Best Crystals for Beginners

Beginner Crystal Growing Projects

Are you interested in growing crystals, but unsure where to start? This is a list of the best crystal growing projects for beginners or anyone seeking top crystals projects based on simplicity, safety, and great results.

Borax crystals are safe and easy to grow.
Borax crystals are safe and easy to grow. Anne Helmenstine

Borax is sold as a laundry booster or as an insecticide. You don't have to grow these crystals in a snowflake shape, but that tends to be more interesting than simply growing crystals on a string. These crystals grow overnight, so you can get quick results. More »

Frost a window with crystals to simulate the effect of ice frost.
Frost a window with crystals to simulate the effect of ice frost. Anne Helmenstine

This non-toxic crystal "frost" grows on windows (or a glass plate or mirror) in minutes. The project is easy and reliable and produces interesting results. More »

This alum crystal grew overnight.
This alum crystal grew overnight. Anne Helmenstine

Alum is found with pickling spices in the grocery store. These crystals are probably the easiest and largest crystals you can grow. You can get good results with these crystals overnight or grow a big crystal within a couple of days. More »

Salt and vinegar crystals are non-toxic and easy to grow.
Salt and vinegar crystals are non-toxic and easy to grow. You can color the crystals with food coloring if you wish. Anne Helmenstine

These crystals require two easy-to-find ingredients. You can use food coloring to grow a crystal garden in a rainbow of colors. More »

05
of 12
You can grow an underwater crystal garden with Magic Rocks.
You can grow an underwater crystal garden with Magic Rocks. Anne Helmenstine

If you ask people about their favorite crystal growing projects, most will mention Magic Rocks. Technically, the fanciful towers produced by Magic Rocks aren't crystals, but there is no denying they are easy and fun to grow. More »

Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It's easy to grow Epsom salt crystals.
Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate. It's easy to grow Epsom salt crystals. The crystals typically resemble shards or spikes. Initially the crystals are clear, though they whiten over time. Anne Helmenstine

Epsom salts are found with cleaners, bath salts, and in the pharmacy sections of most stores so you shouldn't have any trouble locating them. These crystals grow quickly and easily. If the conditions are right, you can get growth in mere minutes. Usually you'll see crystal growth overnight. More »

07
of 12
Rock Candy
If you look closely, you can see the monoclinic shape of the sugar crystals that comprise this rock candy. Anne Helmenstine

Rock candy is another name for sugar crystals. These crystals take a bit more time to grow than the other crystals on this list, but the advantage is you get to eat them when you are done. More »

A magic crystal tree grows crystal leaves as if by magic.
A magic crystal tree grows crystal leaves as if by magic. Courtesy of Pricegrabber

This is a crystal kit that you purchase that allows you to grow a crystal-encrusted tree while you watch. This is one of my favorite crystal kits because the crystals grow so quickly and the results are memorable. More »

If you grow crystals on your patio table, you'll get to see it become a sheet of sparkling rainbows.
If you grow crystals on your patio table, you'll get to see it become a sheet of sparkling rainbows. Anne Helmenstine

If you splash a non-toxic crystal solution onto a hot glass patio table, you can get sparkling crystal creations. These crystals are a lot of fun for kids. When you are done growing crystals, spray off the table with a garden hose. More »

You can see needle-like and fern-like crystals in addition to salt rings.
You can see needle-like and fern-like crystals in addition to salt rings. Anne Helmenstine

Salt crystals rings are an instant gratification project. These crystals don't grow very big, but they do grow while you watch. Add food coloring if you want colored crystals. More »

Smithsonian Crystal Set
Several Smithsonian crystal-growing sets are available. Courtesy of Pricegrabber.

These kits contain safe chemicals and include everything you need to grow crystals except water. There are kits for growing specific types of crystals or huge kits that give you enough projects to keep yourself busy for a long time. More »

Epsom salt crystals needles grow in a matter of hours. You can grow clear or colored crystals.
Epsom salt crystals needles grow in a matter of hours. You can grow clear or colored crystals. Anne Helmenstine

It only takes a few hours to grow these needle-like crystals in a cup in your refrigerator. You can make the crystals any color you like. More »