How to create an ocean in a bottle

As the long summer break leaves you running out of ideas to entertain the kids, this is the perfect easy science project that doubles as a fun craft. With simple supplies, you can create your own ocean waves in a plastic soda bottle and have your ocean escape right at home.


1 Wash an empty two-liter plastic bottle and remove all labels. Make sure to keep the screw top cap.

2 Fill the plastic bottle halfway with water. Add two to four drops of blue food coloring into the water and shake to mix. Don’t add too much because the blue will be too dark to see your sea creatures inside. Add glitter to the colored water to add some sparkle.

3 Add your sea creatures, small shells or sea-related items as desired. The lighter the items the better because they will float in the waves. Obviously, the items need to be small enough to fit through the top of the bottle.

4 Using a funnel, fill the rest of the  bottle with clear mineral oil. We used two 16-ounce bottles of mineral oil.

5 Dry the cap and rim of the bottle, then use craft glue around the rim to seal the cap.

6 Turn the bottle on its side and gently rock the bottle to create your own “waves” inside the bottle ocean habitat.


  • Empty two-liter plastic bottle with screw top cap
  • Clear mineral oil (found in the health aisle, often near laxatives)
  • Blue food coloring
  • Water
  • Funnel
  • Glitter
  • Small shells, sea creatures or sea-related items
  • White craft glue
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