Magic Water Beads in Clear Vase Centerpieces

Magic Water Beads in Clear Vase Centerpieces
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Magic Water Beads are a trendy novelty product used as Vase Filler Centerpieces. 

This article is a thorough Buying Guide that seeks to answer these questions and more: 

  • So what makes them magic? 
  • Are they safe? 
  • What effects can You do with them in a Vase? 
  • What are the names of Water Beads? 
  • Why are there so many names? 
  • What are all the applications?
  • What are they exactly? 
  • Why were they created?
  • Vase Filler Clarifications?
  • Where to Buy?


Magic Water Beads are a novelty product that are magical for several reasons. 

Magic Water Beads are translucent/transparent orbs that are a sensory delight to see and touch. They come in an array of colors and always look wet. They also feel wet, squishy, elastic, and bouncy. The magic is in the fun! 

Magic Water Beads expand exponentially in weight and volume to multiple times their original form, when submerged in liquids! 

They are a super absorbent material that can hold up to 500 times its weight in liquids!

They grow to over 100 times their original size! 

99% of a Magic Water Bead is Water! 

The beads first begin as tiny pellets that are hard and opaque. As the pellets absorb water (and all and any liquids), they hydrate and transform into these fun Magic Water Beads. The magic begins within a 1/2 hour, and completes to full size after about 6 hours. 

Manufacturers sell a range of 8 to 14 colors. In addition the clear Water Beads are capable to be colored to any desired tint, when introduced to water that has been dyed with pigment such as food coloring. 

They can return to their original pellet form, if permitted, to dehydrate by releasing the liquids over about 30 days. 

Furthermore Water Beads can be used again and again! 

They come in many sizes! They are marketed as Regular/Normal and Jumbo/Large.

They are 100% biodegradable, non-toxic spheres. 

Last, is the material inside known as Hydrogel, is truly a magical miracle material! It is being used in multiple applications. For this article, we are discussing the Hydrogel as a novelty Vase Filler product. Later in our article, we will briefly touch on the other applications of Hydrogel, within our Aliases: Scientific Names. 


Magic Water Beads disappear in a water filled Vase! 

The illusion happens since the light refraction and reflection upon the Water Beads is different within the medium of water to that of air. 

The hydrated Water Beads are about 99% water. So Water Beads and water itself have virtually the same refractive index; or meaning how the light shines through them as translucent/transparent objects/mediums. 

The Vase with air pockets around and between the Water Beads, reflect and refract the light; the air makes the light refraction bounce all over the place. The clear vase is obscured by the light refraction and reflection put upon the Water Beads. The Water Beads are seen as individual orbs all packed in together. 

When the air is pushed up and out of the vase by adding water,… the Water Beads and the water pockets around and between the Water Beads, become as one solid volume of water. This time the light refraction goes straight through the vase, the water beads, the water, and completely through to the other side! Thus rendering the Water Beads invisible! 


  • eFavorMart
    Has the absolute lowest price! The quality is excellent. The 11 colors all are vibrant! Select each color sold as either the Small size or the Large size; or get both as the cost is so low!
  • eBay
    has many brands.
  • Etsy
    is a good market for homemade Water Beads.


Mix Effect: 

Intermix a few Water Bead colors together, and throughout the vase. Experiment with equal amounts of 2 to 3 colors. 

This effect celebrates the colors of an Event, Holiday, or Occassion. 

 Use it with and without water. 

Mix Effect examples:

  • Red-White for Christmas 
  • Red-White-Blue for 4th of July

Rainbow Mix Effect: 

Take the Mix Effect to the extreme. Intermix the entire spectrum of Water Bead colors together. 

Several manufacturers sell a color mix Water Beads, marketed as Rainbow. 

Or mix Your own. Remember, You have 12 to choose from! More colors even, if You dye them using colored waters. 

Stripe Effect: 

Use layers of separate colored Water Beads, at different levels. Here again, experiment with equal amounts of 2 to 3 colors. 

Experiment with and without water. 

Use the celebrated traditional colors to suggest an Event, Holiday, or Occasion. 

