Thursday, May 7, 2015

Homemade "I Spy" Bottle

I recently made some homemade "I Spy" bottles for Meghan, her cousins, and a friend. Meghan has been absolutely loving these bottles; she shouts about the things she is finding and is loving pointing out exciting new discoveries! The process is fairly simple.....

We bought some Smart Water water bottles when they were on sale at Costco. These bottles are much more sturdy than standard water bottles and have a slightly larger cap. After removing the label, tons of sticky residue is left on the bottle. To remove that, mix a paste of olive oil and baking soda; rub all over the sticky area and allow to sit for about 20 minutes. Then wash it off in hot soapy water, and when you dry the outside of the bottle all of the sticky will come off!

Set the bottles to dry out completely.

Now it's time to dye the rice! I made 6 bags of rice and made seven total bottles. Each bag of rice made slightly more than I needed for one bottle and I made a seventh bottle which is a combination of all of the colors - it's very pretty!!

To dye the rice, put 2.5 cups of rice, 2 Tablespoons vinegar, and about 20 drops of food coloring in a gallon sized bag. Zip the bag and shake until the color coats all of the rice. Leave out open on the counter over night. We were pretty amazed at how quickly the rice dried - it really only took a few hours!

Gather items for your I Spy bottles! This was a fun step :) Because we were making bottles for so many little kiddos, we made each one a bag with their name on it and filled each bag with semi-equal things. I got letter beads and each child has their name in their bottle as well as some dice, shaped buttons, small clothespins, legos, etc.

I laid all of the things for each kid's bottle out on a white table and took a picture. These are all of the things to spy in the bottle! These pictures turned out super fun!! These pictures will be printed out, laminated, hole punched, and tied onto the bottles we give as gifts. 

After the bottles are dry, fill part way with your choices of rice color. Add all of your things to spy and then finish filling with rice. Be sure to leave plenty of empty space in your bottle for things to move around in!!

Share your bottle with a little tot - and if yours is anything like mine, there are hours of entertainment and many excited exclamations ahead!! 


  1. Where did you find letters & numbers small enough to fit in the bottle opening?

    1. They are buttons that I found in tubes at Walmart. The "w" was a tight squeeze, but otherwise they all fit easily!

    2. Thank you! I think I'm going to Wal Mart tomorrow!