This underwater ecosystem (made entirely of candy, gum, and gelatin) is a party showstopper. It’s easier than it looks—though a little labor-intensive. And your kid will still be talking about it when she’s 30.

By Charlyne Mattox
Updated August 16, 2011
Small green gelatin aquarium with sea grass and colored candy fish
This underwater ecosystem—made entirely of candy, gum, and gelatin—is a party showstopper. And it’s easier than it looks to put together. Get the recipe:Gelatin Aquarium
| Credit: José Picayo

Gelatin Aquariums With Sea Grass

Serves 8 | Hands-On Time: 10 Minutes | Total Time: 4 Hours

4 cups white cranberry juice
3 0.25-ounce envelopes unflavored gelatin
2 to 3 drops blue food coloring
16 sticks green chewing gum, thinly sliced lengthwise
½ cup candy fish and sea stars

1. Place 1 cup of the juice in a bowl; sprinkle with the gelatin and let stand for 2 minutes. In a small saucepan, bring the remaining 3 cups of juice to a boil.

2. Pour the hot juice over the gelatin mixture and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Add the food coloring to get the desired color. Let cool to room temperature.

3. Lightly moisten the gum strips with water and press them inside eight 6- to 8-ounce glasses, forming the sea grass. Dividing evenly, gently pour in the gelatin mixture, leaving at least ½ inch of the tops of the gum strips exposed. Refrigerate until firm, 2 to 3 hours.

4. Up to 1 hour before serving, use a paring knife to make vertical cuts in the gelatin and insert the candies with the tip of a wooden skewer. (If you put the candies in earlier, they might dissolve.)

Inspired by Rachelle Doorley of