Fun With Borax 101

So, as I posted earlier, here's the Borax post. I know, I know - Borax? In art? Isn't that stuff for laundry? Well, gather around, my friends, and be amazed!

I first came upon Borax a year or so ago. I had seen a pic on the web with crystals & it was about making your own crystals. It was basically a project for kids. Then I saw these amazing crystallized books and thought, 'I've got to do that!' And so I set out experimenting with recipes & techniques. Behold!

This is a doll dress that I crystallized. So sparkly - like Cinderella!

Silverware and jars, even books!

So now let's get to the recipe - it's super simple.  This isn't going to be a step-by-step with pictures tutorial - it's more of a 'Just do as I say because I'm not actually doing it' tutorial.  😁


 * Jars, bottles, books, silverware - anything you want to try
 * A deep pan/pot or container, depending on the size of your object
 * 9 tbsp Borax for every 3 cups of water (I got my Borax at Walmart)
 * Dyes or just do clear


In a large pot on the stove, mix together your Borax/water and heat on low. You'll have to fill your pot with the mixture according to the size of item(s) you're doing. Stir until the water is clear and the Borax is completely dissolved.  Add your Rit dye or food coloring, if desired.  The more you add, the deeper the color.

There are different ways to do things here.  Sanding your jar or bottle will help the crystals to adhere better. Although, I've done non-sanded bottles and they adhere also BUT they fall off really easily when you touch it so sanding is the way to go.

You can do the 'bob' method where you fill your jar/bottle with water incrementally until it's bobbing in the water.  Or you can completely submerge it or lay it at an angle (with some water inside and/or a weight of some sort on top to keep it that way) for an interesting affect.  For books, you can completely submerge or just stand it up on one end to get partial coverage. You can also try to curl the pages around a skewer to give the pages an interesting affect. For utensils, same thing: completely submerge or prop up against the side.  

For the dress I did, I suspended it inside a water pitcher using string (use a long piece so you can unwind a little when the dress starts to float) attached to a toothpick (which was put inside the top portion of the dress) and wound around a pencil which layed across the opening of the pitcher.  I got the mixture ready with no dye, then poured it into the water pitcher. I had to unwind the string a bit and push the dress down into the water. But the dress wasn't puffing out - it was just straight in the water. So I grabbed a toothpick and inserted it inside to puff the skirt out.  

Let your concoctions sit overnight.  Then pull them out, place on a plate, and let them dry completely.  You'll find that submerged items will stick a little to the bottom but a gentle jiggle lifts them right up.

I've found that plain Borax seemed to adhere better.  I also got a variety of sizes of crystals each time I did it.  It's recommended that you spray it with a gloss sealer of some sort but I've never done that.  I probably should, though, because they are delicate items but mine sit as decoration!  You definitely do not want to make them for kids or constantly handle them.

As you can see from some of my pics of the bottles, I went in afterward and decoupaged paper on to them and distressed them a little.  I even brushed mica powder on the one bottle which gives it an iridescent look.

So now, hit the Goodwill's and get some cheap bottles, jars, silverware, books, and maybe even a pair of cheapy sunglasses to crystallize.  You might become the Andy Warhol of the crystal art world!

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