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How can I make my own periodic table?

A periodic table is an arrangement of chemical elements organized by their atomic number, electron configuration, and recurring chemical properties. Making your own periodic table can be a fun way to learn about the different elements and how they relate to each other. Here are some tips on how to create your own custom periodic table.

Decide on a Format

First, decide on the overall format you want to use for your periodic table. The traditional periodic table is organized as an 18 x 7 grid, with elements organized horizontally by increasing atomic number, and vertically by similar properties or electron configurations. However, you can be creative and arrange the elements however you like for your own custom table.

Some ideas for formats include:

  • A circular or elliptical table
  • A spiral table
  • Grouping elements just by reactivity or natural state
  • Organizing by color or density

Feel free to come up with any format that makes sense to you and fits your goals for learning about the elements.

Gather Element Information

Next, you’ll need to gather key information about each element to include in your table. At minimum, you’ll want to include:

  • Element name
  • Atomic number
  • Element symbol
  • Group number
  • Period number

Additional details you may want to incorporate can include:

  • Atomic mass
  • Electron configuration
  • Melting and boiling points
  • Density
  • Reactivity
  • Natural state at room temperature (solid, liquid, gas)
  • Color

Online element databases from reputable sources are a great place to find much of this information, for all 118 currently known chemical elements.

Design the Layout

Once you have your format chosen and element data compiled, you can start designing the visual layout of your custom periodic table. Consider elements like:

  • Color scheme – Will you color code elements by metal/nonmetal/metalloid, reactivity, natural state, etc?
  • Font choices – The font size and style for element names, symbols, numbers, and any additional details
  • Gridlines or borders – Will you separate elements or groups with lines or borders?
  • Background – A plain white or colored background can also help separate elements

Again, there is a lot of room for creativity here. Sketch some rough drafts first to experiment with different layouts. Consider making both a full printable version, as well as a simplified pocket version.

Create Your Table

Now comes the fun part – putting everything together into your custom periodic table masterpiece! Here are some options for actually creating your table:

  • Design software like Canva or Publisher have pre-made periodic table templates you can customize
  • Excel or Google sheets to organize the data, adding color, borders, etc.
  • A hand-drawn or painted version on a poster or canvas
  • A 3D printed table with physical elements

You can create a high-quality printable version, or get creative with materials and 3D elements. The important thing is that the end result is meaningful and helpful for your learning.

Use Your Table Interactively

Don’t just pin your new periodic table to the wall – use it interactively to actually learn the elements! Here are some ideas:

  • Color code your table, then quiz yourself by coloring in elements from memory
  • Make element flashcards using your table as a reference
  • Play element Bingo, randomly selecting elements to search for
  • Create element puns or poems using the element names
  • Build 3D element models for any you find interesting

Come up with your own games or activities to make the table a dynamic study aid. You can always add more details or modify the format over time as you learn more about each element.


Creating your own periodic table is an excellent hands-on way to deepen your understanding of chemistry concepts. By researching element properties, designing your own layout, and using the table interactively, you can gain greater insights into how the elements relate to one another. Periodic tables are beautiful infographics that synthesize immense amounts of chemical data – have fun making one yourself!