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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 Books for the Classroom

Use these books about St. Patrick’s Day to supplement your St. Patrick STEM activities this March!

leprechaun trap and other st patricks day stem activities

St. Patrick’s Day STEM Activities

exploring the elements gold book

Exploring the Elements: Gold

how to catch a leprechaun book

How to Catch a Leprechaun

say yes to elements book

Say Yes to Elements

the story behind st patricks day book

The Story Behind St. Patrick’s Day

rainbow science book

Rainbow Science

celebrations in my world st patricks day book

Celebrations in My World: St. Patrick’s Day

my country ireland book

My Country Ireland

light makes a rainbow book

Light Makes a Rainbow

exploring the elements gold book

Elements of Chemistry: Gold

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 Apparel for St. Patrick’s Day

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

clover socks

Clover Socks

black clover socks

Black Clover Socks

rainbow slouch socks

Rainbow Slouchy Socks

sequin clover

Sequin Clover St. Patrick’s Day Teacher Shirt

shenanigans coordinator teacher shirt

Shenanigans Coordinator St. Patrick’s Day Teacher Shirt

lucky charms teacher shirt

My Students are Lucky Charms St. Patrick’s Day Teacher Shirt

inclusion st patricks day teacher shirt

Inclusive St Patrick’s Day Teacher Shirt

lucky dandilion teacher shirt

Lucky Clover St. Patrick’s Day Teacher Shirt

have a lucky day teacher shirt

Have a Lucky Day Teacher Shirt for St. Patrick’s Day

st patricks day alphabet teacher shirt

Irish Alphabet St. Paddy’s Teacher Shirt

math clover teacher shirt

St. Patrick’s Day Shirt for Math Teachers

one lucky teacher teacher shirt

One Lucky Teacher St. Patrick’s Day Shirt

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.

St. Patrick STEM Activity Resources for the Classroom

Here are some fun St. Patrick’s themed STEM products you can use with your students this March!

leprechaun trap and other st patricks day stem activities

St. Patrick’s Day STEM Activities

unicorn magicoders game

MagiCoders Rainbow Unicorn Coding Kit

st patrick bingo

St. Patrick’s Day Bingo Classroom Kit

diy kaleidoscope classroom steam kit

Kaleidoscope STEAM Kit for the Classroom

clixo rainbow stem pack

Clixo Rainbow Engineering Classroom Set

solar rainbow maker

Make a Rainbow Science Kit

disappearing rainbow science demonstration kit

Disappearing Rainbow Science Experiment

fools gold dig science kit

Fools Gold Science Dig Classroom Kit

leprechaun trap classroom kit

Leprechaun Trap STEM Classroom Kit

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!

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 patricks day stem challenges free

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.

St. Patrick’s Day Classroom Decorations

Here are some fun St. Patrick’s Day classroom decorations you can add to your classroom this March for festive flair and St. Paddy’s Day pride!

st patricks day wreath

St Patrick’s Day Door Wreath for the Classroom

st patricks day pot of gold classroom decoration

Pot of Gold Tinsel Tabletop Decoration

st patricks day pot of gold rainbow welcome sign

St. Patrick’s Day Rainbow Welcome Sign

st patricks classroom decorating kit

St. Patrick’s Day Classroom Door Decorations

st patricks day window clings

St. Patrick’s Day Window Clings for the Classroom

st patricks day door decoration kit

St. Patrick’s Day Door Decorations for the Classroom

rainbow ceiling banner

Pot of Gold and Rainbow Ceiling Hanging

st patricks classroom decorating kit

Lucky Hanging St. Patrick’s Decorations

st patrick classroom decorating kit

St. Patrick’s Day Banner Decoration Set

st patricks day decorating kit for classroom

Colorful St. Patrick’s Day Classroom Decoration Bundle

And check out even more St. Patrick’s Day teaching resources below!

Older kids will have a blast making a light up shamrock.

Of course, you won’t want to miss making rainbow slime for ST. Patrick’s Day! You can also try this glitter rainbow slime recipe or this fluffy rainbow slime recipe.

Printable Borax Crystal Recipe

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

And use our FREE St. Patrick’s Day STEM challenge cards to add even more lucky STEM lessons to your classroom this March.

st patrick stem challenges
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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STEM Teaching Resources

These teaching resources will make your STEM classroom more fun and rewarding for your students!

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STEM worksheets

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