With Charlotte in school this year, I thought it was the perfect time to make DIY Glitter Sensory Bottles as Valentines for her class. My intention was to have us do the project together.
Yes, I thought a project that involves glitter glue, GLITTER (excessive amounts), hot water and a hot glue gun would be a great activity for my toddler and I to complete together. I was wrong. In fact, Charlotte’s only real participation was shaking a few of the bottles up for mommy.
So I did what any improvising Momma would do… I put Charlotte to bed and binge watched TV while I finished making TWELVE glitter sensory bottles.
Instructions to Make ONE Bottle
Materials (there is a bit of a trial and error that needs to go into this, but here’s what worked for me):
- Plastic Bottles (I used 11.5 oz Fiji water bottles because they’re cute and small and sturdy – NOTE, I didn’t want to waste the water, so I drank about 80 ounces in one night and then saved the rest. I had to pee fiercly all night.)
- Glitter glue (1/3-1/2 a X ounce bottle)
- Extra fine glitter (I bought an X ounce bottle and could have literally used it for all 12 bottles. You really only need about a teaspoon… in my opinion.)
- Hot Water
- Glue Gun
- Tiny Figurine (I added one tiny animal figurine per bottle because I thought it’d be cute. My toddler and her friends confirmed. The figurine is a fun addition.)
- Essential Oil (optional – I used lemon)
- Consume water from water bottle.
- Peel off the label from the water bottle. This was a HUGE pain in the ass for me. I tried using this Goop Off Soap, soaking in HOT water, a scrubber sponge, vegetable oil, prayer… nothing was working. So, I Googled ways to get label adhesive off of a plastic bottle and found the most effective solution. Simply put a couple drops of essential oil on a paper towel and rub the adhesive off. It was SO much easier and so much faster. Just make sure to use a child-safe essential oil.
- Put the glitter glue into the bottle. Then, fill the water bottle to about 2/3 – 3/4 full with HOT tap water. Add the glitter.
- Cap it and shake, shake, shake.
- At this point, you may need to add glitter or glue (the glitter glue will help slow down the flow) depending on how your bottle is shaking.
- Note that at this point, my bottle filled with bubbles. So once I perfected my glitter to glue to water ratio, I waited for the glitter to settle at the bottom and squeezed all the bubbles out.
- Then, I filled my bottle up with hot water the rest of the way. Leave enough room to shake the bottle, but honestly, you can go pretty high. My water line was at the little plastic seal from the cap.
- Add your figurine, cap it and shake again.
- Once you’re in love with your bottle, put some hot glue on the inside of the cap and twist the cap back onto the bottle. Voila! You’re done!
- At first, my glitter was totally sticking to the sides of the bottle and just not working. Turns out I had used too much glitter and too much glue. I simply poured my mixture out into a paper cup and then added a fraction of the mixture back into my bottle and added hot tap water until my ratio made sense.
- Make sure to glue the cap onto the bottle. Otherwise, babe might unscrew the top and either a) make a huge mess or b) drink glitter. Both are terrible.
Toddler-Made DIY Gift Tags
One element that Charlotte helped with was the little gift tags used on each of the bottles.
- Facilitate child painting or drawing on cardstock (we used cardstock that was finger… well, hand-painted a few days before)
- Use your favorite paper punch (I bought the cutest dang heart punch ever on Amazon. I’m obsessed.) to cut out shapes from the best areas of the artwork.
- Write your note!