Make Your Own Glow Sticks

Introduction: Make Your Own Glow Sticks

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

Watch the video and visit our website to learn more:
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Step 1: 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

  • Cut as close to the plug as you can.

Step 3: Cut Off Four Bulbs

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

  • 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

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

Step 9: 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!

Step 11: Did You Know?

  • 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!

Step 12:

  • Make jewelry. Wearable light? Yes! Use different-length light strings for different pieces.
  • Dance in the Dark. For a very dramatic effect, take your glow stick into a dark space.
  • Make a longer glow stick. Use two 9-volt batteries in series to power up even more bulbs for a super-long glow stick. To wire in series, connect the red wire of one snap cap to the black wire of a second snap cap. Then connect the light string to the two open wires.

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