Make your own jellyfish in a bottle.

~ Note for Thai fans ~
เป็นโพสเก่าที่มีแฟนบล๊อกจากต่างประเทศขอมาให้เขียนเป็นภาษาอังกฤษนะคะ

ส่วนแฟนบล็อกที่ยังไม่เคยอ่านเรื่องนี้เลย ฉบับภาษาไทยดูที่นี่ค่ะ

The other day, while I was thinking to get something to put in the water bottle for Bhoom to shake for fun. I saw a plastic grocery bag next to me and then this idea popped up. I think.. well, give it a try.

With some trials and errors, my little jellyfish comes alive just like I thought it would be. : ) When daddy and son first saw it, they’re surprised with their jaws wide open. Then, I asked my hubby to take pictures for this DIY Jellyfish in a bottle.

Things you need to make your own jellyfish (Hope you can find all these in your kitchen) :

1. A transparent plastic grocery bag
2. A plastic water bottles.
3. Thread
4. Food coloring
5. ScissorsInstruction:
• Flatten the bag and cut off the handle and the bottom part (see picture 1)
• Cut along both sides (see picture 2) to split into 2 plastic sheets – by the way, we only use just one of them.
• From the center of the plastic sheet, fold it like a tiny balloon to make the head part and tie it with the thread – not too tight (see picture 3). You must leave a little hole in order to pour some water in the head part (see picture 7-8).

• Now you’ll get the head balloon part and the remaining will be its tentacles. Cut from the edge up to the head part roughly. You’ll get for about 8-10 tentacles (see picture 4).
• For each of them, cut again into 3-4 small strings (see picture 5) – and just cut off the remaining part.
• Trim to make random long and short tentacles (see picture 6)

When finished, you’ll get something like this (the left pile is all the pieces we cut off)• Put some water into the head part to make it be able to sink (see picture 7). You must leave some air inside to make be able to float up (see picture 8).
• Fill up your water bottle (see picture 9).
• Put your jellyfish in the bottle with a few drops of blue food coloring. Screw in the cap and that’s all. : )

** Don’t forget to make sure the cap is properly closed and tight before give it to children ** How to play: Just let the kids turn it upside down – they’ll be surprised to see it moves every time they turn the bottle. And they’ll try to confuse this little jellyfish by turning the bottle back and forth very fast – well, my boy did . : )

For young kids like Bhoom, this will help him exercise his hand and arm muscles when he flips, rotates or turns the bottle. They can also learn about the relationship between the direction of bottle and the movement of the jellyfish. For older kids, you can ask them questions about why the jellyfish always floats up to the water surface and what is the differences between the real jellyfish and the one in the bottle.You can make a few extra bottles for your child’s friends. Trust me! They’ll have much more laugh and fun playing together. : )

346 thoughts on “Make your own jellyfish in a bottle.

    1. Hi Sam,
      I didn’t seal off the head part. Some of the air is still in the head part when I push it in the bottle. I can’t tell exactly how much water I pour in (I guess 80% approx. and leave 20% for air). Once you can get it in the bottle, the air will never leak out. : )

  1. This is amazing! I saw this on Pinterest and I just thought it was the most creative idea ever. I am in charge of 8 year olds in cub scouts and I think that even they would enjoy it…..i sure did!

    Thanks!

    1. Thank you very much, Amanda. : )

      I’m planning to translate other DIY toys posts in the near future too. I will let you know when each is done. However, you can subscribe the blog to get notification when new post is published. : )

  2. I thought this was so cool, so i made the jelly-fish today.

    I’ve just got one problem: there are little air bubbles between the “legs” of the jelly-fish and it just cuddles up at the top of the bottle now. Did this happen to you to? If so, how did you solve this :o

  3. This is a fantastic idea! And it perfectly illustrates how plastic bags in the ocean look like jellyfish to sea turtles who, unfortunately, gobble them up. Thank you for posting this brilliant craft idea — I am looking forward to trying it with my son and his friends!

  4. Too cute! Definitely will do it with my preschool class when we’re studying about sea animals :)

    I have a quick question: After you put the water in, do you tie it up tight or leave it sort of open? Thanks!

