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Thursday, August 08, 2013

Sparkle Bottles

These were actually part of our Travel Kits, which you can find in the {Kids on the Road} Series, we took on our insanely long (and waaay too close together) road trips we took this past month.  I found the original idea at My Crazy Blessed Life, and Johanna called them "calm down bottles" and used them with the idea of helping her little girls calm down after a tantrum.  There was the added bonus of a built-in time out timer.  That wasn't my goal with them though.  I just wanted a distraction for my poor children who were strapped down in car seats for hours and hours on end.  I don't know if they'd work well as timers or calm down distractions for my kids.  They don't have the attention spans to sit and actually watch all the glitter fall.  But, they are a good calm down technique for momma.... just sayin' that when the children have the kind of day that leaves you wondering why on Earth you ever reproduced, 15 minutes sobbing in the back room watching glitter fall and then a 30 minute sewing session can help.  Just sayin'.

I wasn't able to find the exact ingredients Johanna used so I had to improvise.  And actually found some other materials that I opted to use instead of what Johanna did.  But it still turned out great - and a little cheaper even.  So, here's how I made my Sparkle Bottles.


- Elmer's Glitter Glue
- Elmer's Clear School Glue
- Fine flake glitter
- Hot water
- Clear plastic bottles
- Super Glue

- Clean any labels or sticky glue off your bottles.
- Heat the water.  It doesn't have to boil, but it should be steaming.  You want it to be hot enough to melt the glue.
- Pour approximately a 1/4 cup of glitter glue into the bottom of the bottle.
- Add approximately 2 Tbsp of Clear School Glue to the bottle.
- Fill the bottle about 2/3 to 3/4 of the way full with the hot water.
- Tighten the caps back onto the bottles and shake until the glues and water are thoroughly mixed.
- Remove the cap and pour in as much glitter as desired.
- Fill the remainder of the bottle with either glue or water.  If you want the glitter to fall faster, put in more water.  For slower falling glitter, put in more glue (either glitter glue or the clear glue.  It doesn't matter.  If you don't want more glitter, stick to the clear glue).
- Make sure the glue and water is well mixed.
- Put super glue in the threads of the cap and tighten it down.
- Shake and enjoy!

Helpful hints:
- I bought all the materials at Wal-Mart and Target.  Target had a couple different glitter glue colors than Wal-Mart.

- The clear glue was at Wal-Mart in the art supply section with the crayons and markers.  You might find it in the back to school section this time of year too.  I used nearly a full bottle of it in my four Sparkle Bottles.

- The Elmer's Clear School Glue was about half the price as the Aleene's Clear Tacky Glue and I didn't have any problems with it.  I would do that again if I make more of these.
- I tried the quantities in Johanna's tutorial with my first bottle and that was WAAAY too much glue for the Elmer's brands.  Our green bottle takes about 30 minutes to settle.  Yeah, thirty.  We use that as the quiet time timer for Big J when I'm trying to trick him into taking a nap...  If you use the quantities listed above you'll get about a 5 minute timer, if you're using the bottles to keep time.  Of course, the exact time will depend on whether you fill the last 1/4 of the bottle with glue or water.  Play with it.
- Don't use super fine glitter.  I tried this.  All that created was a major goopy clump.  It was not pretty.  I poured it out and started over.  It was that bad.  Check out the photo for an idea of what size glitter I preferred.  Slightly larger worked out too.  I got this set of 12 bottles of glitter at Wal-Mart for about $7.

- This blue bottle is my favorite.  I call it the Starry Night bottle - it reminds me of Van Gogh's painting by the same name, which coincidentally is also one of my favorite paintings.  I put two different colors of blue glitter in this one, silver glitter and used the blue and purple glitter glue.  Don't be afraid to mix and match to make some cool colors.  Our orange bottle is actually red and yellow glitter glue with a bit of orange glitter.  Don't be afraid to play with the colors!

- One of my best ideas from this project came in the form of a mini Sparkle Bottle.  The big bottles were a little too heavy for Little J to really hang on to well.  So, I made him a mini one.  He loves it and I love that it can go in the diaper bag without taking up a ton of space - or weighing 400 lbs!

Mini bottles are now available in my Etsy Shop if you'd rather leave the work to me...

This post was written by Krista and originally appeared on While He Was Napping.

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