When my sister was younger, she made an ant farm out of gel at school. She was so excited about it and so proud to have her ant farm at home that she spent every day watching the little ants do their thing and go about their day-to-day lives in their little world inside the plastic container with the pretty green grass growing on top of it. However, one day, my sister went away on a family vacation and forgot to feed the ants!
1) Collect Supplies for Ant Farm Gel
To make your own ant farm gel recipe, you will need the following supplies:
- One 12 oz. package of Knox unflavored gelatin (can be found in the baking section of most grocery stores)
- 1 cup water
- 1⁄2 teaspoon Borax (can be found at a grocery store in the laundry detergent section)
- 1⁄4 teaspoon salt (optional, but recommended if your tap water has a high pH level)
2) Make the Borax Solution for Ant Farm Gel
In a large pot, DIY gel ant farm mixes 1/4 cup of borax and 1.5 cups of water. Stir until all the powder is dissolved. Pour in 3 cups of boiling water and stir again until everything is mixed well. Allow ant farm gel DIY the Borax solution to cool for about 10 minutes before pouring it into any container with a lid that can be closed tightly.
3) Add Sugar to the Borax Solution
How to make ant farm gel? Combine 2 cups of Borax with 1/2 cup of sugar in a bowl. Pour boiling water into the bowl and stir until it dissolves. Let it cool down before pouring it into a container, like an ice cube tray or a yogurt container lid, that you can use to store your gel in the fridge.
4) Boil the Solution
DIY gel ant farm: Boil a 1/2 cup of water in a pot on the stove until it has boiled down by half. Add one tablespoon of dish soap and stir it with a spoon.
Once the soap has dissolved, add 3 tablespoons of Borax and stir until all the clumps are gone. Then, take an empty 2-liter soda bottle and fill it with hot water from your faucet so that the top is about 1 inch from the top of the bottle.
5) Pour the Solution into the Container
Pour the solution into a container of your choice. Add confectioner’s sugar to the solution and stir until dissolved. Cut a piece of parchment paper into an inch-wide strip and fold it over so that both sides are together (this will be used for the tunnel).
Dip one end of the strip into some water from one side and then push it down onto the top edge of your container, making sure that at least half of the strip is submerged in liquid on one side and is sticking out on the other side (this will be used as a bridge).
7) Add the Ants
Mix 1/2 teaspoon of Borax with 1/2 cup of water in a small saucepan and stir over medium heat until it dissolves. Add 1/3 cup corn syrup, 1 teaspoon vegetable oil, and a few drops of red food coloring, stirring constantly until the mixture has thickened.
Remove the pan from the heat and add 2 tablespoons white sugar (or cornstarch) while stirring constantly until it’s well combined.
8) Enjoy Your Ant Farm!
Fill a small bowl with one cup of water. Add a tablespoon of sugar and stir well until dissolved. Pour the sugar mixture into a large glass baking dish.
Sprinkle 1 teaspoon of cornstarch on top of the sugar and stir it in. Add 1/4 teaspoon of food coloring, if desired.
Sprinkle additional cornstarch over the gel until it is about 1 inch deep, then let it sit for at least 24 hours before adding any ants or arranging any rocks or other decorations in the gel. This will allow time for the gel to set and dry out enough so that ants can carry things across it without sinking too far down into it.
6) Let the Solution Cool
The gel ant farm is a gelatinous substance that is used as the ‘ant food’ in an ant farm. The gel is made by combining water, sugar, and either Jello or Knox gelatin and then stirring it until the sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved. It takes some time for the solution to cool before it can be poured into containers.
Once it has cooled sufficiently, you can pour the mixture into your container of choice. You should allow about two hours for the mixture to set before pouring it into your container so that you don’t have any air bubbles form from being agitated too soon after pouring.
Here are the instructions for making homemade ant farm. You will need a microwave-safe bowl, a microwave, and an empty dishwashing detergent container or any other plastic container with a lid. You will also need water, sugar, powdered gelatin (or Knox), food coloring, and an optional spice (like cinnamon).