  5. Thank you so much for posting this! My DD is doing a report on jellyfish & we’re adding this visual to her presentation. How clever!! :D

  6. These are AWESOME! My son is having a spongebob party for his upcoming 5th birthday and I’m going to make some of these for the dessert table and as party favors! Thank you for sharing :)

  7. Great idea but no matter what we did the jellyfish would do nothing but squash all up at the top of the bottle. Ours did not float in the middle at all no matter what changes we made to the jellyfish. We trimmed its legs right down, we put in more air, less air, more water (in the head that is), nothing worked and our kids didn’t want to keep theirs because they looked like bits of plastic in the bottle. We can’t work out what the trick is.

    1. Hi Amanda, Thank you for letting me know this. What we found when we made the other ones for my friend’s child is different types of plastic bag can give different movement too – some of them are too thick, some produce a lot of teeny tiny bubbles on the plastic.

      Please try using different type of plastic bag. : )

  8. What a great idea, I love this!! I can’t wait to try it out. We talk about jellyfish in our science. So this will be great to go along with that. Thank you for sharing!

  9. What am I doing wrog? I love this idea buit after 4 tries…I’m stumped. I can’t get enough air in it to float. It just squeezes out when | stuff it in the bottle. Grrr

  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE this! Just found your pin on pinterest and made a Jellyfish for my daughters show and tell tomorrow “J” THANK YOU!

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  12. I wonder about the use of oil somewhere in the bottle or the jellyfish head. Has anyone played with this idea?
    I love this project and hope to make one soon. Thanks for sharing!
    P.s. your son is adorable and the looks on his face watching the jellyfish were priceless!

  13. Oooh, very clever…and cute. I wonder if adding a small, store-bought LED light to the side (or the bottom?) would make for another cool effect for this project? Humm…

  14. As I begin my Ocean unit in kindergarten I cannot wait to add it in. We have always made “Oceans ina Bottle” and now we will be able to add another creature! thanks!

  15. So neat. My sons class just got back from the aquarium and are studying ocean animals. We just finished a paper bag puffer fish, we’ll have to try this next. Thank you for sharing!

  16. I’m having trouble with floating and bubbles too, but I’ll give a different kind of bag a try. Has anyone tried a white plastic shopping bag and had success?

  17. Oh my goodness what fun. Makes me wish I still had little ones at home…but dont worry…I have plenty that call me A-Dae (they couldnt say Aunt Debbie) so I got nick named A-Dae…my daughter Kerri got called A-Kae.
    Thank you so much for translating to English..I have run across several crafts that I would love to have made but couldnt understand the directions. Great Work

  18. Hi, I just found this idea through Pinterest and love it. I have tried to make mine tonight although it has gone wrong and my little jelly is not moving. I am going to give it another go and see what I can come up with, hopefully I can get him moving in the bottle.

  19. thanks for sharing..! i love this idea and i have shared it to some of my friends in FB. I am going to make one soon and use green water for St.patrick theme, as i am having all green stuff this week and the next week.

  20. with many trials…finally i got my almost perfect jelly fish in the bottle..! thanks for posting and teaching it to the world. I’ve shared it to my society of child care providers too :)

  21. Reneth – What did you end up using for a clear bag? I tried the clear fruit sacks and they are too thin. I tried a clear Kleenex cover wrap and it bunches up with bubbles. Our grocery sacks aren’t clear like the one that is demonstrated. Thanks!

  22. This is not what I was looking for but looks just as good. Thank you so much for a great idea. I think I’m going to glue the lid on though so my kids don’t open it (even if its on accident).

  23. You’ve heard it so many times before, but I’m saying it again – this is an outstanding idea! My daughter’s 5th birthday party is coming up, and we’ve chosen an “under the sea” theme. A couple of these bottles will not only make great decorations on the food table, but also excellent prizes for the party games. I may even make a couple of orange ones from the Sainsbury’s bags they have here in the UK – hope they’ll look as good in blue water.

  24. This is absolutely one of the coolest things I have found. Thank you sooo much. I hope I am able to try it, my boys would LOVE it. They are way into underwater sea animals. :)

    1. Hi Morgan, It’s good to hear that you wanted to make it for your mum. I can’t tell exactly what the problem is. But what I’ve heard the most from people who have problems doing this is about the plastic bag. Please try making it with different kinds of plastic bag. Hope you can make it work. Have a good day. : )

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  26. I love it! I’m a preschool teacher in Phx so I will be implementing for our theme Ocean Commotion next week! Kob Koon Ka!

