Upcycling: Calm down

November 3, 2017

Whether they’re used to calm your anxiety or decorate the house, Calm Jars are all the rage at the moment—and by making them at home you can put your DIY skills to good use, writes Jessica Morris.


There’s something mesmerising about watching colour and textures float into each other. Perhaps that’s why Lava Lamps were such a hit in the ’70s. Thankfully, that era is over (sorry Mum and Dad), but our need to find tranquillity in everyday life still exists. 

Move over retro and neon, because Calm Jars are the new ‘it’ decoration in houses across Australia. Chances are you’ve come across one in the past few years. Filled with water, oil, food colouring and sometimes even glitter, the contents of the jars move and change in colour and texture when you shake them like a year seven science experiment you did at school—except Calm Jars are better, because they actually have a purpose.

Originally, they were designed to calm children who experienced ADHD, autism, sensory processing disorder or anxiety. The idea is that by homing in on the changing patterns and colours, you are able to self-soothe and work through your emotions. The phenomenon took off when everyone realised they could use a little more ‘calm’ in their life. 

You can pick up your own Calm Jar from the store for a hefty price, but let’s be real—you don’t need to be an artisan to create one of these beauties. So save some cash, and get DIY-ing!

What are you waiting for? Get busy this summer and use this as a craft activity with the kids. Decorate the house with the jars, or use them as gifts for friends and family. There’s no limit to how creative and unique a Calm Jar can be. Just screw the lid on tight and shake. Enjoy!

Make a Calm Jar

1. Select a clear jar or bottle for display. 
DIY experts lean towards tall old mason jars and VOSS water jars, but you can use any screw-top bottle.

2. Fill one-third of the bottle with warm water.
Remember to leave enough room to shake the contents once you’ve finished.

3. Add half a bottle of glitter glue OR some cooking oil (optional).

4. Add food colouring and any extra ingredients.

This is your chance to add extra glitter and personalised items—shells, buttons, sequins, even Lego.


5. Use a hot glue gun to secure the lid to the jar.



Tags: Salvation Army Australia

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