DIY Glitter Jars

June 2, 2021

How To Make a Soothing Glitter Jar – In 6 Simple Steps!

Are you feeling like it’s time for an artsy crafty break? In this post, I want to help you learn how to make DIY Glitter Jars. These jars are also known as sensory jars, calm down jars or relaxation jars. They’re extremely customizable, useful and super simple to create! They are wonderful tools for helping people of any age to slow down and self-soothe.

Modifications for Safer Crafting and Accessibility

I like to use a glass jar for most of these since I use them in my therapy office and work with adults. If you’d like to create one of these for a young one, a plastic bottle is preferred. They are less likely to break and will not be as heavy or bulky to hold. Many people prefer LIFE water bottles or Voss water bottles since these are both tall and thin. Simply remove the label and you’ll have a clear plastic container to create with. Also, make sure you consider the notes below regarding water temperature in step 1. 

I also find that it is generally helpful to have at least one lightweight and less breakable calm down bottle available. Sometimes, adults may need and/or prefer this modification, too. For example, some individuals who are coping with chronic pain and fatigue (such as lupus, cystic fibrosis, cancers, fibromyalgia, sometimes elderly adults, etc.) may sometimes feel more comfortable with these options (especially on harder days). Depression and stress can impact people physically, as well. So, just remember to have several options if you plan to use these in an office or some setting where many people have access.

Now, let’s get this project started! Below is a short list of what you might wish to use for these DIY Glitter Jars, but feel free to make it as unique as you’d like!

Basic Supplies: a jar with a lid (about 32 oz. is recommended), warm water (to fill ½ the jar), clear glue (about 8-16 oz.), ultra fine glitter, chunky/jumbo cut glitter, super glue

Optional Supplies: confetti, tiny crystals, food coloring, misc. add-ins, scrapbook paper, scissors, pencil or pen

Step 1: Fill Jar Halfway with Warm Water

Once you’ve gathered your supplies, it’s time to fill your jar about halfway with warm water. If you’re using a glass jar, feel free to warm the water in the microwave for a few minutes or boil it. If you’re using plastic, warm tap water works just as well. This temperature will be safer if you’re creating this with young children and you won’t have to worry about the plastic getting too hot. As a side note, I’ve come across several people who also claim that distilled water works best to prevent mold growth and to help control other potential contaminants. I have used boiled tap water for all of my jars and haven’t had any problems so far.

Step 2: Add the Clear Glue.

Add the glue to your jar. I suggest starting with one bottle (about 8-9 oz.) and you always have the option to add more glue during step 4. Stir well to combine.

Step 3: Add the Glitter.

I personally like to use a combination of ultra fine and jumbo cut glitter. It adds depth and interest to the jar. Feel free to use any types of glitter that you like.

Step 4: Additional Mix-Ins.

Feel free to experiment creatively with your mix-ins! This is my favorite step in the whole process. Continue adding glitter if you’d like. You might want to try playing with confetti, tiny crystals, pony beads, water beads, tiny plastic toys, etc. Stir it up as you go along, experimenting until you’re satisfied with how your creation looks in motion. If you’d like to slow it down, add more glue. If you’d like to speed it up, add more water.

Step 5: Trace an Outline of Your Lid and Cut Out that Shape.

If you’re using a mason jar, decorating the top is super simple! Choose a piece of scrapbook paper, gift wrap, kraft brown paper, anything you like. Trace around the outline of the lid and create a cutout.

Step 6: Super Glue and Secure the Lid as Tightly as Possible.

Super glue the lid into place. Assemble the paper cutout on top (facing up) before super gluing and securing the lid’s ring. The super glue dries almost instantly, but I like to wait a couple minutes just to be safe.

Ta da! Your glitter jar is complete and ready to use! Enjoy the sensory experience of shaking it up and watching it settle. Thank you for being here today. Please let me know if you enjoy this project and/or if you have any questions or suggestions about DIY glitter jars. I would absolutely love to hear from you!

Troubleshooting Tips for these DIY Glitter Jars:

  1. Foamy on top? It’s okay! Keep going. Foam is to be expected! If you have too much, feel free to scoop it out before you seal your lid. Also, if you allow your jar to sit overnight, it will typically dissipate more by morning (leave your lid off until you’re satisfied with the foam level). The more you use your jar, the more and more this foam will break up and dissipate over time, as well. It took about 2 weeks for my jar to reach the point of zero foam.
  2. Sticky/clumpy glitter? Add a drop of dish soap. Be careful not to add too much because we know what dish soap does best and you’ll just get more foam when shaking it up.
  3. Want even more color? Add 1-3 drops of food coloring!
  4. Don’t have any glue on hand? That’s okay! You may also try baby oil, karo syrup or glycerin! In my opinion, glycerin works the best of all these options, however, it can be tricky to find.
  5. Use distilled water whenever possible. It’ll help keep your jars contaminant and mold free.
  6. Need a more exact recipe? Try 1 cup water + 1 cup glue + 3-6 teaspoons glitter. This combination will allow the glitter to settle in about 2 minutes every time.
  7. Run in to another problem? Please feel free to contact me and I’ll do my best to help!

references and additional resources:

Need some ideas on how to use a glitter jar? Want more creative options for customizing your jars? Check out this post here.

If you’d like to create your glitter jar alongside me, please follow along in this video tutorial:

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