Making themed stuff for holidays is one of my favorite things to do, so I did not pass up the opportunity to make some 4th of July-themed mani/pedi bombs! I’ll show you how to make your own, too!
What you’ll need
Makes about 10-15 mani bombs depending on the size of your molds
- 1/2 cup baking soda
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 1/4 cup citric acid (I have trouble finding this locally so I purchased some from Amazon)
- 1/8th cup epsom salts & 1/8th cup sea salts (you can do 1/4th cup of either salt by itself but I wanted to mix them)
- 1 teaspoon essential oil (your choice, make sure it smells like freedom, lol)
- 1 tablespoon oil of your preference (here I used half a tbs each of Jojoba oil and Coconut oil, which I melted first)
- A couple drops of food coloring (optional)
- Spray bottle filled with water
- Silicone or candy mold of your choice (I used a square silicone chocolate mold, a plastic star mold and half of a fillable christmas ornament for the bath bombs)
- Parchment paper
1. You can check out photos of all of the steps in my first DIY Mani Bomb post. First, mix all of your dry ingredients (baking soda, cornstarch, citric acid and salts) together in a bowl using a whisk.
2. In a small separate bowl, combine your wet ingredients (essential oil and your other chosen oils). Don’t add the food coloring yet.
3. Start mixing your dry ingredients with your wet ingredients. Mix in just a little of the wet at a time until it is all combined.
4. Test the texture by squeezing some of the mixture in your hands- it should feel like wet sand and hold it’s shape after you squeeze it but still be dry enough that if you press down on it, the shape breaks. This is where the spray bottle with water comes in- after you initially mix the ingredients together, if the consistency isn’t right, spray it with a little water. Do this slowly, I usually do between 1-3 spritzes, test the consistency again and then more as needed. If you add too much water, it will activate the citric acid and won’t react properly.
5. Separate the mixture evenly into three different bowls. Leave one white and slowly add drops of food coloring to the other two to make your red and blue. You will need to use a lot of red to make it not just pink but do it slowly- no more than 4 drops at a time without quickly mixing it in between. The food coloring is liquid so you have to be careful to not do too much at a time and mix it fast so that it doesn’t activate the citric acid.
6. Once the mixture is perfect, start packing it into your molds. How you layer it is up to you- you can mix all of the colors, you can add a bit of each in order to give it a layered look, etc.
7. Place a towel onto a flat surface in a dry area and put a piece of parchment paper on top of it. This helps the bottom of the bomb not flatten out if it is a rounded shape.
8. Gently remove the bombs from the molds onto the parchment paper. If they stick, you may have luck lightly tapping the plastic part with a spoon first and then releasing. This can take some practice and the more detailed the mold, the more difficult to get them out. Try not to move them once you get them out of the mold- I always end up pushing mine around and breaking the edges of the more detailed designs.
9. Wait 24 hours for the bombs to dry fully, then package for gifts or use for yourself! You can wrap saran wrap around any that you want to keep fresh for awhile. To use, just fill a small bowl with warm water, drop it in and let it fizz! You can also use 2-3 of these at one time in a bathtub for a nice relaxing bath.
Doesn’t fizz very much when used– You probably added too much water when making the mixture, try it again with a little less.
Parts of the design sets in the mold but it won’t all fully stick together (usually with large circular bath bombs)– Try adding a little bit more oil into the mixture.
Design keeps cracking and breaking when removing from the mold– First, re-check that your mixture is the correct wet-sand-like consistency, then try leaving the mixture to dry in the mold for a few hours or overnight instead of removing right away. This is especially the case with larger sized bombs and bombs in silicone molds instead of plastic trays.
Falls apart when picked up after 24 hours– It may not have dried and set fully, try leaving it for 2 days instead and if it’s still falling apart, use a little more water in the mixture.
Sets and holds it’s form after 24 hours but has cracks– You used a bit too much moisture which made it react and slightly expand. Reduce it slightly the next time.
Humidity can make it difficult for your bath bomb to fully harden, too! Make sure you’re making and leaving it in as cool and dry an area as possible and try waiting an additional 24 hours if it is not hardening! When we have had 90+ degree humid weather my mani bombs have been okay for the most part but a few of my bath bombs which hardened overnight went soft due to the humidity so be careful!
These were tons of fun to make and the 3 different colors look really cool fizzing away when used! Let me know your thoughts in the comments & tell me if you guys want to see more DIY stuff in the future!