Pimpin’ and Poppin’ for the Pintester!

pintester-movement-300Sounds like a new dance move don’t it?  Kaykay may be good at twerking, but Amber over here can pimp’n’pop!  Oh my!

No really, today I have for you my second submission for the Pintester Movement–  that hilarious blog, pintester.com, where the gorgeous Sonja Faust tries various pinterest pins–  and I’m going to show you how to (unlike Sonja) pimp out your bubbles and be more in control of when they pop! 

We have a loooong history of bubbles in this little family, and so we feel we can mebbe make this work.

So, let’s begin, shall we?  First, the necessary infos:

The original recipe for bubble formula is to be found here–  www.food.com/recipe/giant-bubbles-54559

Giant Bubble Mix–

6 cups water
1 cup light corn syrup
2 cups Joy dishwashing soap (If using an ultra concentrated dishwashing liquid, use only 1 1/3 cups)

Sonja’s test on the pintester.com—  pintester.com/2013/01/giant-bubbles/

And the linky-poo to the whole pintester movement category–  pintester.com/category/pintester-movement/

Annnnd, lastly, the recipe we usually use:
*1 cup blue dawn *1 cup corn starch *2 TBSP baking powder *beaucoup de agua (between 12-15 cups of water)

Bubble Boy

Bubble Boy

I will come straight out and say that maybe this is an unfair pin for us, as my husband has in the past been paid to make bubbles.  This is the thing he does on career day for his son’s kindergarten class.  (Even though he has a ‘real’ desk job that pays the bills.)  The longest one I’ve seen him make was easily twenty-five feet long.  On an optimal weather day– humid or foggy, moisture in the air is a bonus for bubbles– and the right tools, he can easily do some things with soap that leave grown-ups “ooh”ing and “ahh”ing.  (Insert porny music here.)

The Mix and Materials

The Mix and Materials

We made our “Giant Bubbles Recipe” EXACTLY as instructed in the original pin– ultra joy with the adjusted amount, light corn syrup, water, gentle stirring.  I will point out here that one thing that we did that was to our advantage is that we made the solution the night before.  The set time is actually important, it allows time for the ingredients to incorporate a little more and set up to a more slippery solution.

I will say, sitting around in in its made-up form, it looks like one of us has gone all Howard Hughes up in here and started saving our pee.  Yark.  The lemony smell when you *open* the bucket will completely dispel that, however.

Sonja’s version of the test was sort of a “meh.”  Not a fail, but no real impression that anyone was wowed, either.  One of the issues with the pintester’s run of things is simply lame tools.  Don’t you just hate it when you need to blow some stuff and your tool is lame?  (Who knew bubbles could be so pervy?!)

Pan– my husband, in case you’re not a usual follower of this blog– has an really cool giant-bubble contraption involving a long tubular piece, some cording and sliding rings.  And you know, there *are* tutorials for making your own such thingamajiggy somewhere here on the interwebs.  He has talked of making his own wand for years, but he still buys them.  They are called the Bubble Thing  (no joke) and they are a bit fiddly to get used to, but a big part of his success.  He buys his from the Mast General Store, this awesome mercantile in downtown Knoxville.  Get your own here, if you would really like to take it to the next level on your own bubbles:

It’s the gizmo he’s using, with this new bubble mix, in the photo below–

Pan Making a Doughnut

Pan Making a Doughnut

After I chose this recipe as my pintester run, I kept thinking about it….  The very real truth is, no matter how great, how perfect your bubble mix is, you’re not going to get anything impressive out of just a dinky little quarter-size wand.  Sorry.  Its just not going to happen.  And then I kept thinking about it more– what could we use, if I didn’t have fancy-awesome tools already at the ready?  What would I do if we were normal people?  I mean, I’m a creative girl, why couldn’t I come up with a household item to help the average person make a large bubble?  I pondered this for a few days, and eventually, I had an idea…  I wouldn’t know how *good* of an idea until I tested it with the mix, so I rounded up all of my tools, made my bubble mix, and waited for daylight.

One Of the Coolest Pics I've Ever Taken

One Of the Coolest Pics I’ve Ever Taken

I thought an embroidery hoop might do– and it better, I had to tear up a fairly cute wall hanging that I had in my sewing area.  My hoop was really pretty large, and if I were going out and buying one I would go for one juuuust a little bit smaller I think, it was hard to get the whole thing on a regular dinner plate.  You want a plastic embroidery hoop, and you want to take the center ring out and tighten it so that the little opening is closed as tightly as it can be.  You’ll also want to just quickly do a piece of scotch tape around that little groove, in the end it just helps create that great surface tension you need for a bubble.  You can fill your largest dinner plate or platter with bubble mix, and dip the ring, using the little screwy-knob part as your holding area.  It DOES make bubbles, and fairly large ones too!  Unfortunately, its sort of fiddly, and might be disappointing to kiddoes, as it drove mine kinda crazy.  (Poor guy broke his arm a couple of weeks ago by slipping and falling in a rainstorm.  The waterproof cast cut off his circulation, so with the switch to the purple, dude gets to do no swimming this Summer.  This is about the best outside treat we can muster!)  BUT, it *does* work, and gives you an alternative to making large bubbles with an item you may already have around the house.

