I had never thrown a blacklight party before and I found out the hard way that it is a crap shoot whether a product will react with blacklights or not. I thought I would share some of the products with which we had success, to save you a little bit of the searching I had to do. Most of these glow party decorations were from the dollar store or purchased very cheaply from a big box store.
I set up several blacklights in our dining room and created a bunch of decorations that would react with those lights. To make sure our house lights weren’t interfering with the blacklights in the dining room, I bought several black plastic tablecloths and hung them over the entries into the room. I cut long strips up the tablecloths to make them more like fringe curtains, so people could easily pass through them. I also bought a few sheets of black posterboard from the dollar store to black out the dining room window. Once the room was good and dark, I set to work on the glowing decorations.
Watch the video to see these projects in action at the party:
- neon posterboard: 0:04
- straw garland: 0:24
- neon slinkies: 0:27
- neon confetti: 0:17
I found a package of neon posterboard shapes at my local Dollar Tree, but you can also use regular neon posterboard and cut it into whatever shapes you would like. I taped the shapes up around the dining room to add pops of glowing color all around the room. If you draw on the posterboard with a permanent marker, the marker will seem like black negative space against the glowing posterboard.
I had trouble finding streamers that reacted with blacklight, so I decided to make some simple garlands instead. I bought a package of neon straws and cut them into 1-2 inch lengths.
Before threading them onto the yarn, I used transparent tape to create an aglet (thanks, Phineas and Ferb for teaching me that word) around the end of the yarn. This prevents the yarn from fraying, making threading the beads much easier.
My kids helped me create several long garlands for the party, and we only used one package of straws.
I wandered around all three Dollar Trees in town, grabbing up anything that looked like it would glow in the dark or react with blacklights. My best surprise find were these little neon slinkies from the party favor aisle. They come in a package of six, and they respond beautifully to blacklight. I stretched them out a bit and then taped them to the dining room ceiling for some added color.
I had some AstroBrights paper left over from this project, so I cut that up into confetti to spread on the food table as well. None of these decorations were particularly difficult to make or expensive to buy, but they way they reacted under the blacklights gave them a great WOW! factor.
In the toy room, I spread a ton of glow necklaces and bracelets out on the table for the kids to wear and take home. My daughter and I also made glow in the dark name necklaces for each guest.
While regular lights charge up glow in the dark pigments pretty well, blacklights work even better. When the kids spent time getting food in the blacklight-lit dining room, their necklaces glowed like crazy for quite a while after.
Finally, I bought some LED glow balloons and put them in the toy room as well. I pumped some Kidz Bop music and the kids had a great time dancing and bopping each other with the balloons. I didn’t even plan any games for this party, and the kids just made their own fun!
I purchased a good amount of the supplies for this party at Dollar Tree, but I also rounded up links to places where you can buy them online in case you don’t have a Dollar Tree near you. These are all affiliate links, if you make a purchase (of anything on Amazon, not just these items) after clicking through, I will earn a small commission. Ads and affiliate links are the way I am able to keep this website running and to offer you free tutorials all year long. Thank you so much for supporting me and Mad in Crafts!
Neon posterboard signs
Glow in the dark pony beads
Glow in the dark alphabet beads – Walmart
Rainbow craft lacing
Check out these other fun DIY party themes: