

Different types of salt form different crystalline shapes.

Epsom salts create large, clear crystals, which is why they are ideal for this experiment.

Heating the water increases the amount of salt that can be dissolved.

When crystal forms, it has all its molecules arranged in a geometric pattern.

You can use a magnifying glass to have a closer look at the different crystal formations.

The crystals are delicate and will break easily if you touch them.

This is the atomic structure of an Epsom salt (magnesium sulphate) molecule:

Crystals-Diagram

Find more fun projects to try at home with the How It Works Book of Science Experiments, available to order online or download onto your digital device. You can also brush up on your chemistry, biology and physics knowledge with 65% off our complete digital guides!

Plus, take a look at:

How to make a magnet 

How to build a catapult