Give this gorgeous glitter sensory bottle a shake to see it swirl, sparkle, and SHINE just like a mermaid’s tail! (First published on June 21, 2017; this post is regularly updated and republished to improve the content.)
Calm down discovery jars and glitter glue sensory bottles like this shimmering mermaid tail sensory bottle DIY can be used for portable, no-mess safe sensory play, calming an overwhelmed or anxious child, and helping children learn to self-regulate. They are just as effective for adults, and you might also enjoy our DIY sensory bottle filled with colorful butterflies.
This glitter sensory bottle is one of our family’s all-time favorite sensory bottle DIYs–it shimmers and shines as beautifully as we imagine a mermaid tail would. Sensory bottles are a great self-regulation strategy for kids and adults. My daughter loves using sensory bottles with glitter glue to practice meditation, while I like playing with them to ease writer’s block. For more information about sensory bottles and their uses, look at Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101.
How to Make a Glitter Sensory Bottle that Shines Like a Mermaid Tail
Make a glitter sensory bottle that shines like a mermaid tail! A mermaid tail sensory bottle is a DIY toy for kids. And it also makes a great party favor for an “under the sea” or “mermaid-themed” birthday party.
First, gather the mermaid tail glitter sensory bottle craft supplies listed below. Next, follow the easy step-by-step directions to make a gorgeous glittering mermaid tail.
Related: Nature-Inspired Sensory Bottles
Mermaid Tail Glitter Sensory Bottle Recipe Craft Supplies
- Water bottle or mason jar
- Goo Gone
- Blue glitter glue or clear glue
- Big hexagon glitter in ice blue, purples, and greens; Or try this MIX or this glitter Mix
- Fine and flake glitter (You may not need this if you choose one of the glitter mix sets above)
- Liquid watercolors
- 1-quart measuring cup
- Super glue
Mermaid Tail Glitter Glue Sensory Bottle Recipe with Step-by-Step Directions
Follow the step-by-step directions to learn how to make sensory bottles with glitter glue, glitter, and hot water that look like a shimmering mermaid tail.
Related: Sea Shells Calming Sensory Bottle
1. Grab a mason jar or a bottle from the recycle bin and remove the label.
- Remove the label and use Goo Gone to remove any sticky residue.
2. Add hot water.
- Pour 1 1/2 cups of boiling water into a glass 1-quart measuring cup.
- We like to mix our homemade glitter glue sensory bottles in a 1-quart measuring cup because we use boing water to make them. Boiling water is the best for making sensory bottles with glitter glue because it helps the glue, water, and glitter mix well.
- Warm tap water doesn’t help glitter glue sensory bottles mix as well, and the glue and glitter can get clumped up and stuck together. And glitter glue sensory bottles don’t move or flow nicely with clumps of glue and glitter in them.
- If you want to mix your mermaid tail sensory bottle recipe directly in the calm down jar, don’t use boing water unless you mix it in a tempered glass mason jar. Recycled water bottle plastic can warp, melt and shrink when you pour boiling water inside.
Related: Sunburst Glitter Sensory Bottle
3. Mix in glitter glue or clear glue.
- Squeeze 1/3 bottle (2 oz) of blue glitter glue or 2 oz of clear glue into the hot water and mix well with a whisk.
- Add one of the glitter mixes from the sensory bottle supply list above, or add pinches and shakes of hexagon glitter, flake glitter, and fine glitter in the color combination of choice.
- Mix well with a wire whisk while the water is still boiling.
- The hexagons and flakes help give the glitter sensory bottle the appearance of mermaid tail scales, while the fine glitter fills out the calm-down jar to make it look more like the shimmering tail of a mermaid.
- We used an assortment of blues, greens, and purples for the sensory bottles with glitter glue pictured. Get creative and have fun making sensory water bottles with glitter to create gorgeous glittering mermaid tails with or for your children.
Related: Ringer Game Sensory Bottle
4. Pour the glitter glue sensory bottle mixture into the calm-down jar.
- Please stir the mermaid tail sensory bottle mixture and quickly pour it into a recycled plastic bottle or mason jar.
- You may need to use your fingers to get some of the glitters into your bottle but don’t worry about every last flake.
5. Add a tiny drop of liquid watercolors.
- Add a drop or two of liquid watercolors or food coloring. But not too much. A tiny drop goes a LONG way to give your glitter sensory bottle a primary color.
- We used aqua-blue. Alternatively, you can add a small blue and green drop.
6. Give the glitter glue sensory bottle a shake.
- Place the lid on the mermaid tail bottle and give it a shake.
- Need more glitter or liquid watercolor? Add it in before topping it off with water.
Related: Rainstick Musical Sensory Bottle
Glittering Mermaid Tail Sensory Bottle Tips
DIY glitter sensory bottles, like this mermaid’s tail, are easy to make at home or in the classroom. Play with your mermaid tail glitter sensory bottle for a day or two to make sure you are happy with it before gluing it shut.
Need more glitter? Add more! For troubleshooting tips and everything to know about calming jars, check out Sensory Bottles 101.
Mermaid Tail Glitter Glue Sensory Bottle DIY
Children and adults will love this gorgeous mermaid tail glitter sensory bottle recipe. Mermaid pillows also make great calming tools for children from toddlers to teens.
Calm-down bottles like this gorgeous mermaid tail are often used for portable, no-mess “safe” sensory play to help calm an overwhelmed child, as a “time out” timer, or as a meditation technique for children.
Homemade sensory bottles like this mermaid bottle DIY are an effective self-regulation strategy that can be used at home or in the classroom. For more information about sensory bottles and their uses, check out Calm Down Sensory Bottles 101.
Reading books that help children understand their feelings and playing social-emotional games are other great ways to help them self-regulate.
You may also like this fun collection of under-the-sea ocean art projects for kids. There is even a mermaid template your children can use to paint a mermaid.
To learn more about Rhythms of Play, click on the link!