Layer Effect examples (as the layers are created up):  

  • Red-White for Christmas
  • Red-White-Blue for 4th of July 
  • Yellow-Orange-White to suggest Halloween Candy Corn

Layer Effect variation: 

  • Using the 2 colors of Red-White for Christmas… what is to say You should only do one set of layers? Experiment with two or three sets of layers. So the final result will be Red-White-Red-White-Red-White perhaps. 

Layer Effect abstract: 

  • The layered colors may suggest an abstract piece. Using Blue-Clear-White-Clear-White-Clear may suggest an ocean and cloud scene. 

Multi Size Effect: 

Use different sized Water Beads. 

A few manufacturers make jumbo size Water Beads. Create a floating effect using a few jumbo colored Water Beads in among clear Water Beads, and of course water. 

Gradient Effect: 

This is the hybrid of using both the Layer Effect and the Mix Effect together.  

Essentially the effect gradually transitions vertically from one color to another color. 

We are using layers of colored Water Beads that are separated by the amount of

For Best to use just 2 colors with this effect. 

Ideally knowing the total amount of Water Beads that are needed to fill the vase is a plus. 

The more layers that are prepared, the better the effect. The more divided you do it, the better the effect will look. 

There is a little bit of preparation involved. 

There is some preparation involved with the Gradient Effect. Here are the steps…

  • Ideally we need a baseline to begin. How many Water Beads will it take to fill the vase completely? Then we know the half amount of each color. 
  • Carefully fill the vase completely with one solid color of Water Beads, named as Color A. 
  • Now carefully pour out those Water Beads Color A into a Serving Bowl or other container. This represents the total number of Water Beads needed.
    But we are using 2 colors, so use the one half.
    Set aside the other half, as they are not needed… (at least for this one vase).
  • Note in measuring the total amount of Water Beads…
    The artistic method is simply to use your brain and eyes, to measure the amount of Water Beads in the Bowl.
    The scientific method is to use a precise food scale. Perhaps use this method if you are an Event Planner and assembling more than one vase.
  • In a second bowl, pour in equal amounts of Water Beads Color B to that of Color A. It helps if the bowls are also the same. 
  • Now we are ready to begin our Gradient Layer & Mix Effect.
    We have 2 Colors of Water Beads of equal amounts, that together when combined will completely fill the vase. 
  • Divide each color into equal piles. How many layers of refinement do You wish the Gradient transition to be? My father and I figured up the percentage math, and present it here in the easiest way. 
  • So let’s run through the most simple configuration with 2 layers containing a color.

    The Layers are presented here in text format, parallel to that of how they would be viewed vertically in the vase.

    Layer 0 has 0% of Color A,… and 100% of Color B.
    Layer 1 has 50% of Color A,… and 50% of Color B.
    Layer 2 has 100% of Color A,… and 0% of Color B.

    Note that our perspective is focused on the bottom most color in the vase for math simplicity.

    Also note that everytime a layer is added, it is added to the bottom of the vase. (So if we added a Layer 3, it would be the bottom most. Layer 4 would be the bottom most. Etc. etc. This idea will congeal, as the optimal way to present the material, as we progress further along.)

    Here is the pre-assemble.

    Separate Color A into equal piles, based on the layers. Each Layer equals that many number of piles. A tabletop is best for this.


    Make 0 piles of Color A for Layer 0. 
    Make 1 pile of Color A for Layer 1. 
    Make 2 piles of Color A for Layer 2.

    Align the piles on the tabletop.

    Do the same for Color B in equal piles, but mirror/reverse.

    Make 2 piles of Color B for Layer 0. 
    Make 1 pile of Color B for Layer 1. 
    Make 0 piles of Color B for Layer 2.

    Align the piles of Color B, parallel to the piles of Color A.

    Mix together all the overlapping piles. For this example it is only Layer 1, the middle layer, with equal parts of Color A and Color B.

    Pre-assembly is finished.

    Next is assembly into the vase. Carefully pour in the Layers one-by-one into the vase… Voila!

