Introduction: Glow Sneakers

Picture of Glow Sneakers

Do you have a pair of Converse? Maybe. If you have a pair, do you love them? Of course you do. You know what would make them even cooler? If they glowed. Yup. Glowing. Sneakers.

**Please use caution when using paint of any kind. Make sure to wear a mask as to not inhale any paint fumes. As always, be safe and have fun making!**

Side Note: I've been a big fan of Instructables for a long time, thank you to everyone for the positive response that this project has received. It really means a lot to me, everybody. (-:

Step 1: Quick Science Lesson!

Picture of Quick Science Lesson!

Have you ever wondered why Ultra Violet Lights make certain things glow? Often called a black light, these are light bulbs designed to emit ultra-violet light. The reason they're sometimes called "black" is because if you look at the actual bulb it doesn't seem very bright (like a a dim violet color) and if you take a black light into a dark room it doesn't really brighten it that much... the room remains almost black. Thus, black light. However these bulbs do emit lots of light, it’s just that we can’t see it! Certain materials have the special ability to absorb ultra-violet light and re-emit the light at lower frequencies that our eyes are able to see. This is called fluorescence. These materials are sometimes found in jackets, shoes, shirts, and when we walk near a black-light they seem to "glow" because they are translating the invisible ultra-violet light into easy to see colors. What we are doing with these sneakers is coating them with paint mixed with phosphorescent pigments, which when combined with a black light give it it's cool glowing effect.

Step 2: Here's What You'll Need

Picture of Here's What You'll Need

Your rad pair of sneaks'
Glow in the dark paint (mine dries clear)
A cotton swab
A black light (to add to the awesome)

Step 3: Prepare the Swab!

Picture of Prepare the Swab!

Dip (or spray) some paint onto the swab. In this step you're going to glaze over the logo-patch. Cover the whole circle by swabbing it gently. Depending on what paint you use, use light pressure when covering because too much pressure might erode the logo. Do this with great care so that you don't get any on the canvas as well. 

Step 4: Rubber Toe and Walls

Picture of Rubber Toe and Walls

That swab will not be needed anymore. Put some painters tape where the canvas and rubber meet. Make sure to cover the rubber evenly so that later when you try them on in the dark, it all glows the same brightness. You'll want to put a few coats on, and let them dry accordingly.

Step 5: Lace 'Em Up

Picture of Lace 'Em Up

As a bonus, feel free to give your laces a touch of the magic! If you indeed want to include the laces in this project, I'm not sure paint is the way to do so. I would suggest drawing over them with a highlighter color of your choice, it gives the laces a cool look during the day as well. Highlighters glow under a black light, but do not continue to glow after the light is pointed away. Please keep in mind that the highlighters will color the laces unlike the paint. Whichever you choose to do,  I'm sure they'll look great and I wish you the best

Step 6: Take Them Out for a Spin!

Picture of Take Them Out for a Spin!

That should do; now all that's needed is an equally cool person to wear these cool sneakers! Charge them up with your black light before you leave (or bring one with you!) and enjoy. Have fun, nightwalkers!


SeanaMichell made it! (author)2016-12-04

I made mine and they look so cool thank you!!!?

Adriw123 (author)2016-06-05

has anyone made these already

Johnny J (author)2015-01-11

For the laces, you could use glow-in-the-dark paracord.
It's available pretty cheap on eBay, and works much better than painting the laces. ;)

pamelaisley1123 (author)Johnny J2016-03-18

they sell glow in the dark laces at target for cheap :)

KingToni11 (author)2015-07-28

How long will the glow paint last for

AIDAN45 (author)2015-02-05

can u do this with nikes or not

Umamaheswari Anandane (author)2014-05-29

Looks easy and lovable :)

emilyvanleemput (author)2014-05-25

Oh, I love these!!

Chikpeas Brother (author)2014-01-17

Totally awesome idea! Fiendishly simple, yet gets onlookers asking what site you bought them from, and how much they were. :)

nerfrocketeer (author)2013-10-25

Haha I have that spray paint as well! Didst thou goeth tither and yon to Michaels by chance? XD


Thou hast gone to ye local Amazonians!

XD I obtainethed mine from the monsigneur Micheals shoppe yonder downe the way.

