Making Crystal Paper

We had taken a kitchen science experiment book out of our library and while we had already done most of the science experiments I knew the boys would want to try growing crystals.

We have several different crystal growing kits and we've grown many different kinds of crystals over the years.  But this experiment sounded so different than the others because it was using household materials.

We were expecting full blown crystals at the end since the experiment did not have any pictures to go with it and so we were a bit disappointed.  We did however make some pretty neat looking crystal paper; which we all agreed would be a better name for the experiment.

To make Crystal Paper you will need:
  • 1 Cup Epsom Salts
  • 1 cup hot water
  • food coloring (optional)
  • black construction paper
  • Cookie sheet 
  • A sunny warm spot for the crystals to grow (we used our oven)
Before starting our experiment we poured a bit of the Epsom salts onto the black paper and studied what the salt looked like. Then we moved on to making our paper. 

How to Make Crystal Paper:

1. Stir water, Epsom salts and food coloring together.  Keep stirring until all (or most) of the salt is dissolved. 

2.  Put your paper on the cookie sheet; Alec wanted to cut ours into the shape of a crystal.

3.  Pour water/ salt mixture onto tray making sure to cover the construction paper.

4.  Place in sunny spot or a 200 degree oven.  Watch for crystals to form.  (We checked on the paper in the oven every 15 minutes; the instructions said it would only take 15 minutes but it took closer to 45 minutes before we saw crystals forming).  Make sure that the tray does not dry out or that the paper does not get too dry and hot.

5.  Once we could see crystals forming we put the paper back into the oven for one last 10 minutes increment and then used magnifying glasses to check out the crystals we had.  We noticed many crystals forming over the empty spaces of our cookie sheet so we used some white construction paper to scoop them up and study them closer.

The white paper and some of our crystals 
The crystals that formed on our black paper 

A close up of the crystals on the white paper 

They are fragile and you can feel the salty residue on the paper and pans.  It was neat to see the transformation from tiny hard round shards of salt to long stringy crystals.

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  1. What a neat experiment. We got a crystal growing kit for Christmas - we'll have to bust into it one day soon!

    1. We had gotten a few crystal growing kits one year and they are lots of fun!

  2. Nice, I need to try this with my kids. Thank you for sharing at The Really Crafty Link Party. Pinned!

    1. Thanks for the pin; I bet your kids will really enjoy it.

  3. How cool is that?! I have a vague memory of doing it at an interactive science museum once. It’s a great learner for he children too. Thanks for joining us at #familyfun


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