How to Make a Crystal Skull

This cardboard skull sparkles with borax crystals.
Anne Helmenstine

Learn how to make your own crystal skull, for Halloween, Day of the Dead, or just decorating your space. It's an easy crystal-growing project that produces an interesting conversation piece.

Crystal Skull Materials

We chose borax to grow the crystal skull, but you could use any crystal recipe. One interesting option might be to grow a sugar crystal skull and place it in a punch bowl.

  • Borax
  • Boiling water
  • Small paper skull (I got mine at Michael's craft store)
  • Bowl deep enough to hold ​the skull

Crystallize the Skull

  1. Make sure the bowl is deep enough to hold the skull.
  2. Pour boiling or very hot water into the bowl.
  3. Stir in borax until it stops dissolving. This project looks cool with clear crystals, but if you like, you can add food coloring to color the crystals of the skull.
  4. Place the skull in the bowl of crystal growing solution. Paper or cardboard skulls take a while to absorb the liquid, so the skull may float for a while. This is fine and usually resolves on its own, but you can weight down the skull with a glass or another bowl if it bobs up too much. Another option is to turn the skull periodically to make sure all surfaces get exposed to the liquid.
  5. Check the progress of crystal growth every couple of hours. You should have a nice crop of crystals within an hour to overnight, depending on how saturated your solution was and how quickly it cooled. When you are satisfied with the crystals, remove the skull and place it on a paper towel to dry.
  6. If you want even more crystals on the skull, take the crystal skull and place it in a fresh solution to get a second layer of crystal growth. Make sure the new solution is saturated (no more borax will dissolve) or you'll risk dissolving some crystals rather than growing more.
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Your Citation
Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make a Crystal Skull." ThoughtCo, Apr. 5, 2023, Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. (2023, April 5). How to Make a Crystal Skull. Retrieved from Helmenstine, Anne Marie, Ph.D. "How to Make a Crystal Skull." ThoughtCo. (accessed June 9, 2023).