Nebula In A Bottle - how to make a galaxy jar

Want to make your own nebula in a bottle? This version is designed for still, quiet contemplation - take a look at my latest on YouTube and please comment below the video if you'd like me to show you how to make one you can shake like a snowglobe.

Materials needed

  1. Bottle or jar. You could use a mason jar for this but I think it works best with a taller, thinner container. Many people like to use glass water bottles but I think plastic is safer, especially for kids. I got my bottles from Michaels.
  2. Hair gel. I first got the idea to use hair gel for these types of projects from the Cooking and Crafting Chick. I used hair gel for the potions I made that my Wizard, Fynes, (see picture below) has in his lab. Hair gel is perfect for this project because it's thick, stable, and the bubbles in it fit really well with the nebula look. I got my no-name hair gel on sale from Shopper's Drug Mart.
  3. Liquid watercolour. Mine came in little pots from the dollar store. Non-toxic, which is handy if your kids decide to do a taste test while you're putting the bottle together. You only need a tiny bit - add a little at a time. You want the gel to stay translucent and not get cloudy.
  4. If you want to add glitter then don't use the fine type, use the large flakes if you want them to be seen and catch the light.
  5. I find the bamboo skewers really handy for grabbing a little watercolour from the pot and putting it in the gel. I got mine from the dollar store.
  6. Small sandwich bags that seal. Use these to mix the gel, watercolour and glitter then use them as "piping bags" for putting the mixture into your bottle.
  7. Scissors to snip one of the bottom corners of the bags. Put the open corner in the mouth of your bottle and then squeeze the contents of the bag inside, one bag at a time in order to layer the colours.

Crocheted wizard in laboratory

Learn through play suggestions

The nebula in a bottle is perfect to look at during quiet time or cuddle time. If you're teaching your child to meditate it would be a good focal point for them to use. My Stef the Star toy would be a terrific accompaniment to discussing where stars are born and the book Twinkle Twinkle Little Star I Know Exactly What You Are is both delightful and scientifically accurate (it's written by an astrophysicist).

Nebula in a bottle - 3 photos against a blue background. A crocheted star toy, cover of the book "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star. I know exactly what you are" and picture of smiling middle aged white woman in a garden holding a nebula in a bottle

Smiling Homeschool's review of Regulate Your Universe

Mindy Douglas is a mother of 7 and a homeschooler. Her youngest daughter is autistic and has Fragile X Syndrome. She received a copy of my Regulate Your Universe playset and supporting materials. You can read her full review on her website. If you haven't already, be sure to download Mindy's favourite part of the supporting materials - the Free Planetary Sensory Walk.

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