Yesterday I found myself inexplicably edgy. Grumpy, jumpy, terse, and sour.
So I did what any reasonable person would do in this state.
I mixed up a batch of gigantic bubble juice, made some bubble wands with my kids, and got over myself.
I laughed. I played. I watched my kids laugh and play.
In short, I got a much needed attitude adjustment. Because with six to eight foot bubbles floating across my yard – well, I couldn't stay crabby even if I wanted to.
And it didn't cost us a penny. Our supplies list was scavenged up between our basement and our workshop, our kitchen and our brush pile.
Insane, super-sized bubble fun.
And a cure for crabbiness no less.
We ended up making a dozen of the wands in the afternoon to take to our homeschooling potluck. And they were a hit! By the end of the night a full gallon of bubble juice was gone and I think everyone had as much fun as we did making bubbles.
I suggest you stop whatever you had planned for today and do this instead.
Especially if you're grouchy.
Make Your Wand
All you need are two sticks (any size), two screw eyes (any size – ours were around this big – afflink), a washer or other smooth weight (any size), and some yarn (any kind). See how flexible this is?
You could replace the sticks with purchased dowels but I ask: why uses dowels when you have sticks? Because sticks are free. And they grow in your yard. (Or your neighbors yard…)
Cut two branches, trimming off any side branches or pokie bits. Shoot for around 12" to 24".
In one end of each branch attach a screw eye. (I pre-drilled my holes with a small drill bit to make this easier.)
Cut a length of kitchen twine or yarn (mine was cotton) approximately 6' long and thread through your sticks and your washer. Tie with an overhand knot anywhere you like.
Make some bubbles!
First, make your bubble juice.
I used this recipe. It was fantastic. My favorite recipe yet.
You can also use my more basic recipe if you don't have some of her ingredients, like corn starch or glycerin.
(A note about dish soap: I have tried making bubbles with more natural dish soap to no avail. These babies are Dawn, all the way. We don't use it on our dishes, but for bubbles we keep it on hand.)
Second, dip your string.
Hold the screw-eye and yarn ends of your two sticks together.
Completely submerge the yarn in the bubble juice. (The first dip is the fussiest.)
Lift the wand slowly from the juice, then separate the sticks to open the yarn loop.
Walk slowly backward into the wind and watch your bubbles soar!
You can encourage smaller, (thought still huge!) bubbles to break off and fly free by bringing the yarn loop back together to snip off a bubble here and there.
The bubble below floated clear over our house and was bigger than the biggest watermelon.
Note: if your bubble juice gets frothy on the top from use give it a few minutes to settle down. It works best without foam. Also, one wand in the juice at a time unless you want to spend your time untangling bubble wand strings.
And if you or your kids love to learn about how things work, check out this explanation of bubbles. It was fascinating to my kids.
P.S. For younger kids the handmade bubble wand tutorial I wrote here is the best. So beautiful and fun.
14 thoughts on “DIY giant bubble wand tutorial”
Are those pink streaks I see in Lupine’s hair? What did you use? My daughter would love that!
Also, the tutorial is awesome! Thanks!
Good eyes, mama! We tried KoolAid but it didn’t take so I caved and bought a box of pink dye from the pharmacy (called Splat). As one friends’ son put it when I asked him what he used, “Well, it’s not organic…” True that.
i like to do the same when i’m crabby! another thing that’s fun is pouring your giant bubble solution in a small kiddie pool, have your child stand in the center, and use a hula hoop to draw up the bubble and capture your child inside. it’s a big hit!
Your bubbles (and photographs) are gorgeous! Thank you so much for so thoughtfully linking to my site for the recipe. I’m so glad you all had fun with these. I love that you used sticks for the wand! So much more rustic than our straws, but a much less expensive alternative to dowels! Your photos are so lovely and inviting, I think I’ll have to stay a while and have a poke around. 🙂
Just the sort of “zing” I’m looking for on my grumpy days. Oh we’re going to love this! Thank you!
We had such fun, Jackie! Thanks for the inspiration.
Hi! A few days ago i came across a seller on Amazon using some of my giant bubble pictures from my blog without permission. After contacting them and amazon, the photos were removed and they put up new photos. One of the new photos appears to be from your blog (last photo). So i just wanted to give you a heads up that someone may have stole your photo to promote their bubble wands! Here is the product http://www.amazon.com/Bubble-Amazing-Wands-Extreme-SHIPPING/dp/B00KZOI9H2/ref=sr_1_8?s=toys-and-games&ie=UTF8&qid=1404936412&sr=1-8&keywords=amazing+bubbles
Goodness gracious. Thank you for telling me. Could you tell me please how you got in touch with them? Im not seeing how to write them. Thanks again for letting me know! Its happened before, too, with other photos (and text!). Uffda.
Thanks again, Tree. I figured it out and filed a complaint. All the best, Rachel
Sorry, i didn’t see your response sooner, i didn’t get a notification that you’d responded. i just saw that your photo has been removed, and they’ve replaced the pictures with their own (i hope)and are responding to the negative feedback by claiming someone must have stolen their pictures to use on a blog. Unbelievable!!
how can i get a new bubble wand
HI, this is a far superior mixture. I’ve made 10 foot diameter bubbles with it. This is a seriously good mix…
To mix aproximately 4.5 litres (roughly one gallon): (You need this much if you’re making big bubbles):
2 Tablespoons of Glycerine.
1 Teaspoon of Guar Gum powder. (100 grams on eBay costs £5 or a bit less).
2 Teaspoons of Baking Powder (not baking soda)
125ml of Fairy Platinum washing up liquid, Wilkinsons sell it cheap. (Don’t use Fairy Platinum Lemon scented). Use regular Fairy or other detergent if you have no other option, but use more, 180ml, and again avoid lemon or other scented detergents.
1000ml of boiling water
2640 ml of cold water.
Teaspoons and tablespoons are standard units of measurement. Get the amounts right, don’t use actual spoons.
Mix it like this:
Put the Guar Gum into a container that’s big enough to hold the finished mix, ie at least 5 litres (or more than a gallon (a gallon is 8 pints)). If you tilt the container you can keep the powder at the edge for easy mixing.
Add the Glycerine and stir until it’s free of any clumps. Then stir it some more.
Immediately add 250ml of boiling water whilst stirring briskly (this ensures that the Guar Gum doesn’t have time to settle to the bottom of the Glycerine), and continue to stir for a couple of minutes.
Add another 750ml of boiling water and stir for another couple of minutes. Make sure there are no blobs stuck to the bottom.
Add the rest of the water, (2640ml). Stir gently for another couple of minutes.
Add the Fairy Platinum. Try to avoid creating froth. Make sure it’s mixed, but do it gently.
Add the baking powder. Sprinkle it on rather than dumping it all at once to try to avoid clumping and again make sure it’s mixed but be gentle. I sieve it in through a fine tea strainer. It will probably still clump a bit. Be patient and make sure all the clumps are gone.
It’s now finished and can be used immediately. Some people say that the mix improves if left to stand for a few days but I haven’t really noticed this. I don’t know if it will keep indefinitely, but it will certainly be ok for a couple of months.
Make one of these: http://soapbubble.wikia.com/wiki/Getting_Started_With_Tri-Strings
To make big bubbles you need fairly still air, and the more humid it is the better. Let the bubble form slowly, don’t rush it. Close the bubble by bringing the loop together slowly too.
Make enormous bubbles!!!
Thank you!! I am babysitting my 2 nephews.
3 years later and your DIY list is still just perfect!