Thursday, April 24, 2014

Lousy DIY Lava Lamp

Hello all!!
There isn't much else in this world I love more than a lava lamp.
I feel like maybe I say, "There isn't much else in this world I love more than...(insert basically anything in here)." a lot.

It's true, I am a lover of things.
When I like something, I don't just like it, I love it with every fiber of my being. It's a blessing and a curse. Chip hears "This is my favorite thing in the whole entire world!!" like 808 times a day.
 I am totally not exaggerating...

Anyway, Lava Lamps.
Love 'em.
Today we have a pin from Rebecca about a DIY science experiment Lava Lamp! Check it out!

The Original
Psychedelic man.
The Pinstrosity
This kind of looks like my breakfast smoothie...anyone hungry??

Rebecca followed the directions that she got here, and now she will tell us all about her experience:

" boys (4 and 2) and I tried this with:
* An empty, clean peanut butter jar
* Bertolli extra-virgin olive oil (maybe mistake #1: too dark?)
* Two colors of food coloring (mistake #2: they mixed and created purple/brown?)
* And two unbroken, generic denture-cleansing tablets

We filled the jar about 2/3 full of olive oil, then I added drops of green, then blue. They were staying separate and floating down and it was cool to watch! They settled at the bottom, I pumped my kids up to watch, and then I added the denture-cleansing tablets, one followed about 30 seconds later by the other. They did make some small bubbles go throughout the oil and foam at the top, but it was getting increasingly harder to see. The kids thought it was kind of neat. I was sure that once the bubbles stopped and I put the lid on that it would get cooler as we turned the jar over and back a few times. Well, it just got worse, and the picture is the result. Oh well--the kids thought it was neat to watch (probably seeing it turn from dark yellow to nasty puke green), and I didn't lose much in the way of materials or time. Next time, I'll definitely use regular cooking oil (I don't keep any on-hand) and just one color of food coloring!

Hope this helps future attempters or at least brings some chuckles to people!"
I think Rebecca hit the nail on the head as far as this projects issues and how to fix them. I think the color of the EVOO mixed with the dark food colors weren't a good combo. Regular cooking oil, and some lighter food colors would probably do the trick here.
Now I am giving a shout out to our readers...when I opened this e-mail I was thinking of a traditional lava lamp (there is nothing wring with this one, the old school lava lamp was just what came to mind first), so readers has anyone seen a pin on how to DIY an original type of lava lamp? If you have, send them our way! I would LOVE to test it out!
Happy Thursday all!


  1. The thing that comes to my mind is the need to use a water based food coloring, so it stays separate from the oil. That is pretty much all I have, as I haven't tried anything like this.

  2. We just performed this for our Vacation Bible School and it worked great. We used empty plastic bottles, vegetable oil, water, food coloring and Alka-Seltzer tablets. We filled the bottle about 3/4 of the way full with the veg oil. Then add water. You don't want to fill the bottle all the way to the top. There needs to be room for the tablets to fizz. Next add your food coloring. We found that red worked best. Again, DO NOT SHAKE THE BOTTLE!!! Lastly, add the alka-seltzer tablets and watch your lava lamp do its thing. The kids loved it. You can add more tablets whenever you want to re-activate your lava lamp. Good luck.


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