In our Summer Issue of Prairie Hive Magazine, we put together an easy, fun family style summer dinner (if you haven’t seen it yet, check it out HERE! ) – and couldn’t resist a little DIY to go along with it!
As you celebrate summer, kids are often involved, and we have a perfect project for both kids and adults to bring a little whimsy to an outdoor tabletop, yard party – or just a fun Wednesday night! Glow-in-the-Dark Jars are a fun way to add lighting and sparkle to outside when electricity isn’t an option. I’ve seen these called fairy or firefly jars – take your pick, either is a great way to spark a kids imagination.
After a little research, there are a couple of ways to get the end result – an option using glow sticks, which is better for older kids or adults; and an option with glow-in-the-dark paint that works great for younger kids.
Jars (any size will work!)
Glow Jars using Glowsticks
There are a couple of reasons this version works best for older kids or adults – first, it takes FOREVER. Also, did you know that when you crack glowsticks, what’s actually cracking inside are shards of glass? I didn’t. So, use caution. Also the chemical inside the sticks isn’t great for your skin, so gloves would be a good idea as well.
As you can see from the photos, we started these with the glitter already in the jar – it’s just a little less gloppy getting in in there before you start.
First, “crack” the glowsticks. Be really thorough – remember that glass I mentioned before? If it isn’t broken up enough it can clog up the tube and block all the liquid from coming out. Next, cut the end off the glowstick and allow the liquid to drip down into the jar. We found that a pair of needlenose pliers can help you squeeze more of the liquid out – do it toothpaste style and start at the top. I used 3 glowsticks for these small jars – gauge according to your jar size and how much glow you want.
After you squeeze all the liquid out (keep a wet paper towel handy in case it splatters on you or anything nearby!), close up the jar and shake it. This will distribute the glitter around the glow liquid and give it a nice sparkle.
You’re good to go! Remember, the glow stick liquid will only last a couple of hours so don’t make these too early in the day. They give a great strong glow though, and don’t require any sunlight to “charge” them up.
Glow Jars with Glow-in-the-Dark Paint
The bonus to these is that they are re-usable – just put them back in the light and the paint will “recharge”. However, the paint will need to be put in the sunlight for a while before you get a really good glow out of them, so keep that in mind.
It’s pretty easy (as it should be for kids!) – just dip a paint brush in the glow paint and spatter or paint it on the inside of the jar.
I added glitter to these as well and it gave them a little extra shine.
Here they are in the daylight….
At dusk… (I could see these from across the yard, although it’s a little hard to capture!)
And taken inside in a darkened room. The glow paint version needed a little longer in the sun to charge up – my mistake for making them too late in the day!
As we do on Wednesdays, we took our DIY ideas to the Great Day Green Country set – check it out! (and excuse the epic fail where the glow jars wouldn’t light up on TV).