Introduction: How to Make Bubble Rings

Picture of How to Make Bubble Rings

Bubble rings are great fun with kids. There is a bit of a wow factor and they enjoy swimming through them. If they are good enough swimmers they like learning to make them. This is simple fun in the pool without having to go buy anything new at the store.

With a little practice you can make them anywhere the water is calm enough. I've heard people say you need a deep pool, as in at least nine feet deep. That isn't true. I've formed them within two feet of the surface. The photo above was taken in an eight foot pool. I have at times blown four or five while rising from the bottom with the last being right near the top.

It's kind of like learning to whistle, you'll need to try it a bunch of times before you get the hang of it, but it is not as hard as learning to whistle.

Step 1: Gear

Picture of Gear

You will want a mask. You are going to be swimming upside down. You don't want water running up your nose and you don't want air from your nose breaking up the rings.

Step 2: Upside Down

Picture of Upside Down

Swim with your back facing the ground. Try to keep your hands and feet from stirring up the water above your head. I find keeping my hands down near my waist is ok if I'm pushing water up as long as I'm being careful about turbulence. Holding them out to the side or above my head is only ok if I'm not pushing water up.

Step 3: Practice

Tip your head back a little so your lips and chin are high up then push out a quick burst of air and slam your lips shut right away. It's kind of like saying the letter P, but unlike saying P you need to close your lips right away. You do not need much air and you want it to come out quickly. Be careful not to destroy your ring with turbulence from your hands or feet.

If you get a big dome-shaped bubble or a bunch of bubbles instead of a ring, you may have used too much air, blown out for too long, had your neck too straight or too bent (your head should be tipped back a little), or destroyed it with too much turbulence from your hands or feet.

Just keep trying and you'll get the hang of it. If you are still having difficulty, try filling your cheeks and lips with a little air and just blowing that out. Play with the shape of your mouth. Most of all, stick with it, you'll get it.

Recently I've read that sticking out your tongue and then pulling it in while blowing out can help. I've given it a try at the end of this video and you can see that also works. I didn't quite clamp down my mouth tight enough after the burst of air on that try, but it worked anyway.

If you have questions, post a comment here or on my blog at My Dabblings.

Step 4: Examples

Here are some examples. Please let us know if you succeed!


lassensurf (author)2015-07-29

A deeper pool is easier to get good results in! It takes the first couple feet for the ring to stabilize. And a mask is a fantastic idea to keep the water going up your nose (ask me how I know!). Using a weight to hold you down so you don't have to use your hands is a great idea. Our pool is only 5ft at the deepest and trying to hold yourself down, while plugging your nose and not disturbing the water is REALLY tricky!

Yes, more than five feet helps. The mask is essential in my opinion. Please be very careful with any weights though. Don't use anything tied to you or that could snag you. Also, consider the impact to the pool surface if the weight comes into contact with it. Make sure the weight can't damage the surface of the floor or walls.

jhardegger (author)2015-07-25

Nice trick. Maybe it would also have been helpful to have the boy filming you instead of vice versa.

I tried that, but we didn't get a shot that helped. You'd need a close up, slow motion shot of my lips and that's difficult to get with a wide angle GoPro underwater while staying far enough away not to cause turbulence that would immediately break up the rings.

Ok, I tried again and succeeded this time. I held the GoPRo in my hand while making the rings and managed to capture some decent close ups. I've embedded them in step three (including one of the tongue method) and moved the example video to it's own step.

canida (author)CarlTheDabbler2015-07-27

Thanks, those helped!

CarlTheDabbler (author)canida2015-07-27

Glad to hear it.

sciamannikoo (author)2015-07-24

I must first learn how to fight Archimed's law, to get to the bottom of the pool, the I'll move to these rings :)

khearn (author)2015-07-23

I once watched a dolphin doing this at Marine World. It would blow a ring out of it's blowhole, then watch it as it rose up, and bite it just before it got to the surface. Then it would go back down and blow another one. I think it was pretty bored and was passing the time by making toys to play with.

CarlTheDabbler (author)khearn2015-07-23

It's cool to think of them playing with this sort of thing. It is always depressing to think of them in captivity.

Hannahhoo (author)2015-07-23

An awesome trick! Thanks for sharing! I'll be sure to try this when I next go to the pool. :D

CarlTheDabbler (author)Hannahhoo2015-07-23

Good luck! Please let us know how it goes.

fixfireleo (author)2015-07-23

just eat taco bell before swimming! seriously, we did a helmet dive in the camen islands and the guide did this quite a few times. it was pretty neat.

jeanniel1 (author)2015-07-23

SO cool! Great shots in action

CarlTheDabbler (author)jeanniel12015-07-23

Thanks. My kids enjoyed being part of it.

LlamaN (author)2015-07-23

I've been trying to practice this for several years now. I'll occasionally get a decent ring, but never really knew what shape to make with my mouth to get it right. Thanks for the tip, I'll give it a try next time I'm in the pool!

CarlTheDabbler (author)LlamaN2015-07-23

I hope it helps. I'd love to hear how it goes.

gravityisweak (author)2015-07-21

This is something I would love to learn. I have seen videos of bubble rings being blown through each other, there are some really crazy variations to this trick!

I'm sure you can learn. It isn't hard, it just takes experimentation.

slo5oh (author)2015-07-21

I've seen whales and dolphins do this on television, not in person. Pretty amazing. I remember my father blowing smoke rings when I was a kid. I grew up swimming everyday all summer long, many, many MANY days in the pool. I wish I could take this knowledge back to my younger self.

script_coded (author)2015-07-21

Haha, didn't know this!

sapheyr (author)2015-07-21

That is so cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ShakeTheFuture (author)2015-07-21


Mysterious_Gal (author)2015-07-20

I do this all the time at my pool. It is great fun.

Cool. I had never seen this before so it was quite surprising for me.

ethan_hair7 (author)2015-07-20



Nickynui (author)2015-07-20

it's like an underwater version of bilbo's pipe!!

CarlTheDabbler (author)Nickynui2015-07-20

When I first told my daughter about this she didn't know smoke rings were real. She had only seen them from Gandalf so she thought of them as magical. Seeing me make rings under the water put a huge smile on her face. Then being able to make one on the first try totally flipped her out

seamster (author)2015-07-20

This is really cool! I had no idea you could do this, but it makes perfect sense. Glad you shared this, I'm gonna give it a shot next time we go swimming. Thanks!

CarlTheDabbler (author)seamster2015-07-20

Most excellent. I love inspiring someone to try something. I'm glad you enjoyed it.

kylegilbert (author)2015-07-20

Likewise, I had no idea. Really cool.

About This Instructable




Bio: I dabble in many different hobbies and build things around the house. It's not too often I have something worth posting here, but once ... More »
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