Turn up your Easter eggs this year with this fun crystal experiment!
You know when you’re on Pinterest and you see something that immediately makes you think, “Holy $h*t I need to make that!” ? Well, allow me to introduce you to something amazing. I came across a tutorial for crystal egg geodes the other day and couldn’t wait to try it out for myself. I learned that they’re easily made with Alum, some glue, and a little bit of dye. I’ve experimented with making Alum crystals in the past, so I wanted to give it another go. With Easter right around the corner, and whether you celebrate the holiday or not, the dye-ing of eggs is a really fun project. I figured now is the perfect time to get to dye-ing, but with a little twist added in. If you’re down for an experiment, check out the tutorial below!
Now when I say experiment, I mean you’re literally going to feel like you’re back in science class. A little trial and error helped me figure out the best way to do this project, because the first round of egg geodes I tried to make was a slight fail. I’m going to show you two ways to make these, with one yielding slightly better results.
First, gather your supplies. You’ll need:
Safety pin or push pin
Some plastic containers you don’t mind dirtying with dye
*So, Alum. What is it? Alum is a chemical compound that’s used for pickling vegetables, and, in this tutorial, making crystals! You can find it in the spice aisle at select grocery stores, but when I say select, I mean it. Most places won’t have it stocked, so it’s best to call before you make the trip. You’re also going to need a lot of it. If you use too little, you won’t get the type of crystal growth that’s desired ( I’ll show you what I mean below.) It’s typically sold in the little jar you see in the above photo, unless you find it in bulk somewhere. I purchased some at a Thirftway grocery store, and also found some at Wegmans. To make one, well grown, crystal egg geode, you need about a cup of Alum. So If you want to make multiple, and in different colors, you’ll need to purchase more.
*As for the dye, I found that food coloring works best. On my first try, I used dissolvable fabric dye, but it was a little heavy for the alum crystals to form. It still allowed something to grow, but not near the amount that grew in the food coloring solution.
Boil some water on the stove. You need about 2 cups per egg, so gauge appropriately.
You need to get the yolk and egg white out of your eggs. To do this, take a safety pin or push pin and poke two holes at both ends of your egg. Pick the smaller of the two holes and blow the yolk and white out the other end. Then, cut the egg shells in half using a pair of scissors.
Feel free to skip the above step if you feel like you can make a decent crack that will split the egg in equal halves. Make sure to wash out the shells and allow them to dry.
Take your glue and paintbrush and apply a layer of glue to the inside of the egg shell. If you want some crystals to form on the sides, apply some glue there, too.
Cover the layer of glue with alum and set your eggs aside to dry overnight. This is going to create a base for the crystals to grow on.
Now it’s time to dye. The above photo is of the powdered dye I used in my first attempt. I used ziplock containers to separate the colors. I mixed a 1/4 cup of dye with 1/2 cup of alum and 2 cups of boiling water. It’s important to make sure all of the alum powder is dissolved, so stir well. Allow the solution to slightly cool, then take your egg shells, and push them down into the dye with a spoon, alum side up. Make sure it’s touching the bottom. The idea is that the alum in the dye will attach itself to the alum that’s been coated on the inside of the eggshell. Allow your eggs to sit in the solution for about 12 hours. Then, carefully take them out with a spoon and set them to dry on a paper towel.
Here is what my first attempt produced:
There’s definitely some sort of crystal action happening, but NOT what I saw in the photos on Pinterest. If you want smaller crystals, this is the route you want to take. It’s not mind-blowing, but still sparkly and pretty. To get large, V COOL crystals, try method 2:
Method 2 follows steps one through four as normal, but this time around, I used food coloring rather than the powdered fabric dye and just about doubled the amount of alum I mixed in each container. This time, I used a solution of two cups boiling water , about 15 drops of food coloring, and about 1 1/4 cup alum powder. I mixed everything together and allowed the water to cool just a tad before placing in my eggshell, alum side up, in the solution. Allow the eggshell to rest in the solution for 12-24 hours.
This is what method 2 produced:
Better, right??! How cool is this! Once I took out the eggshell and poured out the dye, there was even some crystals growing on the bottom of the container. I took those out and placed in a tiny glass jar. You could even use these as seed crystals to grow bigger crystals, like in this tutorial.
+Comment with any questions/ or suggestions below!
Check out more DIY projects from the BLDG 25 blog.