Monday, June 13, 2011

Making Eggshell Geodes

My bfforever/sidekick/knows so much dirt on me we'll always be friends, sent me a link on how to make eggshell geodes.  They looked sooo dang cool we had to try them ..

we were so excited to get started...

First, we had to learn how to blow eggs out...turned out to be kinda fun... We took a tack and poked a hole in the bottom of the egg.  We then took an unfolded paper clip, stuck it in the hole to break the yolk, and mixed it up a little so it would be easier to blow out.  We also made the hole a little bigger since we were planning to break the shell into two pieces anyway.  We then took the tack and poked a hole in the top of the egg, held it over a bowl, and blew the contents out.  The kids loved it....I might have, too...
We then took scissors and cut the shell in half, rinsed it with water, and dried it with a paper towel.

The next step is painting the inside of the egg with white glue (like Elmer's) and setting it out to dry overnight.  *sigh*  must EVERYTHING be an exercise in patience?? 

To make the geodes, you mix egg dye (we didn't have the *i'm martha stewart so i have every craft supply on hand* powder dye from "surma:  the ukranian shop", we used liquid egg dye from walmart with great results) repeat, since you may have forgotten where we were...
You mix egg dye with two cups of hot water and 3/4 cup of alum.  3/4 cup of alum bought at walmart ends up being three of those little (1.90 oz...I googled) McCormick bottles at 3 dollars and something a pop...I bought to paint the eggs, six to make geodes., you mix three of the bottles of alum (3/4 cup) in with the hot water and of course all the alum won't dissolve so save yourself some wondering and go ahead and microwave it for a bit to make sure it's all fully will make better crystals.  The other thing you want to be sure of is that your egg will fit in whatever container you choose with about an inch between all sides of the egg and the container.  Otherwise, the crystals won't have as much room to grow and you'll have to pry your egg loose from the sides..  I know this from experience :)

  (prime example of NOT having enough room)

After the solution cools down, gently put your eggs in, wait all night (that patience thing again) and in the morning, you'll have a nice surprise.  I have to admit I was so excited to look the next morning before the kids got up, but I forced myself to be a grown up and wait for them. I did decide to reward myself for that adult gesture with a cherry dr. pepper for breakfast :)

oh, wait...another handy tip....if you're only going to buy six bottles of alum to do your experiment..hence, using two containers at a time...a great way to get the most for your money is to start out using a light colored food dye.. after you take the eggshell out the following morning, you can reheat the alum and add a few more drops of the same color to make it darker, or add a totally different color adding color in increments, you can reuse the same alum solution for 3 or 4 eggshell halves....

Back to the first morning and the first eggshell geode unveiling.... we were sooo excited...the latex glove was pulled on *SNAP!*  ...submerged into the alum solution...  and voila!  a freakin' homemade geode.  omGAH!  I can't believe it actually worked!  According to some of the comments on the site, there were some potential problems...but it WORKED!  

We marveled all day at our creation...  it only takes 12 hours to create, so I microwaved the solution, let it cool, added some more egg dye and put the next shell in.

We were in for a HUGE surprise 12 hours later....

those crystals were crazy big!!!  it was absolutely beautiful!!!

notice the difference between the first geode we made and the second... we didn't microwave the first one so i'm thinking maybe the solution wasn't dissolved well enough...

we continued adding dye and reheating the solution and till we ran out of prepared eggshells...  this experiment was truly the most fun ... the kids AND i thoroughly enjoyed it...

oh..I tried to make a bread tie set, bodaciously, jeweled piece of finger bling, but alas...the "jewel" would not adhere to the bread tie by any means I attempted...    and it *could* have been my big break....


  1. I can't even begin to describe how cool this is!!!

  2. thank you, jennifer! we thoroughly enjoyed it! the results were simply amazing.

  3. I tried this experiment. Did not get good results. I put the shells into the solution while it was still boiling hot, the next morning I had huge crystals, but nothing saveable. Now I will 'remelt' the crystals and wait for the solution to cool.

    1. Yes... I think the trick is letting it cool down! Did it work the second time?