Glitter jars: How to make your own calm down jar or bottle

Glitter jars are one way to help relax any stressed out children (or adults!)
  • We earn a commission for products purchased through some links in this article.
  • These magical glitter jars are the perfect sensory toy for children and grown ups alike.

    Designed to soothe and relax, the swirling patterns created by glitter in these homemade glitter jars, water and food colouring are ideal for calming down a stressed out child (or adult, for that matter) – leading to their alternative name, ‘calm down jars’.

    Just give them a good shake, then watch until the glitter settles in the bottom of the jar to refocus and refresh an overwhelmed mind.

    Glitter jars can also be used as a ‘time out’ timer. Simply tell your child to watch the jar until the flakes have all fallen – it’s only at this point that they’ll be allowed to leave the time out area. Using extra glue will mean that the glitter floats for longer, so you can adjust the length of the time out according to the child’s age.

    To make glitter jars you will need:

    • A jar or plastic bottle
    • A jug of warm water
    • 60ml glitter glue
    • 3 drops of gel food colouring
    • 60g-80g glitter

    Note: For younger children, we’d recommend using a plastic jar or bottle rather than a glass jar, to prevent any accidents! Our quantities are based on a standard 500ml jar, so if you’re using a larger bottle or container, you may need to scale up the ratios.

    Step 1

    Add warm water to your jar or bottle until it reaches around a third of the way up.

    Step 2

    Add the glitter glue and stir until it combined with the water.

    Step 3

    Add around 3 drops of food colour and stir. You can add more or less depending on your preferred shade, but remember not to add too much or the mixture will become very dark and it will become hard to see the glitter.

    Step 4

    Pour in the glitter! Again, you can use more or less than suggested, or go for a mix of chunky and fine glitter to give more texture to your jar. Stir well until combined with the existing mixture.

    Step 5

    Top up your jar with the rest of the warm water, until it is almost full. Leave a little gap at the top of the jar to allow the mixture to move.

    Optional: If you like, you can use glue to stick the lid to the top of the jar or bottle.


    Top tip: Some of our Facebook followers tell us that adding a squirt of baby oil or liquid soap to your jar can give a slower moving ‘galaxy’ effect – give it a try and let us know how you get on!