Joanjett7737 (author)2013-10-26

Where do you get the glowing spray paint?, but if you're looking to buy glow paint you could probably find better paint for this job.

I have seen it at Michael's. Wait for a 40% off coupon before you buy.

SavageSam (author)2013-10-27

One word: AWESOME!

trans4mation (author)SavageSam2013-10-27

Thank you for your interest in this project!

SavageSam (author)trans4mation2013-10-27

Trans4mation, I'm going to try painting my bike frame. I did a search on GITD bike and I also wound up @ an LED site for some UV LEDs. Wish me luck.

porcupinemamma (author)SavageSam2013-12-28

Please let me know if that works for you. It would make a priceless safety feature!
Huge heart break happened in our neighbourhood when a little boy riding his bike at night, was killed by a car driver who did not see him

trans4mation (author)SavageSam2013-10-27

Are you planning to mount UV LED's to your painted bike for a continuous glow as you ride? Because that sounds like an incredible idea! I'd love to see pictures of your bike once its done, if you wanted to post them in the comments. You could even wear your glowing shoes on your glowing bike. You'll go far, best of luck!

SavageSam (author)trans4mation2013-10-28

Thanks! Going to Eek out the last of the riding weather before I tear it apart. But the plan is to paint just the frame (maybe the rims later) using the good stuff. and mount a string of UV LEDs as the light source.

trans4mation (author)SavageSam2013-10-28

I look forward to hearing how it goes, SavageSam. (:

porcupinemamma (author)SavageSam2013-12-28

If Hobby Lobby has an Iphone ap the will give you alerts and coupons like Michael's does

porcupinemamma (author)2013-12-28

Love that you gave such a clear science explanation! I can't wait to try out your brilliant idea!

hnguyen1 (author)2013-10-29

Does that paint leave a greenish hue on the white surface like glow-in-the-dark stars?

trans4mation (author)hnguyen12013-10-29

On a scale of 1 to 100 percent of how green it looks, it's probably a 5. I would recommend this paint for this project as it glowed well for me. It only tints it slightly, but until the lights get turned out, they look like your ordinary All Stars. That, in my opinion, is what I find neat about them. (-:

Missybutter (author)2013-10-28

I have found the Krylon Paint at Michaels on sale for 2/$10.00. However, it is a better deal to use Michaels or Hobby Lobby the "40 percent off any regular priced item coupon" when they are not on "sale." And Hobby Lobby lets you use the coupon for online shopping.

trans4mation (author)Missybutter2013-10-28

I've just gotten a hobby lobby in my area recently, I'll have to stop by and check out the paint supply they have. Thanks for the tip!

craft-n-genius (author)2013-10-27

That's neat! Thanks for sharing :)

Totally, sharing is caring!

aneves2 (author)2013-10-27

Very cool!

trans4mation (author)aneves22013-10-27

Thank you aneves2, I appreciate it.

Andrew Garfield (author)2013-10-26

why did you use painters tape

The tape is so that the paint does not get on the fabric, which on converse is called 'canvas'. This certain paint glows best on smooth white surfaces such as the rubber of the shoe, and it looks nicest that way. (-:

Darlingtonusa (author)2013-10-25

Very cool!

I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. Have a wonderful day!

Joanjett7737 (author)2013-10-25

That is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious!

So is your comment! (:

sh!nyl!ght (author)2013-10-25

Pretty ingenious idea! Thanks for sharing!

trans4mation (author)sh!nyl!ght2013-10-25

Thank you for the support!

KemikalzAreFun (author)2013-10-25

This.. Is awesome 0.0
Can't you use just a normal LED flashlight though? Cuz glow "stuff" doesn't need black light to charge up I don't think.

Great question! UV light has a slightly different effect on glowing things. An Ultra Violet light will make them glow very brightly, within only a few seconds of pointing at the object. LED lights work just as well, but you have to hold them there much longer to get the same effect. Another alternative is to place them out in the sun (or if you're rocking these shoes, wear them all day) and by the time the sun sets, it should be glowing brightly. I hope I explained this decently :P

About This Instructable




Bio: I have a burning passion for building and creating things, and that's why I admire Instructables so much - everybody welcomes and helps inspire creativity.
More by trans4mation:Real Captain America ShieldGoPro Dog CollarParacord Storage - Tangle Free!
Add instructable to: