How to Make Homemade Lava Lamps

Create your own lava lamp
Materials List

1 good water bottle per person, label removed (12 oz. or larger)

3/4 to 2 cups of vegetable oil (the cheaper the better) per bottle


Measuring cups or regular cups and a funnel

Alka Seltzer packets

Tarp or protective plastic for work surface

Paper towels or wipes

How to
Step 1

Add five drops of your desired food coloring to your cups of water. Fill each bottle to half with vegetable oil. Using either a measuring cup with a spout or a funnel, pour in the colored water until it is about 1/2 inch from the top of the bottle. Do not fill into the neck of the bottle, the water line should be below the "shoulders" of the bottle.

Step 2

Break an Alka Seltzer tablet in half and drop it into the bottle. Do not place the lid on the bottle! Watch the lava action happen. When the bubbles slow down, add another half of Alka Seltzer. Continue as long as you like.

Step 3

When all the bubbles have died down, you may secure the bottle with its lid. Turn on its side to watch a wave-like action!

Craft Length
Indefinite (as long as you want!)
Attention, please! (a few rules to follow)
Prep Time
5 - 10 minutes
1 adult per 5 children

1. Never put the lid on when the lava bottle is bubbling.
2. Do not overfill your bottle, it will bubble up and out of the neck and make a mess.
3. Pour your water in as slowly as you can.
4. Do not shake your bottle.
5. You can make your lava bottle work any time you like... just add another bit of Alka Seltzer.


Add some glitter to your colored water.