How to Make Glitter Float in Water

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Ultra-fine glitter is light and shimmery.
Ultra-fine glitter is light and shimmery. (Image: Goodshoot/Goodshoot/Getty Images)

Making glitter float on water isn’t as miraculous as it appears. However, although surfaces can appear deceptively simple, you still need to weave a little magic alongside a sprinkling of alchemy to create this beautiful, transient effect. You can turn a plain jar or bottle into a piece of art by mixing oil, water and glitter in a glass jar or bottle. The secret to making the glitter float is to use dreamy, diaphanous, ultra-fine glitter -- which floats slowly to the ground when you shake the bottle. While it won’t float indefinitely, ultra-fine glitter prolongs the magic. You can buy it from craft stores and online retailers.

Things You'll Need

  • Glass jar or bottle
  • Rubbing alcohol (surgical spirit)
  • Food coloring
  • Vegetable oil
  • Ultra-fine glitter
  • Plastic funnel
  • Beads
  • Water
  • Double-sided adhesive tape or hot glue

Pour rubbing alcohol into the jar or bottle. Fill about one-quarter of the jar, then add a drop of food coloring. Use a few drops, if you want a more vibrant effect.

Fill the container with vegetable oil, leaving about one-half inch on top.

Add ultra-fine glitter. Pour the glitter into the jar, using a plastic funnel. Use as much glitter as desired, depending on whether you want your glitter jar to be the crème de la crème in the glitterati stakes, or are aiming for a more subtle effect. Add small, shiny beads for variation.

Pour in water, filling the jar to the brim. It will float on top of the oil until you shake the bottle.

Secure the lid. Screw it on tightly, secured with double-sided adhesive tape under the rim, or seal it with hot glue.

Tips & Warnings

  • Very young children carrying out this project should use a plastic container.

References

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