How to make a glowing firefly jar night light

How to make a glowing firefly jar night light

At Bedtime Board Game we are always striving to help young kids and their families take the struggle out of bedtime. Our game provides a playful, cooperative and customizable way for children to accomplish bedtime tasks like putting pajamas on, bathing, brushing teeth and putting toys away. They earn rewards along the way, and their parents and caregivers earn the joy of a fun -- rather than forced -- evening routine.

Our team is also constantly on the lookout for other tools, tips and products that can improve families’ evening routines and sleep experiences, especially when they provide opportunities for bonding. That’s why we’re proud to present our new series of bedroom and sleep-themed craft projects. The projects will be quick and easy for parents to do with their children, often with common household materials. And the finished projects will be great additions to children's bedrooms, adding to the sense of love and calm they feel when getting tucked into bed.

Make Your Own Glow-in-the-Dark Firefly Jar

Bedtime Board Game’s version of this magical night light was inspired by’s universe jar. It’s a fun and easy project for kids to do with a little help from parents, and children are excited to turn off their bedroom lights at night to see their creations glow.


  • Clean mason jar (or other glass jar) with lid
  • Paint brush
  • Glow-in-the-dark t-shirt paint in multiple colors
  • Optional: Twine
  • Optional: Silk leaves and flowers
  • Optional: Hot glue gun

Step 1: Paint the glowing fireflies

Using a paper plate as a palette, squeeze dollops of each color of glowing t-shirt paint. (We used Tulip brand’s six pack.) Using a fine-tipped paint brush, apply thick dots of paint to the inside of the jar, starting at the bottom and working up. It’s fun to alternate colors and brush sizes to create your firefly-filled night. The more dots you apply, the brighter your jar will glow in the dark.

Step 2: Paint the jar lid

Using a paint brush or squeezing directly from the paint bottle, create a design on the top of the jar lid.

Step 3: Paint the silk flowers (optional)

If you’d like to adorn the top of the jar with glowing flowers like we did, brush the flower and leaf surfaces with a coat of glowing paint. Then outline the edges of the leaves and flowers with a thick line of paint squeezed directly from the bottle. 

Step 4: Let the glowing paint dry

All the painted items will need to dry for several hours. We let ours dry over night.

Step 5: Wrap twine around the jar (optional)

We intended to cover our jar’s rim in a decorative twine bow (as shown in our materials), but we omitted it in the end because our glowing flowers obscured the twine.

Step 6: Glue silk flowers (optional)

Identify the side you want to be the front of the jar, and using a hot glue gun, secure the painted leaves and flowers to the front rim of the jar. Remember to leave enough space for the lid to screw on. (For a different aesthetic, you could try gluing other glowing items here, like plastic glow-in-the-dark stars.)

Step 7: Let the paint soak up some sun

The painted fireflies will glow their brightest after sitting for an hour or two in bright sunlight. (We tried leaving the jar under indoor LED light bulbs, and it didn’t work as well.) The firefly jar also looks terrific under a black light (which is what we used to take the photos for this post). 


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