  • The more Layers assembled into the vase, means the more refined the transition of the Gradient Effect will appear.
  • 3 Layers assembled in the Vase, equates in the pre-assembly in measuring the total amount of the Color to include an additional 3 piles.


    Layer 0 receives 0 piles of Color A, and 3 piles of Color B.
    Layer 1 receives 1 pile of Color A, and 2 piles of Color B.
    Layer 2 receives 2 piles of Color A, and 1 pile of Color B. 
    Layer 3 receives 3 piles of Color A, and 0 piles of Color B.
  • Each additional transition layer, equates to adding that many piles to the total equation.
  • So 4 Layers would simply add 4 piles to the total number of piles. For a total of pre-assembling 10 piles (0 + 1 + 2 + 3 + 4).

    4 Layers is a good gradient effect. The math works nicely.

    Layer 0 has 0% of Color A,… and 100% of Color B.
    Level 1 has 25% of Color A,… and 75% of Color B.
    Level 2 has 50% of Color A,… and 50% of Color B.
    Level 3 has 75% of Color A,… and 25% of Color B.
    Level 4 has 100% of Color A,… and 0% of Color B.

Float Effect: 

Objects appear to float like magic in a vase, when surrounded and encased by Water Beads and water! 

Scoop in Water Beads. Place in the Object. Scoop in more Water Beads. Pour in water. 

The Object is suspended by the Water Beads, rendering the floating effect.  


Magic Water Beads have been given many other names. Let’s explore to help You in purchasing. 

Common Names: 

These other Common Names are generic names to classify what they are. They are in order of most to least commonly used.

  1. Water Beads
  2. Water Gels 
  3. Water Gel Beads
  4. Water Crystal Beads 
  5. Water Marbles 
  6. Hydrogel Water Balls 
  7. Gel Beads
  8. Jelly Beads 
  9. Jelly Gels 
  10. Aqua Beads 
  11. Aqua Gels

Manufacturer/Brand Names & Product Names: 

These Brand Names and or Product Names have simply been put in alphabetical order. The Manufacturers range from Vase Filler companies, to Toy companies, to Horticulture companies, to independent Etsy companies.  

  • Ashland: Water Jewels 
  • Ainolway: Water Beads
  • Anstoy: Water Beads 
  • Babiya: XL Water Beads 
  • Big Mo’s Toys: Water Magic Beads
  • Bymore: Water Gel Beads
  • Elongdi: Water Beads
  • Hicarer: Water Crystal Beads
  • iTrunk: XL Water Beads
  • Jangostor: Large Water Beads 
  • Jazzair: Large Water Beads 
  • Jelly Beadz Water Beads
  • Leeche: Giant Gel Beads
  • Likayble: Water Beans (yes Beans… not a typo)
  • Li’l Gen: Water Beads
  • Magic Beadz: Magic Beadz 
  • MarvelBeads: MarvelBeads
  • NOTCHIS: Water Beads 
  • OEEKOI: Water Beads  
  • Orbeez: Water Beads
  • Sooper Beads: Sooper Beads
  • Squoosh-O’s: Water Beads 
  • SunRise: Water Beads 
  • Super Z Outlet: Water Gel Beads 
  • UMIKU: Water Beads 
  • USFEEL: Water Beads

Scientific Names: 

Magic Water Beads consist of Sodium Acrylate that has been encapsulated. The Sodium Acrylate inside, is a polymer gel crystal power that is super water/liquid absorbent. 

Sodium Acrylate is also known scientifically as Hydrogel as a straightforward name. So we shall also refer to it as Hydrogel. 

So Hydrogel comes two ways: encapsulated crystals and just plain crystals. Let’s explain, so You are in the known. 

For our article, we are referring to the Hydrogel powder crystals that have been encapsulated by its outer permeable elastic membrane. These such scientific names are used for our Magic Water Beads: 

  • Hydrogel Beads 
  • Polymer Beads 
  • SAP Spheres (Super Absorbent Polymer) Spheres

To be thorough but brief,… Hydrogel has many other applications! 

