Glow Sneakers




About: 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.

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. (-:

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Step 1: 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

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!

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

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

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!

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!

Halloween Props Contest

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Halloween Props Contest

Make It Glow Contest

Participated in the
Make It Glow Contest



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43 Discussions


3 years ago

has anyone made these already

Johnny J

4 years ago

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. ;)

1 reply

4 years ago

How long will the glow paint last for

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


5 years ago

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

4 replies

Reply 5 years ago on Introduction

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.

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