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Strata Bottles | Easy Crafts for Kids

Strata Bottles

Total Time Needed: 1-2 Hours

You know those Buddhist mandalas? How the monks spend days creating an elaborate painting with colored sand, then blow it away to remind us of the fleeting nature of life? This project is the opposite: a quickly filled jar that will sit on your desk for the rest of eternity. However, for your kids, the idea that they can actually do a carnival craft at home can be truly mind-blowing.


  • Colored sand
  • Clear bottles with tops
  • Funnel (optional)
  • Craft glue
  • Spoon
  • Wooden skewer


Strata Bottles - Step 1

1. Carefully pour one layer of sand at a time into a bottle. We poured the sand straight from the bag, but kids may find it easier to use a funnel. You can make freestyle strata or try one of these classic techniques.

Strata Bottles - Step 2

2. Once the jar is filled to the top, spread a thin layer of glue around the inside of the bottle cap, then screw it on tightly and wipe away any glue that squeezes out.

Strata Bottles - Step 3


The Diagonal: Hold the jar at an angle while you slowly pour in the layers. Once the jar is completely full, the diagonal layers will remain, even when the jar is turned upright.

The Argyle Sock: Fill the jar with a layer of sand, then use a spoon to bore a pocket in the sand against the side of the jar. Fill the pocket with another color of sand. Add the next horizontal layer and repeat this process as you fill the jar.

The Feathered Look: After adding 2 horizontal layers of sand, place a wooden skewer against the side of the jar and poke down through the layers. Pull out the skewer and repeat the process around the inside of the bottle. Repeat this process after adding each layer as you fill the jar.