How To Make a Lava Lamp with Household Ingredients

Lava lamps are relics of the past that remain relevant today despite the increasing demand for new technology. The lava lamp is a symbol of the decadent seventies when drugs were plentiful and hopes were still high.  Now the seventies are long gone but one thing has not changed. The lava lamp remains a fixture in many homes.

Perhaps the biggest reason a lava lamp is so popular is because it brings people back to the time of the seventies.  Just like the memories, it flickers and moves as the liquid in the lava lamp moves. The orange or green light illuminates your room in funny little colors that amaze everyone. There is one little problem, though--its price is through the roof.

We can help you recreate this hippie icon lamp. It will not look exactly the same as a store-bought lava lamp, but with household items, you can get close. Follow these simple steps and you can have your very own homemade lava lamp for your very own seventies inspired room.

  1. Get your materials ready. You are going to need several items. Get a 16 oz soda bottle. If you want to create a larger version, use a 64 oz soda instead.  You are also going to need vegetable oil to create the flowing bubbles. You will also need some Alka Seltzer tablets to fill the bubbles and water for the bubbles to float around in. A few drops of food coloring should be enough to create a colorful display. Finally, get a flashlight to create the lighting effect.
  2. Fill the bottle with the liquids. Fill the soda bottle three quarters of the way up with vegetable oil. Then fill the remaining space with water. To add color, put ten drops of food coloring into the mixture. You should see the oil float on top of the water and the food coloring making the mixture look darker than usual.
  3. Make the bubbles. Divide one Alka Seltzer tablet into 8 smaller pieces. Drop one piece at a time and watch as the bubbles slowly covers the whole mixture. Wait for the bubbling to completely stop before adding the next piece.  Continue adding the Alka Seltzer until you have used up all the pieces. This changes the density of the water, making the oil more free to float around in the mixture.
  4. Tilt the bottle back and forth. Make sure the bottle cap is securely in place. Tilt the bottle back and forth until the fluid appears. Do this slowly as you wait to see it starting to form, you should see each droplet join together to form one big blob.
  5. Finish it off. Stick a strong flashlight under the bottle to complete the effect. You can also cover the whole thing with some cardboard and paint it in black or silver. You can use either paint in a spray can or apply the paint with a brush.

Now you have a cool lava lamp and you will be the envy of all your friends. One thing that will set this lamp above everything else in your room is the fact that you built it yourself, instead of buying it from some factory trying to recreate the glory days of the seventies.


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