Hydrogel is now being used in the Agricultural market on a grand scale to grow crops with much less water irrigation! It has been a decade since Hydrogel was re-introduced and perfected. We now are growing food with much less water, to meet the expanding needs for an increasing human population. (Prior to that, it was first introduced about 50 Years before, in the 1960’s by the USDA to help farmers, but regrettably at the time, the early hydrogel was a poor quality product.)

Today’s Hydrogel is also used for the Agricultural market on a small scale, marketed to the home gardener. Hydrogel is put into potting soils for house plants. Water Your potted plants once every 30 Days, instead of once every 7 days!

Hydrogel is also used inside of Diapers both for babies and adults, and Sanitary Napkins for Women.

Hydrogel is used in the skin care and cosmetics products, to moisturize as well as retain the moisture on the face and body. 

Hydrogel is even used as the material in flexible disposable contact lenses!

Hydrogel is used in the medical field to treat burns and bruises, known as BioHydrogel. The direct gel and or soothing pads provide a cooling effect while hydrating the affected area.

Finally, there are new advancements on the horizon for this Magical Miracle Material. 

In all these applications, these such terms will be found: 

  • Root Watering Crystals 
  • Root Watering Granules 
  • Water Retention Crystals 
  • Water Retention Granules 
  • Water Storing Crystals 
  • Water Gel Crystals 
  • Water Crystals 
  • Water Granules 
  • Crystal Soil
  • Gel Soil 
  • Ghost Crystals 
  • Aqua Soil Water Crystals


It has come to our attention there is confusion on Vase Filler product terms, involving Water Beads vs “Floating Pearls™”… even with Event Professionals in the marketplace! 

When You are searching for Magic Water Beads, You may come across terms such as “Water Pearls” or “Water Gels” or “Water Jewels” or even “Liquid Gems”… so we felt it is well overdue for a brief Vase Filler Product Clarification! 

Vase Fillers can be our fun soft squishy bouncy Magic Water Beads that we have been discussing… period. 

Vase Fillers can also be other objects besides our Magic Water Beads… such as the decorative solid hard items that are opaque/translucent. They go by the names as Vase Pearls, Vase Gems, and other many various materials and terms. Add in some decorative Vase jewelry necklace “Beads”, and You can begin to see where the terms start to blur the line.

Furthermore, Vase Fillers such as Pearls/Gems/Beads are often used in conjunction with Water Beads, together within one Vase… further blurring the lines. 

In fact we explored using Clear Water Beads and Pearls in our “EFFECTS: Object Floating Effect” example. The Clear Water Beads surround the Pearls, making the Pearls appear to float.

The Vase Pearlfection company are the geniuses behind the “Floating Pearls™”. The Pearls come in a color set with 3 included orb sizes. The surface is seamless and has no unsightly holes. The “Floating Pearls™” are offered in 20 Colors!

Finally, Water Beads and Pearls/Gems, simply,… are both used as Vase Fillers, whether together or separate; blurring the line even further. 

However, understand they are two separate products. 

Criss crossing the two terms as a hybrid term of each other… such as “Water Pearls” or “Water Gems”, is making up products/terms that do not exist, (or at least yet), that are inaccurate, and therefore are false. 

Hopefully this helps save You an hour’s worth of time, when you are confronted with these terms that may appear confusing. 

Demand the original and the best.


Thank You for investing Your time with us today! You are most appreciated! 

Magic Water Beads are a trendy novelty product used as Vase Filler Centerpieces. 

You now have a better understanding in Magic Water Beads and the questions that surround them. 

You now know what makes them magic. 

You know they are safe. 

You have several ideas for the many effects that may be done with them. 

You know some of the many names they go by. 

You have an appreciation for their many applications. 

You know what they are, and why they were created. 

You are more informed on the Vase Filler terms. 

Finally You know where to buy them. 

Let us know in the comments below if You may have additional questions and or ideas to share with the Event Community. 


Check out our friend Incredible Edible Crafts !
Lana Glass has assembled some great resources where You may learn the art of amazing Edible Centerpieces! 


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