Homemade Nebula in a Bottle

This article was originally published on Life’s Carousel. Reproduced here with permission.

It seems like all kids, from toddlers to teens, are obsessed with “galaxy” colored things right now.

Everything from galaxy messenger bags to galaxy bedding. My own children are no exception, they are obsessed with all things space and starred. In fact, my youngest son’s bedroom is going to be space themed (when I get around to painting it!).

So when I was browsing Pinterest and saw some awesome Nebula Jars by MomDot, I knew I had to give them a try!

Why am I calling it a ‘Nebula in a Bottle’ and not a ‘Galaxy in a Bottle’? Well, it might be the teacher in me or the science geek. But ‘galaxy’ isn’t really the correct term for the effect that these bottles give.

Nebula in a Bottle

The colorful, almost cloud like, photos from space that NASA share with us are nebulae.

A nebula is made up of interstellar dust and gases. Galaxies on the other hand are massive clusters of stars.

So ‘Nebula in a Bottle’ it is!

Below are my instructions on how to make your very own Nebula in a Bottle!

DIY Nebula in a Bottle

These instructions will take you step by step through the process to make your Nebula in a Bottle. Please feel free to customize it however you want – try different color combinations, glitter, container and more!


Nebula in a Bottle

All the supplies for this project are easy to get. I recommend getting them from Amazon so you don’t have to spend half a day driving around trying to find everything! Also, Amazon is by FAR the cheapest place to by Voss Water. My local grocery store charges nearly twice as much!


Nebula in a Bottle

In a separate container mix together about 1 cup of water with 2 or 3 drops of acrylic paint. Also, add a pinch of fine glitter.

You want the water mixture to be slightly transparent, so don’t add to much paint or it will be too opaque.

Pour the colored water into the Voss Water Bottle to about 1/4 full.

Nebula in a Bottle

Tip: I used Voss Water Bottles because I like the clean and sleek look of them. Feel free to use any watertight clear container that you like. The water is also, in my opinion, the BEST tasting water! So I get a treat of gorgeous drinking water before doing a project! Win-win!

Next, you want to gently pull apart the cotton wool balls to make them slightly fluffier.

Nebula in a Bottle

Using a stiff straw or spoon handle, prod the cotton wool down into the water.

Tip: You want to make sure you use a LOT of cotton wool – really pack it down. The cotton wool is what helps keep the layers of color separate. Otherwise, they will end up all mixing together.

Using the separate container again, mix together 1 cup of water and a few drops of the next acrylic paint color you want to use. Add a pinch of glitter and mix well.

Nebula in a Bottle

Carefully pour this new color mixture into the bottle.

Add more cotton wool balls, packing it down with the straw or spoon handle again.

Repeat these steps with different colors until you have filled the bottle. Screw on the cap.

Note: Please remember this is NOT a sensory or calming bottle and it is NOT designed to be shaken. If you shake it too much the colors will all mix together and ruin your nebula effect.

Nebula in a Bottle

That’s it! Now your Nebula in a Bottle is finished!

I love just staring at this bottle. The colors and swirls are so pretty.

This bottle ended up as a decoration in my son’s bedroom, ready for when I finish the space theme!

You might want to glue the cap onto the bottle if a small child is likely to play with the bottle.

I’d love to hear how you get on. What colors did you use? Please let me know if the comment section below.

Want to try a new craft? Try making your own Squishy instead! Check out my DIY Squishies tutorial!