Education Through Entertainment

Make a Rainbow in a Bottle | St. Patrick's Day Science Activity

Posted on Sat, Mar 17, 2018

Don’t worry -- you don’t have to wish for rain on this St. Patrick’s Day to be able to enjoy a rainbow! Handy Dan and his friend Junkbot are here to teach you how to make your very own St. Paddy’s Day rainbow* in the privacy of your own home -- you won’t even need an umbrella!

*pot of gold not included.

Watch Handy Dan teach you how to make a rainbow in a bottle - a wonderful St. Patrick's Day science project! 

Step 1: Gather your supplies

First, you’ll need food coloring -- a standard pack of four (red, yellow, green and blue) is perfect!

You only need 5 different colors of food coloring.  Mix red and blue to make purple and mix red and yellow to make orange!

In addition to your food coloring, you’ll need the following:

  • Vegetable oil
  • Blue dish soap
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Water
  • Corn syrup
  • Honey

Step 2: Color the liquids

Add green food coloring to your water, red food coloring to your corn syrup, and equal parts blue and red to your rubbing alcohol (to make it purple!)


Step 3: Layer the liquids

You will need an empty container to house your rainbow -- a tall, cylindrical container, like a wide-mouthed bottle, works best.

Use an empty plastic bottle.  This one is kind of unique and will make for an interesting looking display!

Start by pouring a generous amount of honey into the bottom of your container.

Pour the colored honey into the bottle.

Follow that with the corn syrup (remember to add the red food coloring first!), and allow the layers to settle for a moment before adding the blue dish soap.

Next, pour the red corn syrup into the bottle

Follow the soap with the water (which should be dyed green, remember!), and add the vegetable oil to the water...

Now, add the blue dish soap!

...and add the vegetable oil to the water.

How about some vegetable oil?  Add some of that.

Finally, add enough rubbing alcohol (it should be purple!) to fill the container -- notice how it slips below the vegetable oil mixture!And now, the rubbing alcohol.  Look how it goes below the oil!

When you’re happy with your layers, seal up your container, and enjoy your own personal rainbow!

A rainbow in a bottle!

Try shining a light from behind your bottle to really get the colors to pop (we didn't try that, but you really should!!

Check back again for more do-it-yourself projects from Handy Dan the Junkyard Man and Mobile Ed Productions!

If you like DIY experiments like these, you should see the kinds of spectacular demonstrations we bring to schools with our live school assembly presentations.  Take a look at STEAM MuseumThe Magic of Science, Physics is Fun, Forces and Motion and Crime Scene Science, each full of interactive demonstrations that kids love.

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Topics: DIY, Handy Dan the Junkyard Man, Arts and Crafts, Fun, St. Patrick's Day