Herman Tweed's Snow Crystals


To demonstrate how crystals form



  • Hot water (boiled or very hot)
  • Pipe cleaner (white)
  • Quart jar
  • Borax laundry booster
  • Measuring cup
  • Tablespoon
  • Scissors
  • Two wooden craft sticks (or something for stirring)
  • Food coloring (optional)


Fill the jar with two cups of very hot (boiling) water. Add six tablespoons of borax. Add food coloring if you desire to make colorful crystals. Stir until the mixture is mostly dissolved. There may be some borax that settles to the bottom. Cut the pipe cleaner in half. Attach the pipe cleaner to the middle of one of the stirring sticks by twisting the top of the pipe cleaner around the stirring stick. The pipe cleaner should be hanging down. Place the pipe cleaner apparatus on the mouth of the jar.The pipe cleaner should be immersed in the water, but do not let it touch the bottom of the jar. Let it sit for 24 hours.


Crystals will begin to grow within 24 hours on the pipe cleaner and on the bottom of the jar. Some of the borax will settle out of the solution, forming a sediment deposit at the bottom of the jar. The pipe cleaner crystals represent stalactites and the crystals growing on the bottom of the jar represent stalagmites. Or this month all the lovely crystals represent SNOW!