Daily Archives: April 4, 2012

Egg Geodes!

Since Easter us just around the corner we thought we would add one more awesome egg craft to your repertoire. Not only is this craft fun for Easter it is also a pretty cool science experiment. This egg craft will definitely be cool with those older boys, and those boys that think they are too cool for kiddie stuff.

You can find this incredible craft and a how-to video on how to create it if you need help at Martha Stewart’s website. Thanks to TV crafter Jim “Figgy” Noonan for creating this awesome craft, boys can have fun and learn a little science all at the same time this Easter.

Geodes are essentially rock or crystal structures that occur in sedimentary and certain volcanic rocks. They are spherical masses on mineral deposits that form within the rock formations. They appear as crystal like structures, or quartz deposits and can be brightly colored depending on their mineral content such as calcite, dolomite, and amethyst.

This egg craft is done with eggs and glue and is not actually rocks, but the way in which the egg geodes form is very similar to the formation of a true geode. So now you and your sons can learn how mineral deposits form to create a beautiful and mesmerizing geode.

Tools and Materials

Blown-out eggshell (Get the How-To)
Alum powder
White glue
Small paintbrush
Plastic or glass container
Egg dye
Hot water
Craft stick or spoon
Latex gloves
Drying rack or newspaper

Crystal Egg Geode How-To

1. Start by blowing out a large white chicken egg (Get the How-To) and splitting it in half, lengthwise. The egg can be cracked by striking it against a surface or cut with a small pair of scissors. Make sure the inside of the eggshell is clean and dry.

2. With a small paintbrush, apply white glue to the inside and cracked edges of each half of the eggshell and sprinkle with alum powder until completely coated. Set eggshell halves aside to dry overnight.

3. The next day, prepare your growing solution in a glass or plastic container by using a craft stick or spoon to mix 2 cups of very hot water (almost boiling) with an entire packet of powdered egg dye. Be sure to wear latex gloves to protect your hands from the dye. (Tip: Liquid food coloring can also be used to dye the geode — 30 to 40 drops will adequately saturate the solution.)

4. Add 3/4 cup of alum powder to the hot dye bath and stir until completely dissolved. If there are remaining crystals in the bottom of the container, place the solution in the microwave for a few minutes to dissolve them. This will prevent alum from being drawn away from the geode.

5. Once the alum is completely dissolved, let the solution cool slightly (for about 30 minutes) and then submerge one of the dried, alum-coated eggshells in the growing solution, allowing it to rest on the bottom of the container with the inside of the shell facing up.

6. Set the container aside in a safe place overnight to allow the crystals to grow undisturbed. (Tip: The longer the eggshell is in the solution, the larger the crystals in the geode will be. Twelve to 15 hours will usually result in a perfect geode.)

7. The next day, remove the geode from the growing solution very carefully (as wet crystals are quite fragile), being sure to wear latex gloves to prevent the dye from staining your hands. (Tip: If you are not satisfied with the size of your geode crystals, return the geode to the growing solution and wait a day or two. As water evaporates from the solution, more alum will be deposited in your geode, increasing the size of the crystals.)

8. Place your geode on a drying rack or newspaper and allow to dry completely before handling.

9. To grow a second geode in the other half of the eggshell, simply re-dissolve the crystals remaining at the bottom of the growing solution in the microwave and follow the instructions above starting at step 5.