Did you know you can make your very own crystals at home? All you need is some pipe cleaners and salt! For crystals that look even more beautiful, why not make crystal rainbows? Follow our directions below to learn how to make your very own salt crystal rainbows.
The kids will love the creative time and showing off how they can make crystal growth. Speaking of learning how to form crystals, be sure to check out my Salt Crystals St. Patrick’s Day Science Experiment as well! It’s another fun science experiment that is so much fun!
Easy Science Experiment
When it comes to making beautiful crystals, why not turn it into a fun science activity? This easy tutorial below will show you just what can be found at the end of the rainbow!
What you need to make crystal rainbows
Here is what you need to make crystal rainbows! Let the magic begin!
- Craft sticks/popsicle sticks
- Medium pot
- Wide-mouth glass container (such as a large mason jar or small pitcher)
- Pipe cleaners in rainbow colors
How the crystal rainbow experiment works
You can make crystals by making a supersaturated solution of salt water. When water heats up, molecules move faster and more of the salt can dissolve into the water. But when the water cools and evaporates, it cannot hold as much salt, so the salt crystals must go somewhere.
The salt crystals bond with the pipe cleaners, forming a square crystal shape that is beautiful!
How to make crystal rainbows
Before you start making the crystal-forming solution, make your rainbows out of pipe cleaners. Make an arch from red, orange, yellow, green, and blue. If you want to make the rainbows a different color, go right ahead. However, we made traditional rainbows.
Twist the ends of each side of the rainbow together so that the rainbow form holds its shape.
Tie a string around the center of the top arch of the rainbow.
Place the rainbow inside of the jar or cup suspended by the string. Make sure the rainbow does not come into contact with any side of the container or has to bend to get out. Use a larger container if this happens with the first container you chose.
You do not want to have to break your crystal rainbow to get it out of the container!
Suspend the rainbow in the center of the container. Wrap the rest of the string around a craft stick and lay it over the top of the container to keep the rainbow suspended.
Next, create a supersaturated solution of salt. Do this by heating two cups of water on the stove with two cups of water.
Wait for most of the salt to dissolve and a thin sheet of salt to appear on the surface of the boiling water. If this doesn’t happen after 2 minutes of boiling, add more salt.
Once the crystal film develops, your water is ready. An adult should carefully pour the hot liquid into the container.
Drop the pipe cleaner rainbow into the solution.
Set the solution in an out-of-the-way place for 48 hours.
Remove the rainbows from the saltwater solution and set them on a paper towel to dry.
Once dry, you’ll see large square salt crystals covering your rainbow!
Tips for making different shapes
If the kids want to make different shapes, they can do so as they’re making the mixture or by bending the ends of the pipe cleaners.