Glowing Alien in a Jar




I made a couple of these for a Yuri's Night ( party. The alien sits in a glowing liquid and the effect looks pretty cool in a dark room.

The materials required are
1) A jar with a lid that is thick enough to conceal a battery pack and some LEDs
2) Glow water made from florescent dye extracted from a highlighter pen (
3) Alien Embryo Growing Pet (
4) 4.5V Battery pack (
5) Protostack half size prototyping board (
6) 2.7 ohm resistor (1W)
7) 6 x High Power Ultra Violet LEDs (

Step 1: Grow the Alien Embryo and Immerse It in Glow Water

Put the alien egg in water for about 3 days. During this time it will break out of its egg to about 3 times its original size.

Fill the jar with the glow water and place the alien embryo inside.

Step 2: Cut the Prototyping Board to Size

The prototyping board was slightly too big for the jar I selected, so I cut off about 1 cm from each end. This was a simple case of scoring and snapping the board.

Step 3: Add the Resistors and LEDs

Add the LEDs and resistors. You will note 2 pen marks on the board. This is where the 4.5 battery pack will be connected to.

Each LED has 2 leads, with one lead shorter than the other. The LEDs are connected directly to the positive and ground power rails with the short lead going into the ground rail.

On this particular board the positive rail has a solid white shading, whilst the ground rail has just the outline.

Step 4: Spray the Board With a PCB Varnish

We want some degree of water resistance as the glow water may splash onto the board. A PCB varnish will help here.

Step 5: Add the Battery Pack

Solder the 4.5V battery pack onto the board

Step 6: Tape Up the Board and Add Double Sided Tape

Tape up the board with electrical tape to give it another level of water resistance then add double sided tape to the bottom.

Step 7: Stick the Board to the Inside of the Lid

Step 8: Sit Back and Admire Your Handywork

Pop the lid onto the jar, turn the light off and enjoy.

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82 Discussions


5 years ago

its cool but i use the other materials


You could use a black light LEDs
combined with black light dye ($8.)

Or go with color changing LEDs:

Or multi-LEDs (red) that can be spaced 9" apart (for several jars):

Cool idea - when I get my man cave I'd like to have some glowing stuff :)

1 reply

8 years ago on Step 8

You could add a switch on the side of the jar so you don't have to open up the jar to turn it off. Plus, it will save on battery life. Make sure you waterproof the wiring on the switch, or it will compromise all your hard work.

1 reply

Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

you know, a better idea may be to make it solar powered, that way the battery wont run out


8 years ago on Introduction

you could also do this for a ufo obducting a person..... use a cheap action figure or a lego figure inside and decorate the jar lid to look like an ufo.


Great my students will be freaked out
how about a reed switch so when you wave your hand above it it lights up. You could just stick a magnet to the lid when you wanted to turn it on and off.


10 years ago on Introduction

I think those jar are for holding cottonballs that doctors uses, or one of the lab jars they use for studying. take my guess

2 replies

10 years ago on Introduction

these pesky aliens taunt me when i try to sleep. i will make this to scare them off.

1 reply

Why not funk it up with EL wires going to the brain or heart keeping it alive with special fluid. Creepy. Another awesome project from another very talented instructable. I wish I had months of spare time to make every project on Instructables.

1 reply

8 years ago on Introduction

im just gonna put a fake eye or somethin in it. heheehe


So are there any alternatives to the highlighter dye? It looks great, but I want to do several and that would take a lot of pens. Thanks


9 years ago on Step 8

Awesome instructable! I've lamps like this before in Spencer's, but there's just so much more satisfaction in making your own, you know? Besides. The green glow in your version is consistent, while the Spencer's version had its illumination strictly from the lightsource and not the liquid as well.

Anyways, I've an idea with keeping the alien fetus suspended in a more aesthetic manner. Maybe, while implanting a fishing weight into the bottom, you implant a pocket of air into the top of its head? The fetus will stand upright without having to be attached to any part of the jar, so it could drift and float too.


10 years ago on Step 8

I wonder if simply using several small "glow sticks" glued to the underside of the cap would also work. Could be a lot less work and completely waterproof.