DIY Science 1 – Crystal Growing

WARNING: This is a really time-consuming project. When they said it might take weeks, I didn’t think it would take 3 whole months! What dafuq am I doing with my life?

Let’s back up…

3 months ago, I’ve decided to experiment on a DIY project for the website – something simple and easy to start things up. Perhaps a nice little science project. So I scoured the mall looking for that perfect project to cover, and my quest brought me to Toy Kingdom.

Toy Kingdom

Mr. Potato Head

Nice try, Disney, you’re not going to do your marketing tricks on me… Oh, Star Wars Mr. Potato Head.

I guess I should look for the science section now. But look at those mini-gundams… Damn.



249.75 PHP for that little piece of plastic?!

Those are some really expensive Lego shit. Have toys been this expensive all along?


Also, there’s this:

Robotic Hand

I have other ideas I could use this for – probably not what you think.

15 Minutes Later

Then I finally found the science-y section.

Science Section


Why the hell are these kits so damn expensive?

I think I know what I’m going to do.

15 Minutes Later

(At the checkout) Is it me, or are those dolls freaking creepy AF?


Six Hours Later

Finally, I’ve decided to pursue this interesting looking project – Crystal Growing! Seems simple enough.

Crystal Growing

For ages above 10, so that sounds about right. I figured this would be like taking care of a plant or something similar. It’s selected by the University of Cambridge at a Science Festival, so it should be legit, I reckon.

So essentially, the entire set includes the following:

  1. An attractive really square box
  2. 1 large bag of white crystals – a base compound called Monoammonium Phosphate
  3. 3 small bags of coloured crystal seeding mixture
  4. 1 large container that reminds you of those stool sample containers
  5. 1 seeding spoon which is essentially just a fancy stirrer
  6. Detailed instructions on how to do this thing


The list of instructions is very long and quite adamant in warning me that I’m dealing with really hazardous chemicals. Hence, even with the very strong urge to just wing it, I’ve bought a couple of latex gloves to aid me in this project.

List and gloves

I have the feeling that they’re overreacting, but I did wear the safety gloves and mask to avoid unnecessary inhalation of toxic chemicals, which brings me to the question, “If this experiment is so dangerous, why are they selling this to children?”


I should have read this more carefully.

Nevertheless, I started by adding the white crystal compounds on a well-measured boiling water. I didn’t really get the temperature of the water, but I figured boiling water should be beyond 100°C.

Step 1

Then I stirred the solution like there’s no tomorrow. Apparently, I should add the colouring agent when the water cools down to 40°C, but I didn’t have a thermometer, so I decided to wing it. I chose the blue colouring agent because I liked blue in general. However, I had the option to make pure white, light blue, light red, red, and violet crystals from the same packet.

Blue solution

So yeah, after adding the colouring agent, I was supposed to put the solution somewhere hot like the top of a refrigerator or anywhere here in Manila. There was a brief “Now what?” moment, but afterwards, I stashed all the chemicals back in their square box and looked for a nice location for my crystals to grow the shit up.


I was excited to see them grow – quite excited indeed.

Day Two

Day 2

Did something change? Is anything actually happening? Oh, well better check tomorrow.

Three Days Later

Day 3

Dafuq. Nothing’s happening. This is total bullshit! Damn it.

Several Days Later

Several Days


So at this point, I just forgot about it. Sometimes, when I boiled some hot water for my daily coffee, I poured the leftover water around the container in order to make it seem like it was in a hot place. I’ve actually just placed the solution in a random box, hoping nobody would mistake it for Blue Gatorade and drink it.


One Eternity Later

Final Product

Woohoo! It worked. I’ve never doubted you – really? 😀

Anyway, the final product was not as beautiful as advertised, but I was just glad that I made some sort of crystal at the end. They weren’t really concentrated in the middle, but instead they sort of crawled on the sides of the container, forming graceful looking crystals.

Crystal Growing

The bottom of the container had this sort of spinning set of crystals – not exactly what I had in mind, but it’s okay I guess. The final product looks better up close, but I reckon I should make a couple more of this in different colours instead. I’m just glad this didn’t turn out to be disastrous after all. In the meantime, I’m placing this crystal thingy in my desk for inspiration for shit. Let me know if you want to see more DIY projects soon. Cheers.