Glow in the Dark Flower

With Halloween around the corner and the days turning shorter and darker, my kids have been obsessed with all things glow-in-the-dark. With their newfound interest, we decided to try out this DIY glowing project. All you need is a flower and a few household objects. What else can you make glow?

Step-by-step tutorial

  • Step 1

    Test a highlighter and see if it glows under the black fluorescent light. We tested a few colors and found that yellow worked best!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 1

  • Step 2

    Partly fill up the clear vase with water.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 2

  • Step 3

    Use a box cutter to cut open the highlighter until you reach the inner fibers, which contain the ink.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 3

  • Step 4

    Remove the ink fibers from the pen base and place them into the water.

    Photo reference of how to complete step 4

  • Step 5

    Take your white flower and cut the end so that it will be able to take up water efficiently. 

    Photo reference of how to complete step 5

  • Tip

    Cutting the stem diagonally increases the surface area exposed to the water. This allows the flower to "drink" more of the low water in a shorter period of time.

  • Step 6

    Place the flower into the vase. Allow the flower to sit in the water for several hours to absorb the fluorescent highlighter ink!

    Photo reference of how to complete step 6

  • Step 7

    When the flower has adsorbed the water, its petals will glow! 

    Photo reference of how to complete step 7

  • Learn moreMagnifying graphic

    What's going on?

    This project uses a "black light" to make a flower glow. Black lights look a little bit purple, but it's the light they produce that you can't see that's really interesting. Black lights produce ultraviolet (UV) light. Our eyes can't perceive UV light, but our skin can feel it; UV light is the reason we get sunburns.

    Some substances, like the ink in many highlighter pens, will glow under a UV light. The fluorescent ink absorbs the energy in the UV light, and then emits it as visible light. Groovy!

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