Mani Bombs are a ton of fun- you probably know all about them since I’ve reviewed quite a few on this blog but if you don’t, they are essentially mini-bath bombs that contain oils that are great for your hands (or feet)!
Although I still recommend purchasing them from the awesome indie brands out there who make them (since they can get a lot more creative with colors and ingredients because they’re making so many and in larger batches and because sometimes I’m just lazy and don’t feel like making my own), it’s a ton of fun to make your own as well! You can customize the color, shape, scent, special additives, etc. They also make great gifts!
I’m kicking off the first of many (hopefully, because I went a little overboard at Michael’s….) DIY Saturday posts today by teaching you how to make your own ocean-themed mani bombs! Make sure to check back next week when I’ll be showing you how to make a bath bomb version of these! And before we get started, special thanks to Ashley of Forever Polished who helped me out with some tips for this!
What you’ll need
Makes about 10-15 mani bombs depending on the size and shape of your mold
- 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)
- 1/4 cup epsom salts
- 1 teaspoon essential oil (your choice, optional, I used a mix of Green Tea & Cucumber. Doesn’t really go with the theme but smells nice and I didn’t buy a bunch of different ones….yet. Oh god my poor wallet.)
- 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 plastic seashell candy mold and a square silicone mold)
- Parchment paper
1. 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 chosen oils). Because we are going to use two colors in this particular bomb, don’t add the food coloring just yet- if you do just one color you could mix it in at this point.
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. Once the mixture is perfect, halve it and put half into a separate bowl. Add 2-3 drops of food coloring (you can use more if needed but mix it first) and mix until it’s incorporated.
6. Pack the mixture into your molds, making sure to push down on it as you do so, you want it to be fairly tightly packed but don’t overdo it. To get the cool two-color effect, first add the white mixture into the bottom of the mold then add the blue on top or vice versa.
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 or slightly bending the plastic around the shape. This can take some practice and the more detailed the mold, the more difficult to get them out.
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 or keep them in airtight jars. To use, just fill a small bowl with warm water, drop it in and let it fizz! You can also use 2-4 of these at one time in a bathtub for a nice relaxing bath.
Check out a video of this fizzing away on my instagram!
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.
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!
Let me know if you’d like to see more DIY posts in the future in the comments and be sure to tag me on social media or email me a photo if you try this out, I’d love to see! In the future I’ll also be showing you how to make mani bombs with surprises on the inside or decorative flowers on top. Have a great weekend, folks!