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Boredom Busters: Make Crystalised Pinecones

Welcome to day five of lockdown! To help you keep your sanity over this lockdown, we've prepared some boredom busters. Today's is a super interesting activity, creating crystalised pinecones.

You will need:

  • Pinecones

  • Household salt, like alum powder, borax, or Epsom salts

  • Spray adhesive

  • Sturdy (floral) wire

  • Water

  • Container

  • Binder clips

  • Drying rack

  • Polyacrylic spray

How To

  1. Attach floral wire to pinecones by twisting securely around the top.

  2. Spray pinecones with adhesive and sprinkle with the desired salt as if glittering—this is called “seeding” the crystals.

  3. Let dry overnight.

  4. Create a saturated solution of the same salt sprinkled on pinecones—do this by dissolving chosen salt in very hot (almost boiling) water until no more will dissolve. (For Alum, this is about 3⁄4 cup of alum to every 2 cups water; for borax, this is about 1 cup borax to every 2 cups water; for Epsom salts, this is about 3⁄4 cup Epsom to every 1 cup water.)

  5. Add saturated solution to chosen container and allow to cool for 45 minutes.

  6. Submerge salt-covered pinecones in solution.

  7. Use binder clips to secure the wire to the container and keep pinecones submerged.

  8. Within 4–8 hours, crystals will form on pinecones. Let sit until desired size/effect is reached.

  9. Remove pinecones from the solution, being careful since crystals are fragile when wet.

  10. Let sit on a drying rack for a couple of days.

  11. To preserve lustre of crystals, seal with glossy, polyacrylic spray.

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