Wave Bottle

12 05 2008

Eleanor’s 1st birthday is this week and I’ve decided to go with homemade presents. This is the 1st of hopefully several gifts I’m attempting to make before our little party this weekend. We’ll see how productive I can be in the face of several other commitments, my day job and the fact that several family members are arriving Friday.

I’m calling this one a wave bottle for lack of a better term. I was actually thinking blue sky when I made it, hence the floating bugs. However, you could just as easily do fish in an ocean. We all know oil and water don’t mix but more fun can be had when you add other elements. The idea is that she can shake and roll this little bottle to her hearts content watching the liquids react but never mix. The blue will stay blue with bugs in it and the clear will sparkle with the glitter. Here’s the low down if you want to make your own. I think it’s enticing for babies and toddlers to play with as well as a fun experiment for preschoolers and maybe even grade schoolers to make.


  • Half full water bottle
  • Food coloring
  • Glitter
  • Vegetable oil
  • Trinkets – completely optional
  • Super glue

I added a couple drops of blue food coloring to the water and a few plastic bugs. The bugs are actually buttons in which I cut off the shank.

I then added a bunch of glitter and filled the bottle to the top with vegetable oil. The glitter will stay suspended in the oil for a bit when the bottle is given a shake. Interestingly not much of the glitter will mix with the water. I then covered each and every thread on the top of the bottle with super glue and screwed on the cap. I have no desire to clean oil out of the carpet so I wanted to make sure the cap was on for good. You could also add a strong tape for good measure but I think I’ll tempt fate.

Now, on to a few more presents or I’ll end up at a toy store right before the celebration. Wish me luck!

[Update – Although this version of the waive bottle can take a lot of shaking, try not to shake too vigorously as it will cloud the oil portion. To see more variations on this project click here]




6 responses

13 05 2008
painted fish studio

how fun! i remember doing a similar project from my “zoom-do” book when i was around 4 or 5. it was called ocean in a bottle. i still actually have that book, and it brings back great memories of being a kid…

13 05 2008

she’s sure to love it…i’m pretty sure i’d have fun playing with one of these :) my you DO have a big weekend coming up…all that and wool dyeing too?

13 05 2008
Anna Y

love wave bottles. will have to photograph the 7 bodgy lava lamps (that’s what i was goving for) for you. olive oil is really cool for the gloop gloop rate, rice bran oil (which is the cheapest here) goes all fizzy, if you are after different bubble looks. now that i know that it is elanor’s birthday, i will send your prize to you speedy post tonight!!!! :D i did something about the lack of non-plastic yellow and orange at your place and i think it might float a little girl’s boat.

13 05 2008
apple cyder

My kid is fascinated by plain old plastic water bottles. He will LOVE this. Thanks!

13 05 2008
Jen b

that is so cool, my son would love that!

14 05 2008

we’ll be trying this one, thank-you-very-much!

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