How to make a homemade bubble machine

Written by crystal bench
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How to make a homemade bubble machine
Make a wind-powered bubble machine. (bubbles image by Alison Bowden from Fotolia.com)

Many children, and even many adults, enjoy the sight of carefree bubbles dancing on the wind. A homemade, wind-powered bubble machine can bring hours of entertainment, whether you're dancing in the bubble stream or watching those so inclined. Set up a wind-powered bubble machine at your child's next birthday party or your next family picnic for an enjoyable decoration/activity combination.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Thin plastic circle, 6 inches in diameter
  • Craft knife
  • Sandpaper
  • Plastic rod, ¼ in diameter, 9 inches long
  • Super glue
  • Propeller for model aeroplane, 6 inches long
  • Plastic container, at least 3 inches deep and 5 inches wide
  • 1 gallon water
  • ¾ cup liquid dish soap
  • 3 tablespoons of glycerine
  • Large house fan

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Use the craft knife to cut eight evenly spaced circles, about 1 inch in diameter, around the edge of the thin plastic circle.

  2. 2

    Sand the circles smooth.

  3. 3

    Cut a hole in the centre of the plastic circle.

  4. 4

    Put the plastic rod through the hole in the centre of the plastic circle. Position the circle 1 inch from one end of the rod.

  5. 5

    Glue the rod in place with the super glue.

  6. 6

    Glue the model aeroplane propeller on the end of the rod farthest from the plastic circle.

  7. 7

    Cut a small indentation in two opposite sides of the plastic container.

  8. 8

    Place the plastic rod in the indentations.

  9. 9

    Mix the water, liquid dish soap and glycerine.

  10. 10

    Fill the plastic container with about 2 inches of the dish soap mixture.

  11. 11

    Place the fan behind the bubble machine and turn it on.

Tips and warnings

  • Most of the parts of this bubble machine are adjustable. Experiment to find the perfect machine that performs to your specifications.
  • Experiment with the number of holes and the size of the holes. More holes may create more bubbles, but smaller holes may result in a wheel that turns faster.
  • Experiment with the proportions of the ingredients in the bubble solution to find the mix that works best in your conditions. More water will make a thinner solution that creates more bubbles at a time, while more glycerine will make larger, longer-lasting bubbles.
  • Use caution when using sharp objects. Do not let children use sharp objects.
  • Keep the electrical workings of the fan dry at all times. If the bubble solution spills, turn the fan off immediately.

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