How To Make Crystallized Marbles

Processed with MoldivHey there, craft-lovers! I’m popping over from Just Mom Matters this month to share the easiest, cheapest, quickest, and most family-friendly (not to mention educational) craft I’ve ever completed — how to make crystallized marbles.

marbles in bag_opt

Although they aren’t actually crystallized, the intense cracking that occurs inside the glass marbles as they are quickly exposed to an extreme change in temperature makes them look as though they have crystallized. This craft is also an instantly-gratifying and mess-free science experiment for kids since it requires more curiosity than crafting ability, plus it opens the door for a discussion about thermal shock.

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Display the cracked marbles in a dish on a side table, use them in jewelry-making or a kid’s craft project — the possibilities are endless.

What you’ll need:

* Glass marbles or decorative glass beads — TIP: flat glass beads work, but white marbles will not crack
* Pie pan or cookie sheet
* Bowl filled with cold water and ice
* Colander or strainer

1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.

2. Place all the glass marbles in a pie pan or cookie sheet and pop them in the oven. Set a timer for 25 minutes. Remove any netting or packaging surrounding your marbles before putting them in the pan.

3. Fill a bowl — a metal mixing bowl works best — with cold water and ice cubes.

ice bath_opt

4. Remove the marble-filled pan from the oven. (At this point they will look exactly the same as when you put them in the oven.) Pour all of the baked marbles into the ice bath at once. The insides of the marbles should crack immediately, but feel free to let the marbles sit in the ice water a few minutes.


5. Place a colander in the sink and gently dump the marbles inside to strain.

6. Lay the marbles on a towel to dry and remove any that may have split or broken completely due to the extreme change in temperature.

marbles hand_opt (1)

Have fun displaying the crystallized marbles in a small bowl on a coffee table or placing them in the bottom of a clear candle holder to surround a candle. If you’re feeling especially creative, use the marbles to make an inexpensive necklace by attaching a bead cap with some adhesive and stringing it onto necklace cording.


Enjoy the experiment!


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Mary Evett is best known for being a stay-at-home mom of 3 athletic boys and turning thrift shop finds into fashionable DIY projects. She has a degree in advertising from the University of Texas at Austin and spent time in the real world working in advertising and marketing, but she found her niche after becoming a mom and refinishing her first piece of furniture. She writes about her testosterone-driven life on her personal blog JustMomMatters, and is a regular contributor to ModernMom, the Bump, eHow, Examiner, GlobalPost, and SFGate. When she’s not playing the referee or writing, you’ll find her in her garage sanding, painting, cutting, or gluing something together.

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  1. Looks like a really fun craft to do with kids!! Thanks for putting the science with it!