DIY Homemade Lava Lamp




Introduction: DIY Homemade Lava Lamp

About: Janine Halloran, LMHC and Mom of 2 is the founder of Encourage Play. There you will find practical resources and simple & easy play ideas to help kids learn social skills through play.

DIY/Homemade Lava Lamps are great fun for families to do together. It
can be mesmerizing and calming to watch the lava lamp in action. This activity always keeps my kids busy for a good amount of time.

Step 1: Gather Your Materials

To do it yourself at home, you will need:

  • Vegetable Oil
  • Water
  • Clear Bottle
  • Food Coloring
  • Alka Seltzer Tablets - broken into smaller pieces

Step 2: Put Water in the Bottle

Fill the bottle 1/3 of the way full with water.

Step 3: Add Food Coloring

Add the food coloring colors of your choice. This bottle has a few drops of green. Feel free to get creative with this step!

Step 4: Add Vegetable Oil

Fill the bottle the almost all of the way to the top with vegetable oil. Leave a little room to allow for the reaction to have space to work!

Step 5: Break Up the Alka Seltzer

Break the Alka Seltzer into 4 or 5 pieces. Place one or two at a time into the lava lamp and watch what happens!

Step 6: Drop in Alka Seltzer and Watch the Lava Lamp in Action

Drop in one or two pieces of Alka Seltzer and watch the colored water rise up into the oil. Continue putting in one or two Alka Seltzer drop every few minutes or once the reaction has settled.

NOTE: Please make sure to not place screw on the cover to the lid while the reaction from the Alka Seltzer is happening. The reaction will build up and may cause your container to explode!



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    15 Discussions

    I know hou make a lava lamp like the original. You can know too if you see the science behind the original lava lamp.

    that is pretty cool. I put a small light behind and it was awesome

    If you put your jar on an electric coffee cup/candle warmer, it might also work.


    2 years ago

    The oil won't clog a drain, it is always a liquid. Grease on the other hand returns to a semi - solid state when cooled and will cause a clog eventually if you don't keep your drains cleaned regularly.

    coooooool you can put a lamp under the lamp and put off the light and it's work perfectlly

    1 reply

    i want to say a erectric light under the lava lamp

    I’m glad you enjoyed the colored bubbles. The goal is to have fun creating something that is interesting to look at and fun to do. For something a little more exciting, check out some videos of mixing mentos and soda. This girl even did a science experiment about it:

    Thanks! I got the bottles on It's been great for lava lamps and calming jars...I think that might be my next instructable :-)