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How to Make Crystal Shamrocks-St Patrick’s Day Chemistry!

St. Patrick’s Day is a holiday that many people look forward to, especially those who love everything green, sparkly and all things Irish. And what better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day than with science experiments for St. Patrick’s Day? Today, we show you how to complete a St Patrick’s Day chemistry experiment by making crystal shamrocks!

This activity is not only a great way to get kids excited about science but it also provides a fantastic opportunity to get creative and make something beautiful.

Make St. Patrick's Day chemistry fun! These borax crystal shamrocks are made from two ingredients and are finished in less than 12 hours!

The crystals you’ll create will be unique and eye-catching, and they’ll make for an excellent decoration to display during the St. Patrick’s Day festivities.

So, get ready to put on your lucky lab coat and let’s dive into the world of crystal formation! We’ll be using Borax, water, and other materials.

St Patrick’s Day Chemistry: Crystal Shamrocks

The Crystal Shamrocks chemistry experiment is an excellent way to get your hands on science while also indulging in the St. Patrick’s Day spirit.

This activity provides an opportunity to learn about crystal formation, a fascinating topic in the field of chemistry.

The process of growing crystals involves a straightforward series of steps that require precision and patience.

Through this activity, you’ll be able to witness firsthand how the right combination of ingredients and conditions can lead to the creation of beautiful, sparkly crystals.

It’s a simple process, but the results are impressive and rewarding. You’ll learn how to create a supersaturated solution and watch as the molecules come together to form gorgeous, sparkly crystals.

St. Patrick’s Day Supplies for the Classroom

Here are some of my favorite St. Patrick’s Day classroom supplies!

How to Easily Create Crystal Shamrocks

Making a crystal shamrock as part of St. Patrick’s Day chemistry activity is a simple and super fun project that kids of all ages will love. By following the directions listed below, you can learn just how to show kids how to make these sparkly crystals.

Enjoy St. Patrick's Day by producing Crystal Shamrocks, a fun and instructive project that involves cultivating your own crystals. Not only is it a terrific method to learn about science and crystal formation, but it's also an opportunity to get creative and build something beautiful.

But first, I want to answer a few common questions about borax crystals.

One of the primary benefits of making St. Patrick’s Day chemistry shamrocks is that it provides an opportunity to learn about crystal formation, molecular bonds, and more!

How do crystals form with borax?

Borax, like other minerals and substances, becomes less soluble as water temperature drops.

As a result, when the Borax and water combination is cooled, the water contains less of the Borax and it falls out of the solution.

This causes crystals to develop along the ridges of the pipe cleaners, forming your crystal shamrocks.

Through this activity, participants can observe the process of creating supersaturated solutions and witness how molecules come together to form crystals.

Teacher Shirts for St. Patrick’s Day

Here are some of the cutest shirts you can wear for St. Patrick’s Day at school!

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

simple lego engineering kit

STEM Kits for 1st Grade

How long do borax crystals last?

Borax crystals last a long time, but after a few weeks, they will start to whiten and crumble back into powder as they lose more moisture.

If you want to preserve your crystal shamrocks forever, you can coat them in polymer resin or an acrylic sealer to use them as decorations from year to year.

How do the borax crystals compare with the rock salt crystals in size and structure?

Borax crystals create smaller, less square crystals when compared with rock salt crystals. You can see how salt crystals are different in our post about salt crystal pots of gold for St. Patrick’s Day.

Check them out in our post on how to make crystals without borax.

What Do You Need to Make Borax Crystals?

I like purchasing materials in bulk from because it is much cheaper. Here are where you can find my favorite bulk resources for these borax crystal shamrocks.

Crystal Shamrocks Sample 2 4

If you need more ideas for St. Patrick’s Day STEM activities, check out the FREE list of challenges by clicking the image below!

st patrick stem challenges

More St. Patrick’s Day STEM Activities

Here I show you how to make a Crystal Shamrock, but if you like the idea of making crystal or St Patrick’s Day STEM challenges, check out some of these other simple Activities below.

The Science Behind Borax Crystals

What is the science of borax crystals?

When the is water heated, the borax particles dissolve. As the water cools, it cannot hold on to as many borax particles.

Because the borax particles have to go someplace, if a pipe cleaner is suspended in the borax solution, the borax molecules adhere to the pipe cleaner and form crystals.

When you remove the shamrocks from the water and let them dry, you have beautiful crystal shamrocks!

st patrick stem challenges

Printable Borax Crystal Recipe

Get your recipe for how to make borax crystals in a shamrock form below!

pipe cleaner shamrock

How to make Beautiful Crystal Shamrocks

Make St. Patrick's Day chemistry fun! These borax crystal shamrocks are made from just two ingredients and can be completed in less than 12 hours!


  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup Borax detergent booster
  • Green chenille stems, 1 for each crystal
  • Wide mouth jar or glass
  • Thread or thin string
  • Popsicle sticks


  • Scissors


    1. To create the crystal structure from a chenille stem, twist one chenille stem into a shamrock shape.Crystal Shamrocks Process 3
    2. Attach a string to hang the chenille stem in the jar.
    image 2023 03 08 144022510
    3. Place borax powder in the wide mouth jar.
    Crystal Shamrocks Process 5
    4. In a medium stock pot, bring the water to a boil. Slowly pour the water into the jar. Pour slowly to allow the jar temperature to adjust so it does not crack. Stir the mixture until all of the borax powder is dissolved.
    Crystal Shamrocks Process 5
    5. Carefully drop the chenille stem into the borax solution and attach the string to a popsicle stick so that the chenille stem hangs in the middle of the jar without touching the edges or bottom.
    Crystal Shamrocks Process 7
    6. Crystals will begin forming as the mixture cools. Crystals will form on the chenille stem in as little as two hours. For best results, avoid disturbing the chenille stems for 24 hours.
    Crystal Shamrocks Process 8
    7. Remove the chenille stems from the jar and allow to dry completely.
    pipe cleaner shamrock
    8. Use the thread to hang the chenille stems or cut the string if desired.
    Crystal Shamrocks Sample 2 2

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