"Calm Down" Glitter Jars – Attempt #2

After attempting two “calm down” glitter jars on Friday and subsequently playing around with making them better, I’ve learned a few things about them…

  • Pearlized glitter glue makes all the difference!
    • If you want “swirls” in the colored water, make sure to use some pearlized glitter glue or pearlized paint to color the water.
  • You can not substitute Elmer’s glue in place of glitter glue — it just makes the water all foggy and doesn’t help suspend the glitter at all.
    • I’ve read of others making a syrup using sugar and water or using corn syrup, but I have not tried those techniques myself, so I can’t speak as to how well they work.
  • The finer the glitter you use, the better.  
    • Chunky glitter will fall much faster, but finer glitter will stay suspended for quite awhile.
  • Food coloring or liquid watercolors work to color the water.  
    • Mixing food coloring to create colors does not work so well…at least for trying to create purple.  (See my first attempt below.)

Here was a pic of the 2 glitter jars after my first attempt:

Here are pics of the two jars after some “doctoring” work based on the lessons I learned above.  I still may add a little more pearlized glitter glue to them, but overall I am much happier with these results than after my first attempt.



I need to get more glitter glue and then I plan to make 2 plastic versions for L&L to be able to “play” with.  The glass versions stay on the table and are only to be used there.  I’ll share the plastic ones once we get them made since several readers had asked about using plastic instead of glass.  I’ll also experiment with gluing the lids on and let you know what I find works best!  Stay tuned! 🙂

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Genny Upton

A former teacher turned stay at home mom to two preschool aged children. Creator (and writer) at In Lieu of Preschool and Parent Teach Play. Currently publishing my first children's picture book!

  • Lindsay says:

    Wow these look beautiful!! The purple one is my favorite (I’m not usually a purple fan) but the colors in it look great!

  • Michele says:

    These are so beautiful! Would you be willing to tell us approximately how much of each material you used, and what brands of pearlized paints/glitter glue–I am having a hard time finding some. Thanks!

  • Genny Upton says:

    Thanks, Lindsay! The purple version 2.0 is quite an improvement over version one if I do say so myself!!! 🙂

    Michelle, I just used what we had on hand, so as far as glitter glue, I used 3 tubes of Pipsqueaks glitter glue per jar (Pipsqueaks is made by Crayola). Each jar I used held around 2 cups of water. I tried to pick out the Pipsqueaks glitter glues from the pack that went along with the green and purple colors the best and a few of them were the pearly ones. I don’t think you have to use a lot of the pearly colors to get the nice swirls, so even a little per jar and then some regular glitter glue would probably be fine. I added some extra plain glitter, too, but most of it is chunkier than the glitter glue glitter and it falls a lot faster, so glitter that’s more of a dust would be better. For coloring, I used green gel food coloring for Luke’s jar (tiniest bit I could sqeeze out) and for Lilah’s I used some gel-style purple watercolor paint (again, smallest amount possible because you can always add more if needed). I used hot water and filled the jar about halfway; then shook really hard to get the color to disperse. Then filled the rest of the way and shook some more. Honestly I tried my best to use what we had and just experimented with it in small portions until I found something that worked and then tried a larger scale version. Hope that helps! 🙂

    • Michele says:

      Thanks for the step by step! I am kinda new to all this and it was really helpful. I had fun using glitter glue for the first time–maybe more fun than my son had, lol. This was the first project that we have tried from your blog, but I am sure that we will be doing many more in the future.

  • Deborah says:

    I am planning on making some of these when I get a chance! These are wonderful and thank you for all the great tips!

  • Ms. Liz says:

    Thanks for the link back 😉 Our glitter jar is still used regularly around the Clubhouse, I think the corn syrup really did the trick for us. Your glitter jars 2.0 look fantastic, and I love the colors. Thanks for sharing the doctoring tips 🙂

  • Nice jars! Would metallic paint for coloring work? You say only glitter glue not to use Elmer glue, would the gel Elmer glue work? The glue is what makes thing move slowly if I get this correctly, right? So if I used paint and glitter glue would I still use water? If so what kind of ratio would I go for?
    Sorry for all the questions 🙂

  • Rosemarie says:

    I may sound stupid hear… This is my first stop at this site. I was linked through a photo on Pinterest. What exactly is a Calm Down Glitter Jar for?

  • […] Next, we improved them drastically in version 2: […]

  • […] was a glitter jar to help young kids calm down. The best link I have seen on creating them is here at In Lieu of Preschool. Just after Poppy was born last year I made our under-stairs cupboard into a ‘quiet […]

  • Jennifer says:

    Hello! I’m trying to find the directions for making these on your site. Do you share them?

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