    Ms. Sas

  27. muy bonito!!! los ninos estaban felices con su medusa en la botella. yo incluso agregue una etiqueta con el diseno de DANGER para que sepan que hay una medusa y que el agua no se puede tomar…..CECI

    1. Thank you for sharing such a cute story with me, Cecilia. It sounds fun to me and I hope the children had great time figuring out if the jellyfish is real or not. : )

  28. This was such a fantastic idea- we couldn’t wait to try it out at one of our workshops. It was an amazing success! Thanks.
    ps someone mentioned this would be a great lesson about sea turtles mistaking plastic bags for jellyfish: the adventures of gary and harry (by lisa matsumoto) is a great book to with beautiful illustrations (by michael furuya) all about that!

  29. This is a fantastic project! I tried it using the clear plastic bag that our newspaper comes in, but I think it is a bit too thick, and it is certainly one of those plastic bags that has tons of bubbles. My kids like it and I am going to make more in different sized bottles with different colors of water, but I am going to try a thinner produce bag as a jelly fish next. Thanks for the great project!

  30. I just tried this, and the whole thing just floated at the top and it didn’t look anything like yours… :( I really wanted to use it in my kindergartners science center

    1. Hi Chelsie,

      One of our blog readers has made this nice and neat video tutorial. It might give you the better idea of how to do it. : ) She also said in her blog that she has been through many trials and errors before she got it right and her son loves it.

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  32. For anyone who wants to make the connection to “taking care of our environment”, Jellyfish is a favourite meal for sea turtles. Students should be able to understand how throwing away plastic bags can affect that creature.

  33. I Love it. I was looking for Ideas for my son’s Sea Adventure Birthday Party and this is a great idea for center pieces that can be taken home…Im excited

  34. I love this. I tried it but couldn’t get the jelly fish head in the bottle. Had to try a different bottle. I’m going to make it again and do his little head smaller. Love this.

  35. Hi I just stumbled upon your blog and I liked this idea so much and I have one small question: after filling the jellyfish head with water do we then tighten the thread?
    I’ll continue on and browse the rest of your blog.

  36. Amazing table decorations for my son’s ocean/pirate theme party! I couldn’t get it to float up and down properly, like in your video….so I added a bit a bubble wrap to the head! Now it works just like yours! Thank you so much for the idea!

  37. This is so great! My 4 year old son is in a big jellyfish phase. Sadly it’s hard to find jellyfish toys, etc. This will be a great craft to do together which will also be a great toy for him! Thanks for sharing this great activity :)

  38. This is great, BUT for those who have “extended” on it with trips to aquariums and putting in science centres, maybe you should extended on explaining that because this is so real and life like is the reason many turtles are dying, because they eat jelly fish as their source of food, but mistake plastic bags floating in the water as jelly fish and eat them, but then die a slow death of suffocation.

  39. Thank you for the tutorial, I do sea turtle presentations at my work and during the conservation part of the presentation i can use this to show people how plastic bags actually look like jelly fish when in the water, Maybe by using a visual perspective i can more thoroughly show people why animals are eating plastic bags, and why we need to reduse, reuse, and recycle!.

  40. do you have anymore ideas like this my sons first birthday is coming up and i am planning an underwater theme for him and this is great for the pitcher were gonna be serving blue juice in i was just curious if you had any more ideas that would fit this theme =D

  41. Made this for an Australia Day party in Vienna, Austria. The host of the party said to bring something Australian. So we brought a jellyfish in a bottle. Thanks for the great idea!!!

  42. THIS IS SO FREAKING AWESOME!! I AM A FAN! SO HAPPY I FOUND THIS. OH, I ALMOST FORGOT TO SAY…YOU ARE SUCH A GENIUS! : )

  43. Mine didn’t turn out like a jelly fish at all, it just crumpled up floating at the top and looked like trash in blue water? Suggestions?

  44. You are so creative. I look forward to sharing this idea with my church as we are doing an underwater theme for Vacation Bible School. I home schooled all my kids and I wish I could have been as creative as you. Your son is blessed.

