Instructables

Make Your Own Glow Sticks

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Make a string of glowing lights that you can dance with, read by, or wear.

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Step 1: Here's what you need to make a glow stick!

Picture of Here's what you need to make a glow stick!
  • 9-volt battery
  • Battery snap cap
  • A string of ornamental lights (that can be destroyed)
  • Duct tape
  • Scissors
  • Wire strippers

Step 2: Cut off the electric plug that has the two prongs

Picture of Cut off the electric plug that has the two prongs
  • NOTE: MAKE SURE THE LIGHTS ARE NOT PLUGGED IN WHEN DOING THIS.
  • Cut as close to the plug as you can.

Step 3: Cut off four bulbs

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  • Cut the wire as close to the fifth bulb as possible so you have about three inches of wire at each end of the string.

Step 4: Separate the wires

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  • Hold the first bulb. Find the plastic-coated wire it is connected to.
  • Untwist that wire from the others. You’ll end up with one wire with four bulbs attached.

Step 5: Strip the ends of the wire

Picture of Strip the ends of the wire
  • Strip off the plastic coating so you have about ¾ of an inch of exposed metal wire at each end.
  • Be careful not to press the wire strippers so hard that you cut through the metal wire.

Step 6: Pop a snap cap onto the 9-volt battery

Picture of Pop a snap cap onto the 9-volt battery
  • Both snap cap wires should have about ½ inch of exposed metal wire at the end. Strip them if necessary.

Step 7: Make a connection

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  • Twist together one metal wire from the light string and one of the snap cap’s metal wires.
  • Use tape to make a solid connection.

Step 8: Complete the circuit

Picture of Complete the circuit
  • Complete the circuit by attaching the other two exposed wires as in Step 7.

Step 9: Test the circuit

Picture of Test the circuit
  • Does your glow stick light up? If not, press on the connections inside the tape. Also make sure you have a fresh battery.

Step 10: Dance!

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Step 11: Did you know?

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  • A circuit is a path along which electricity can travel. When you connect the wires from the lights to the wires on the snap cap, you’ve made a circuit. When all parts of the circuit are connected, electricity flows from the battery to the lights and back to the battery, making your glow stick glow!