How to Make a Lava Lamp

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Things You'll Need

  • Vegetable oil

  • Food coloring

  • Glitter

  • Clear bottle

How to Make a Lava Lamp. Have your kids make a lava lamp out of materials around the house to introduce them to this groovy relic from the past. Unlike real lava lamps, these homemade lava lamps are non-toxic and unheated.

Step 1

Pour oil into a jar or bottle. Fill it up about one-third of the way.


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Step 2

Add eye-catching decorations. Beads, sequins, glitter, sprinkles or anything else small and pretty can be dumped into the mixture.

Step 3

Add food coloring. Just a drop or so of food dye will give the lava lamp a colorful tint.

Step 4

Fill the rest of the jar up with water. Top off the jar or bottle with regular tap water.

Step 5

Seal the jar or bottle. Screw a lid on tightly and securely.

Step 6

Shake. Get the liquids moving to create the lava lamp effect.


To illuminate the lamp, place it on top of a floodlight or place it in front of a strong flashlight. You can add Alka-Seltzer or Airborne to create bubbles.


Do not heat a plastic bottle. Even the heat from the light could melt the plastic, so don't leave it sitting for too long. Although the mixture is non-toxic, keep it away from small children as the floating objects could be a choking hazard.


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