How to make jelly marbles

Written by thomas mcnish
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How to make jelly marbles
Have fun experimenting with science and creating jelly marbles. (Clean water and water bubbles in blue image by Suto Norbert from Fotolia.com)

Jelly marbles, also known as water marbles or clear spheres, are small, transparent gel-like beads which can be used for a variety of decorative purposes. Jelly marbles can be purchased, but they can also be a lot of fun to make. One fascinating aspect of jelly marbles is that they have the same transparency as water, so when they're submerged in it, they become almost invisible. However, they can also be removed from water and placed in decorative places like vases or candle holders.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Baking soda
  • Vinegar
  • Calcium bicarbonate
  • Iodised salt

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Deposit a small amount of baking soda (less than half a teaspoon) into a glass.

  2. 2

    Add a very small amount of vinegar (less than a teaspoon) to the glass with baking soda in it.

  3. 3

    Mix the two ingredients for a moment until the liquid becomes clear.

  4. 4

    Add another dose of baking soda and vinegar (the same amounts that you added previously) a couple more times until you have a few ounces of sodium acetate. Make sure to mix the solution constantly.

  5. 5

    Put the sodium acetate in the freezer for about 10 minutes.

  1. 1

    Fill a 473ml glass about 1/4 of the way up with sodium bicarbonate.

  2. 2

    Remove your sodium acetate from the freezer and add it to the glass of calcium bicarbonate. Be aware that it will foam up. Be sure to mix the ingredients well.

  3. 3

    Add 1/2 cup of iodised salt to the sodium acetate/calcium bicarbonate mix.

  4. 4

    Pour the entire glass of ingredients into a pot and boil it for about seven minutes, making sure to mix constantly.

  5. 5

    Pour the boiled solution into a bowl or Tupperware container and let it cool. The jelly marbles will be formed within the solution. Scoop up some of the "watery" solution and pull out the jelly marbles.

Tips and warnings

  • Use caution when handling calcium bicarbonate, as it can irritate the skin.

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