Ocean in a Bottle Craft

I made a lot of these ocean bottles when I was a kid, all various colors. But at that time, the recipe I learned called for rubbing alcohol and turpentine, or paint thinner, both of which are expensive and highly toxic. But, you can get the same effect with cooking oil and water, much cheaper and safer.


  • 1 plastic drink bottle with screw on lid
  • water
  • cooking oil (the clearer the better)
  • blue food coloring


  1. Fill the drink bottle about halfway with water and add a few drops of blue food coloring. Shake well.
  2. Fill the rest of the bottle with cooking oil and screw on the lid tightly.

The oil is lighter than the water and the two liquids won't mix. Shake it up and watch them separate. Tip to the side and watch the ocean roll. As simple as this craft is, it never ceases to amaze and entertain me. For added effect, you could put a little sand at the bottom of the bottle, too. You don't have to limit yourself to just blue. Make a red lava bottle instead. Have fun!
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