Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Crystal Trees

Isn't it, uh, crystal-y?

You will need:
  • Thin shirt cardboard
  • Deep saucer or small bowl
  • Small jar with a tight-fitting lid (I used a small Tupperware container.)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon bluing (found in the laundry detergent section of stores)
  • 1/2 tablespoon household ammonia
  • Food coloring (optional) It's supposed to tint the crystals.

How to:
  1. To create a tree base, cut two cardboard tree shapes (about 4-inches tall, 3-inches across at the widest part). Cut a 2-inch slot in the top of one tree and at the base of the other. Join the trees at the slots and stand in saucer or bowl. (If adding food color, squirt it onto cardboard just before placing in dish.)
  2. In jar, combine 1 tablespoon water, salt, bluing and ammonia. (For those of you too stupid, uninformed to know, handling ammonia is an adult's job.) Fasten lid and shake well. Pour solution into saucer or bowl.
  3. Leave tree undisturbed. Crystals should start forming anywhere between an hour or, um, never, depending on the humidity in your house. (The less humid, the better.) They SHOULD continue to grow for the next few days.

Well, another craptastic one! I was really excited to try this one because the picture looked really cool-a little miniature crystal forest! Pretty. Pretty. Pretty? So not pretty. There wasn't anything The Boy could really help with, but he was really interested in it, none the less. Everyday we checked on our tree to find...nothing. A couple of random "crystals" appeared on the dish we used, but I have a strong suspicion my husband accidentally spilled salt on it because that's what it looked like. (Speaking of my husband, when we started this crap, I mean craft, he told me that he had done the same thing as a child-without the trees, using the recipe on the bluing bottle. We will eventually revisit this using that recipe to see if we have different results.)

Can I tell everyone how incredibly happy I am that I now own a large keg-o-ammonia purchased just to get my 1/2 tablespoon for this project?

Once you're through with this one/give up on any crystals forming, all the ingredients are safe to throw away.

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