Embroidery Hoop Bubble

Embroidery Hoop Bubble

Both of these pics here are of me trying to make bubbles with the hoop and take pictures at the same time.  The hoop can’t be that impossible, because I got a few cool shots and I’m just not that great of a photographer!  TOTALLY DOABLE.

Because of the fact that bubbles are wet and I didn’t want him fishing around in a dish of bubble juice, I broke out some of his Dad’s stuff.  This other tool that we used is simply available at Toys’R’Us, and I don’t remember how much they are, but they do make some pretty easy, lovely bubbles.  If you care enough to mix up a vat of yellow mix, you might care enough to invest in one of these dealies.  (Its the wand that my son is using in the above pic where the bubble goes from edge to edge.)

All in all we had great success with this bubble mix.  My husband really, really liked it, enough that he’s considering adding it to his kit.  The colors are really pretty, and they do seem to be long-lasting, though not crazily so.  He did point out that the sugar content and lemon smell may attract bees, and we are all about preserving the bees, so we’ll have to watch and observe on that one.  (We saw no bees during this whole bubbling experience, however.)

Wall O'Bubble

Wall O’Bubble– Look At the Joy On His Face!

We will offer you a few tips to make better bubbles–

The Tubey Thing That Happens

The Tubey Thing That Happens

  • Dip your bubbling hand as well as the wand in the solution.  If your dish has a divot or cutout like ours does, you will want to make sure that it is coated as well.  A lot of bubbles is about maintaining a certain surface tension and having everything covered in the mix helps all of this.
  • Move slowly, like extremely slowly.  Bigger bubbles require a certain amount of ninja movement
  • Pay attention to the wind, it can greatly affect your success, you may need to redirect the direction your body is facing to have the breeze help you instead of defeat you.
  • As you dip your wand into the dish, as you lift, you can gently spin the hoop about 90 degrees to help you ‘break’ the tube of bubble goo that tends to happen (see pic to right).  This should allow you to break the tube without breaking the circle in the center, so you can step away and do something more impressive than make a dish-tube.
  • If your dish gets foamy (and it will, if you play for a while) use the edge of your hand or a wadded-up paper towel to gently scoop the suds off of the top of the liquid.  The foam will impair your bubbling, so moving it aside will help you go back to normal play.  You should also shake your wands off every once and a while, for the same reason.
  • Err on the side of soapier– if you don’t know if you should go more or less (like maybe you forgot to account for the fact that your lemon joy is ‘ultra’) don’t panic, and go on the side of more soap.
  • Humidity is your friend, but remember to pack up and go in if you hear thunder.  As they say, if you are close enough to hear thunder, you are in range for being struck by lightening.

So that’s about it!  I’d say break out the bubbles!  It certainly is a fun Summertime afternoon, gettin’ little bodies out into the yard and runnin’ around!  And as for the recipe, we say, BUBBLE WIN!





10 Responses to “Pimpin’ and Poppin’ for the Pintester!”

  1. Great post!

    What I meant about the bees was that the corn syrup might attract bees, wasps and assorted flying pests. Sweat bees, dirt dobbers & yellow jackets are no fun to bubble around, especially if kids are present. I’ve avoided using glycerin-based recipes because of such experiences, so perhaps I’ll have to test this recipe out again when the weather is drier and the insects are buzzing.

  2. Very nice post and pictures. Looks like a grandkid project for me.

  3. WOW! You guys are bubble prodigies! Thanks so much for testing and for the great tips and ideas for bubbles!

    • Amber

      Thanks, Sonja! I thought it might be an unfair thing to pick, but then I realized we might actually have some stuff to offer on this one….

      I really appreciate this Pintester Movement fun, I’ve loved it both times. Keep up the good work, and I hope you keep letting us play!

  4. Coolest bubbles EVER!

  5. WOW! Those bubbles are fantastic!! Thanks for all the extra tips you put into this post to make “bubbling” fun and easier for us non-bubblers!

    • Amber

      We really enjoyed them, truth be told, this blend may be a wee bit better than our old one, even… my husband is putting them through some rigorous testing since *my* test! I hope you give them a shot, bubbles are always a really good time! Thanks for stopping in, let me know what you think if you try them out!

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