There's nothing quite like the magic of bubbles floating through the sky, and the constant desire to make bigger and better ones each time.
After buying multiple assortments of cheap plastic bubble contraptions (many of which broke after 10 minutes of play) as well as an endless parade of plastic bubble solution containers of various sizes (which always end up half-spilled somewhere) we figured there had to be another way.
A little internet searching turned up a handful of recipes for homemade bubble solutions–some more complicated than others. While you may get slightly larger and hardier bubbles with recipes that include gelatin, glycerin, or personal lubricant, we opted for a simpler mix that won't leave behind as much of a mess.
Below is the recipe we landed on, which works well and has easy to source (and multi-use) ingredients.
Basic Bubble Mix
(makes 8 cups)
In addition to the bubble solution, there's also the issue of the plastic bubble-making contraptions...
We happened to have some bamboo stakes and cotton twine hanging out around our garden, and assembled them into a little contraption like we've seen at the science museum.
We just tied the twin to the tops of the bamboo stakes, with one side of the loop having 2-3x more slack than the other side.
You then dip the tops of the stakes and twine in a bowl or plate with the bubble solution in it and carefully wave the loop through the air.
It takes a little practice, but it can make some pretty amazing bubble creations :)
Bamboo Bubble Maker
Simple Dish Soap by Seventh Generation
There are loads of dish soap options out there, some with terrible chemicals, some with great smells, some that clean great, and some that don't.
But for a project like this, when we just need something clean and simple and fast and less expensive, this Seventh Generation dish soap with no scent works just great. Price is for a 6-pack (about $.16/oz).
Light Corn Syrup by Golden Barrel
While we try to avoid a lot of sugary products and ingredients derived from corn, sometimes it's just the thing you need to make a recipe work.
Like, when you're making a solution for giant backyard bubbles :)
Bamboo Stakes by Hydrofarm
Whether you're supporting vegetables in the garden or making your own bubble maker, these bamboo stakes come in handy often (especially when paired with some twine).
They come in multiple lengths but note that sometimes the post office will hold the larger ones for pickup.
Price is for a pack of 25 x 2' stakes.
Black Cotton Twine by Kinglake
Great for wrapping packages, supporting vegetables, and making epic bubble wands. I'm sure you can come up with even more uses.
This twine is 100% cotton and is also food safe. Comes in many colors. Price is for 656 feet.
Minimalist Wide Mouth Mason Jars - 22 oz by Kamota
Mason Jars have a myriad of uses but they usually evoke a time period and environment different from our own.
These jars also come in a variety of sizes, all with the same overall look and mouth size so you can use all the same lids. Price is for a pack of 12.
Wide Mouth Mason Jar Lids by Think Chances
We love how robust and multi-purpose mason jars are but we don't really love those traditional 2-piece lids.
While they serve a specific purpose they become a bit of a nuisance if you're just trying to prevent liquid from spilling.
These black matte aluminum lids are perfect for capping off any wide-mouth size mason-style jar. We use them for big batches of bubble mix, leftovers, or water to take in the car.
We also prefer these shaped jars, which come in multiple sizes.