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Video:Make a Simple Lava Lamp

with Jonathon E. Stewart

Even if your little ones can't appreciate the days of bell bottoms and disco, they'll love this DIY light. Get into the groove and construct a fun and funkadelic lava lamp using household materials.See Transcript

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Transcript:Make a Simple Lava Lamp

Hey guys - Jonathon Stewart here for About.com. Hands down, no question, the best things about the '70s? Disco, Star Wars, the disco version of Star Wars, bell bottoms, and lava lamps. So if you feel like gettin' a little funky old school groovy, whether you're a brother, or a mother, try these tips for making your very own homemade lava lamp. Check it out.

Supplies Needed to Make a Lava Lamp

You'll need just a few things to get you going:
  • a clear plastic or glass bottle with a lid or cork
  • vegetable or mineral oil
  • some food coloring
  • water
  • a flashlight
  • an effervescent lozenge (better known as Alka Seltzer or Airborne) - if you don't have any of that stuff around, you can also try using salt or baking soda and expect somewhat similar results

Construct the Lava Lamp

Start by filling your bottle with oil, about three quarters of the way full, then add some water, being sure to leave a little room at the top. As the water is denser than the oil, it will sink to the bottom, and should form some neat little bubbles. Next, drop several drops of your favorite color of food coloring into the bottle, which should also head south. While the ink settles in, break your seltzer tab into several small pieces.

Lighting the Lava Lamp

Now here comes the exciting part. You don't need one, but if you've got a flashlight, this can be just as spectacular - if not even more so - than those old fashioned Lava Lites of yore. Just point your beam at the bottle, dim the lights, and get ready for the big finale. One at a time, drop your bits of seltzer into the bottle and watch as it kicks your lamp into gear in all its colorful glory.

Reusing the Lava Lamp

The reaction should last for a few minutes, but that doesn't mean the fun stops here. Once the bubbling comes to a stop, affix your lid or cork securely to the bottle. Now, anytime you need a little lava lamp action, just flip it upside down and enjoy. Whatever you do, don't be tempted to heat up, plug in, or otherwise agitate your homemade lava lamp. Can you dig it? Dynamite.

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