Make your own calming oil bottles

These colourful oil bottles are very easy to make and lovely and soothing to shake. The colours will temporarily mix, before separating again, so the bottles can also be used to learn about the colour wheel. 

A red calming oil bottle

This guide is part of our Sense Arts, Sport & Wellbeing programme. This activity can be done at a time that suits you, either at home or in an educational setting. 

Who is this for?

This is a crafting activity for people who are deafblind or have complex disabilities and can be enjoyed by anyone. 

Why does this make a difference?

This is a creative and sensory activity that promotes wellbeing and relaxation and helps people learn by supporting independent choice and expression. 

How to do this activity

What you’ll need

  • Bottles or jars with lids
  • Olive oil (or another yellow-ish oil)
  • A jug
  • Red or blue food colouring
  • Water
  • A spoon
Adding blue dye to a jar of water

Step 1

Half-fill a bottle or jar with water, then add a few drops of red or blue food colouring and mix well with the spoon.  
Adding oil to the blue water in a jar

Step 2

Fill up the rest of the bottle or jar with oil, and screw the lid on tight.
A red calming oil bottle

Step 3

Your calming oil bottles or jars are now ready. Gently shake them to watch the colours mix, and keep watching to see them separate again.

Top tips

  • Explore other colours by make mixing in a few drops of oil-based food colouring into the oil, before adding it to the water
  • Fix on the lids with superglue if you’re concerned about spills