Ocean in a Bottle

Average rating of 3.5/5. (5 Ratings)
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What you'll need

  • Empty two-liter plastic bottle with lid
  • Clear vegetable oil or mineral oil
  • Water
  • Funnel
  • Blue food coloring
  • Small star fish, shells and other sea creatures
  • 1 teaspoon glitter
  • White craft glue
  • Hot glue
Helpful Tip:

Use lightweight starfish, shells and other sea creature toys that can float. Test them first in a bowl or glass of water. Find these at your local craft supply store or discount department store.


Small children will be mesmerized by this creation. They can help make this every step. Let them insert the sea creatures, hold the funnel and help add the tap water. In the steps that may be more difficult for little fingers, have them hold the bottle steady for you while you add the glitter.


Make the ocean any color you choose! Blue is standard of course, but if your child’s room is decorated with red and yellow, go with red food coloring. There’s no rule that says your ocean must be blue.

How to make it

  1. Wash and dry two-liter bottle and remove all labels.

  2. Fill bottle halfway with tap water.

  3. Add a few drops of blue food coloring and swirl around to mix.

  4. Add glitter.

  5. Add sea creatures.

  6. Use a funnel to fill the bottle the rest of the way with vegetable oil.

  7. Be sure that rim and cap are dry, then apply white craft glue around the rim and around the inside threads of the cap. Twist on the cap tight to seal it.

  8. Use a layer of hot glue around the outer edge of the cap for added protection from leakage.

  9. Turn bottle on its side and gently rock the bottle to create a “wave” inside your ocean habitat!

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