  45. I’d like to thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this website. I really hope to see the same high-grade blog posts from you in the future as well. In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my very own website now ;)

  46. THANK YOU!! I really wanted my own jellyfish in a bottle when I was younger and then I find this! (U are the answer to my prayers!)

  47. Hello!

    I absolutely love this craft and would like to feature it on my site, AllFreeKidsCrafts.com. Please contact me if you are interested.

    Best,

    Jaclyn Holtzman

  48. Oh my! This looks so real! I´m doing a mini version of this so I can wear it as a necklace! I´m so wanna have this finised *^*

  49. My brother recommended I would possibly like this website.
    He was entirely right. This publish truly made my day.
    You cann’t believe just how a lot time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

  50. Thank you so much for sharing this! My son is having a Glow/Mad Scientist birthday party soon and I believe this would be a terrific idea for decor. I will fill the bottle with “glow” water and it will glow under the black lights we plan to use. Thanks, again!!

  51. Have you tried putting one of the tiny glowsticks (like the kinds that you can make earrings out of) in the head of the Jellyfish? Haven’t tried it yet, but I think it would be really cool to make them glow. :)

  52. The thing that bothers me about this is that people don’t realize that plastic bags that make it into the ocean due to human littering and waste are eaten by fish that prey on jellyfish as their main diet. In the water — just like your video illustrates — a plastic floating bag — especially one that has been torn and battered by the waves — looks virtually indistinguishable from a jellyfish. The plastic bags that are mistakenly eaten create bowel obstructions in the digestive tracts of these animals — thus causing death. PLEASE, people — recycle your plastic bags at a grocery bag recycling bin in your grocery store!!

    1. As someone who does beach clean ups on the regular—
      I think it could be used to teach children how important it is to pick up their trash, because it can be mistaken as food to animals, because it looks like another animal!!! This is an educational and fun way to re-use shopping bags.

  53. Sweet! I can’t wait to try this with my kinders…I am wondering if those of you who have had success with the plastic bag…what kind did you use? Thanks for sharing!

  54. Hey,
    I made this(im 11) and looks really cool, but the bottle leaked every time i used it. So i got some cotton and tied it to a screw, then the other end of the cotton to a tentacle of the jelly fish. My jellyfish is now an ornament in the kitchen, because the jellyfish sits right in the middle of the bottle! Great craft idea for any rainy day!.
    Also for Laurie, I used a safeway shopping bag.

  55. i need some help on the jellyfish.
    I made it but when i put it in the bottle the jellyfish and tentacles turn and float up. help!

  56. I am a pre- k aid and I can’t wait to try this with our kids to go along with our letter “J”!!! Thank you for the idea!!!

  57. I love this! it can teach children how important it is to pick up trash because of how easy it is to mistake a bag for a jelly, food that another animal might prey on! Love love love, great job!

  58. This was simple to do (though getting the right number of tentacles took 2 attempts) and my 3 year old loves it. Thank you for a very cool idea. I used a not-very-transparent grocery sack from Walmart and it looks great in the blue water. My only mistake is that I used a small, plastic Voss bottle, and it doesn’t leave much room for the jellyfish to “swim”. Thanks again for sharing such a great idea!

  59. Simply desire to say your article is as amazing.
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  60. Hi! I have a question: how do you keep the jellyfish floating upright after you turn the bottle? Mine floats to the other end upside-down! Do I need to tie the string tighter when I make the head? Or is my bottle too thin?

  61. Thanks a lot. Just made it for my daughter’s show and tell. She can’t wait to get to school tomorrow to show this off.

  62. cute idea but it doesn’t work, i tried three different bags including walmart, stop and shop and others the whole thing just floats at the top no cool tentacles floating. rather disappointed. maybe the bags in other places are made differently.

  63. I love this idea and can’t wait to try it. This is probably one of the first things I have looked up where I have everything I need to make it!

  64. “Franma” in Australia will share this with young mums and my daughter’s primary school .Franma stands for “friendly Grandma” when doing voluntary work with children.

  65. I would like to feature your craft with pictures and instructions in a magazine I am publishing with in our craft section. I would give you full credit and you can give me the website you would like me to feature for you.
    Would you please email me and let me know if you are interested.
    Thank you~ Stay creative!

