Make a Real Crystal Flower

Crystal Flower
If you grow crystals on a dandelion, it still looks pretty but won’t go to seed in your yard. (Anne Helmenstine)

There are lots of ways you can preserve flowers, including drying them and pressing them. This project crystallizes a real flower. It works for any flower, though I especially like how it turns weeds into works of art. It only take a few hours to grow the crystals.

Crystal Flower Materials

Use fresh or dried flowers for this project. It will work fine on silk or plastic flowers, too. You can color the flowers, but even if you don’t add dye, the borax will absorb natural tints from the petals, resulting in a muted color crystal.

  • Real flower, fresh or dried
  • 3 tablespoons borax
  • 1 cup hot water
  • food coloring (optional)

If you don’t have access to borax, use Epsom salt instead.

How to Crystallize the Flower

  1. First, find a container big enough for the flower head. Remove the flower from the container.
  2. Pour very hot to boiling water into the empty container.
  3. Stir in borax until it stops dissolving. This is the point when you start to see a little undissolved borax powder in the liquid.
  4. Add a few drops of food coloring, if desired. You could also add essential oils, if you want to scent the crystal flower.
  5. Immerse the head of the flower in the borax solution. Some flowers float, so you may need to place an object on top of the flower to keep it submerged.
  6. Allow a couple of hours to overnight for the crystals to grow.
  7. Remove the flower from the liquid and set it on a paper towel to dry.
  8. Place the flower in a decorative vase and bask in its beauty. If the stem of the flower is weak, you may wish to insert a wire or stick to help hold the flower upright. The crystal flower requires no water or other care, except perhaps a light dusting from time to time.

Enjoy your real crystal flower!