How to make homemade glow in the dark objects

Written by chelsea fitzgerald
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How to make homemade glow in the dark objects
You can make a plain baseball cap glow-in-the-dark. (cap for baseball image by terex from

Objects that glow in the dark contains phosphors. The phosphors radiate visible light once the substance is energised. You can use homemade glow paint or other materials to make just about any object glow in the dark. Creating a glow-in-the-dark project is one way to give children an interest in science. Objects painted with the substance are useful in telling ghost stories, doing experiments or even preventing toddlers from being fearful in the dark.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Petroleum jelly
  • Sheet of paper
  • Black light
  • Glow-in-the-dark powder or pigment
  • Acrylic or tempera paint
  • Small bowl
  • Baseball cap or any other item that can be painted, such as wood or paper
  • Craft or artist paintbrush
  • Pliers
  • Highlighter pen
  • Bowl of water
  • Glass jar with a screw-on lid

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  1. 1

    Dip your finger tip into a jar of petroleum jelly.

  2. 2

    Write a short message with your finger and the petroleum jelly on a piece of paper.

  3. 3

    Turn off the lights in the room and turn on the black light. The message will glow in the dark and your friends will be able to read your secret message.

  1. 1

    Mix a glow-in-the-dark powder or pigment, available at artist supply shops or craft and hobby stores, with acrylic or tempera paint in a small bowl. For a high-intensity glow, use two parts paint to one part powder. You can also buy premixed glow-in-the-dark paint.

  2. 2

    Dip your paintbrush into the paint mixture. Draw a shape, figure or write a name on the baseball cap with the paintbrush.

  3. 3

    Allow the drawing to dry thoroughly before wearing the cap. Once it is dry, the drawings will glow in the dark.

  1. 1

    Use pliers to break apart a highlighter pen.

  2. 2

    Place the highlighter felt into a small bowl of water for five or six minutes. Squeeze out the felt out to remove any remaining dye.

  3. 3

    Pour the water into a glass jar. Put the screw-on lid on your glass jar. Shake to mix thoroughly.

Tips and warnings

  • Use light-coloured objects for the best results with the glow-in-the-dark paint.

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