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How To Make A Coal Garden

Updated on November 3, 2010

Coal Garden After 4 Hours

Colorful Coal Garden

A Coal Garden is easy to do, and no two will be the same. They are similar to those little crystals that you dropped in water and they grew into colorful spiked creations.


One lump or several chips and pieces of coal

A shallow pan or plate with a ridge

2 to 3 good sized lumps of coal

A small amount of water for the bottom of the holder


6 Tablespoons of salt

6 Tablespoons of bluing (you can get it in your grocery store)

6 Tablespoons Water

1 Tablespoon ammonia

Slowly pour the bluing, water, and ammonia mixture over the coals.

If there are any bare spots, sprinkle ammonia on them.

Add drops of different food coloring here and there.

Add a little water to the pan if it becomes dry.

Adding twigs found outside in your yard or garden can make your coal garden have a touch of nature.

NOTE: Do not let children do this by themselves. Ammonia is very strong and can burn nostrils and lungs, so be sure there is adequate ventilation or do this outside.


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    • profile image

      ivori 3 years ago

      Diane, I never heard of using iodine and viegar, but who knows, it might work!

    • profile image

      Diane dougherty 3 years ago

      I always heard to use iodine and vinegar???

    • profile image

      Gabby 3 years ago

      Great activity for grandparents and grandkids! Brings back memories of when I was a kid....except coal was much easier to find back then! What properties in the coal make it grow? Would any other rocks or minerals work?

    • profile image

      ivori 5 years ago

      You do NOT eat the coal garden, Keith!

    • profile image

      Keith 5 years ago

      This stuff tastes awful

    • profile image

      ivori 5 years ago

      Ah, yes they do break easily - that was one thing I forgot to warn about! But, glad it turned out very pretty for you.

    • profile image

      Starhaha 5 years ago

      Um it turned out weird and BEAUTIFUL so awesome thanks so much but it breaks easaly

    • profile image

      Amy 6 years ago

      I made this when i was real young; ive been wanting this recipe for a long time! They turn out beaitful.

    • profile image

      Erica 6 years ago

      Where in the grocery would I find bluing?

    • sherrylou57 profile image

      sherrylou57 7 years ago from Riverside

      Interesting hub, thank you for this info!

    • ivori profile image

      Barbara Eisenberg 7 years ago from Titusville

      Yes, you are right - it should be "salt" instead of "sale." I'm sorry - that will be corrected! Thanks for pointing that out to my attention.

    • Doc Snow profile image

      Doc Snow 7 years ago from Atlanta metropolitan area, GA, USA

      Look like fun.

      Question: "6 tablespoons of 'sale'"--does that mean "6 tablespoons of 'salt?'"