  66. Tried this today in the Kindergarten and the kids loved it. Little extra trick we found was to put a little yellow ink inside the head part of the jellyfish so the kids see the object even better. The yellow ink stays inside the head well even when the bottle is turned upside down each time, looks great.

  67. Thank you, Suchada! I made these with our school-age summer camp during sand and wave week and the kids loved it! How cool! I had to do some experimenting and tweeking on my own before the kids made them. We had such a great time doing these and everyone got their very own to play with. Thank you again! What a great idea!

  68. Great idea! but didn’t work for me. Tried shopping n freezer bags nothing worked. it all clumped together so I didn’t get the same effect. Maybe it’s Australian bags not sure. Like to here how others got it.

  69. This is truly amazing. I will do this in my class, where I teach children with multiple disabilities. had a small bit of trouble reading due to the stripes – but the idea in amazing. I cannot wait to see what other ideas you have.

  70. This is so creative and wonderful! I’m 27 and *want* to make one RIGHT now! =) I’m wondering if a different hue of food coloring added to the jelly’s body might add even more eye candy to this awesome project?

  71. I tried this a couple times…didn’t work. The first time the jelly fish just bunched up at the top of the bottle…it didn’t float at all. The 2nd time, I used a much lighter-weight bag…it floated, but the head never went up first, so it didn’t look anything like a jelly fish. My 6 year old is almost in tears because she was so excited for this project.

  72. Hello!
    This project is very very interesting and just tp say that 4th grade is having a science project and including me though me and another girl who is my partner for the science project are choosing this bhoomplay jellyfish thingy as our topic.

  73. This is a really cute idea. You can also add glitter and small plastic fish into the water for more things for them to watch and identify.

  74. Wow. Really cool. I am a children’s librarian and LOVE to put stuff in bottles for the kids to explore. My own is getting to the age where she will love it, too. Thanks!

  75. Thank you for this! I found your blog on tumblr and it’s full of great ideas! Although I’m not using this idea for children, it’s very helpful to me, as I have social anxiety and gain a lot of stress from looking after my mentally disabled little brother. I just know this will help me keep calm as I love aquariums, they’ve always made me feel at peace. I also have other friends who could use some of your ideas for their own needs, so I’ll definitely be recommending your blog to them. You never know, if my brother and my friends all like these ideas, we can start a little club to make calming activities for eachother. ^ ^ It will certainly help my brother’s behaviour and anger. Thanks again!

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  77. Thank you for posting, the idea is amazing, fun and super cool! I did this with a student today and she loved it! <3

  78. IT’S A VERY CREATIVE IDEA. I TEACH ENGLISH TO BRAZILIAN CHILDREN WHO LIVES NEAR THE BEACH. AND THE SCHOOL PROJECT IS “WATER”. I’LL TRY TO MAKE THEM AWARE THAT THERE ARE MANY SALT WATER SUFFERING FROM PEOPLE’S IRRESPONSABILITY TO LEAVE PLASTIC BAGS AND TRASH AT THE BEACH.

  79. IT’S A VERY CREATIVE IDEA. I TEACH ENGLISH TO BRAZILIAN CHILDREN WHO LIVES NEAR THE BEACH. AND THE SCHOOL PROJECT IS “WATER”. I’LL TRY TO MAKE THEM AWARE THAT THERE ARE MANY SALT WATER ANIMALS SUFFERING FROM PEOPLE’S IRRESPONSABILITY LEAVING PLASTIC BAGS AND TRASH ON THE BEACH.

  80. IT’S A VERY CREATIVE IDEA. I TEACH ENGLISH TO BRAZILIAN CHILDREN WHO LIVE NEAR THE BEACH, AND THE SCHOOL PROJECT IS “WATER”. I’LL TRY TO MAKE THEM AWARE THAT THERE ARE MANY SALT WATER ANIMALS SUFFERING FROM PEOPLE’S IRRESPONSABILITY LEAVING PLASTIC BAGS AND TRASH ON THE BEACH.

  81. It was very fun and went very well!! I used plastic wrap and folded it instead because I didn’t have a bag. Also I used a rubber band because I was low on string. Lastly, I put a little bit of food coloring in the head to make it prettier and more personalized! However, to all the people who make this in the future don’t leave very much air (only a TINY bit), it floats very easily. I had this problem. Other than that it work well and was cheap!

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