One of the best and cheapest tricks for decorating a blacklight party can be found in the office supply aisle. Yellow highlighters glow like crazy under blacklights, so you can use them to add fun glow all over the party. I used highlighters to create a blacklight reactive centerpiece and bright serving dishes for my daughter’s glow party.
I searched and searched for blacklight reactive dishes for the party. I did end up buying blacklight reactive party plates (affiliate) for the guests to use, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money on buying glowing bowls we’d never use again. I did a little experimentation and came up with this neat trick to make glowing serving dishes.
First, I bought some hard plastic serving dishes from Dollar Tree. It’s important that you make sure you buy clear plastic dishes; I found mine near the wedding section of DT. Next pick up a package of yellow highlighters (the other colors don’t work as well) and some plastic gloves. Use a pair of pliers to carefully remove the end of the highlighter so you can get at the marker core. Wearing gloves, remove the core and put it in a small disposable bowl. Add 1/2 cup of 91% rubbing alcohol to the bowl, and use your gloved hands to squeeze the ink out of the marker core. This should create a highlighter alcohol ink.
Next, protect your work surface because this will get a little messy. Use a foam brush to paint the alcohol ink onto the OUTSIDE of the plastic bowl. You don’t want the highlighter ink to come in contact with the food you will serve, so DO NOT paint the inside of the bowl. The alcohol will dry quickly, so you can apply more than one coat if you need to.
This same process looks equally cool on textured plastic dishes. Fair warning though: The highlighter ink will dry down, but some may still come off on your hands when you handle it. It washes off, but I wanted to make sure you were aware. If you are worried about the transfer, you could try sealing the ink with a clear spray sealant, but don’t get the sealant anywhere food will touch.
To make the glowing centerpiece for the food table, I filled two large glass vases with water and added one highlighter core to each vase. I let them sit for a while and then squeezed the remaining ink into the water. I filled the two smaller vases with tonic water, which glows blue under blacklight.
You can get a good look at the glowing centerpiece 21 seconds into the video. You see the blacklight reactive serving dishes at 0:12 and 0:19 in the video.