DIY Lava Lamp

DIY Lava Lamp

Inspired by all the great examples you can find online on how to make a ‘Lava Lamp’ with your kids, we decided to try our own. Here’s ours:

DIY Lava Lamp

This little experiment is super easy to do. Of course, it’s not really a lamp, but a little science experiment that shows the fizzy, bubbly results of combining oil, water and effervescence with a little color.

Here’s what you need:

A clear plastic or glass bottle
Cooking Oil (be prepared to sacrifice several cups)
Food coloring
Fizzing Antacid tablets (Alka-Seltzer*)
Optional – Glitter (This was my addition. I wanted to add a little sparkle.)

* Your “Lava Lamp” solution should be carefully disposed of after your project and caution should be exercised as the antacid tablets are a medicine (often containing aspirin) and should not swallowed or mouthed by small children or pets. Please supervise your children and use common sense with all craft projects & materials!

How-To:

Protect your workspace by placing your bottle on a plate or in a pan, in case of spills or out of control fizzes.

Fill your bottle about halfway with oil. We started with a tall bottle, but tried a shorter jelly jar too. (If you don’t like using so much oil, try making this in a smaller container.)

DIY Lava Lamp

DIY Lava Lamp

Fill the rest of the jar with water, but leave an inch or so at the top so it’s not too full. This is where I dumped in a bit of glitter.

Now add 10 drops of food coloring. We mixed blue with a little red, and may have gotten more than 10 in there, to be honest. I’d try to err on the side of less, so you can see into the jar better.

DIY Lava Lamp

The effervescent Alka Seltzer tablets are what make this interesting. Break each tablet into four pieces and add them one at a time. (Adding a whole tablet may produce too much fizz and cloud the water completely).

DIY Lava Lamp

DIY Lava Lamp

You should get a bubbly effect somewhat like this. Let your child slowly add the remaining pieces and watch the results. The bubbles won’t last long, but you can cap the bottle, put it away and add more tablets later. (Just make sure that you keep it out of reach in the meantime!)

DIY Lava Lamp

DIY Lava Lamp

Here it is with a smaller jar. You can see some of the fizzes coming up out of the top.

DIY Lava Lamp

Make sure you do this in a bright spot to get the full effect of all those pretty fizzies.

DIY Lava Lamp

This was our first time trying this. I did’t get as many big globs of color as I wanted, but I may try it again with slightly different ratios. Maybe without the glitter. Have you done this project? Any tips to share?

Like this? Please consider sharing it with others!

2 thoughts on “DIY Lava Lamp

    • Hi, I’m not sure, but I believe the process works because of the chemical reaction between the oil and the fizzy stuff in the antacid, so I think another type of fizzing tablet would probably work too. I guess simply check to make sure the ingredients are safe around kids.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *