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Glow-in-the-dark decoration ideas for Halloween

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The fluorescent effect of glow-in-the-dark paints and products can be enhanced with a black light. (©iStockphoto/Thinkstock) The fluorescent effect of glow-in-the-dark paints and products can be enhanced with a black light. (©iStockphoto/Thinkstock)


By Coletta Teske

Give your Halloween decorations an eerie air with a few carefully placed glow-in-the-dark decorations. There are many ways to use black lights, glow sticks, glow-in-the-dark paint and glowing decorations to shed a ghostly light on your Halloween festivities.

How to Use Glow-In-The-Dark Decorations

The selection of glow-in-the-dark decorations for Halloween is vast. Glow sticks can be used for spooky eyes and illuminated pumpkins. Skeletons and dancing ghouls will be more frightful wearing a coat of glowing paint. If the moon isn't full, use glowing stickers to pave the way to the haunted house. And, fluorescent fabric paints will make it easier to see the kids as they make their Trick-or-Treat rounds.

- Many glow-in-the-dark decorations must be charged. This means that they need to be held up to a light before the glow will take effect. These decorations are also most effective in the dark.

- The amount of time that the glow effect will last depends on the decoration. Sometimes the effect will last for 10 minutes while other glow-in-the-dark products will last for an hour or more.

- Decorations with the longest glow time contain zinc sulfide or strontium aluminate.

Creating Glow-In-The-Dark Effects With Black Lights

The fluorescent effect of glow-in-the-dark paints and products can be enhanced with a black light. Black lights have the added effect of causing other objects and colors to glow in the dark, even if they aren't labeled as "Glow-In-The-Dark." Place neon and bright white objects near a black light and see what happens:

- White surfaces and clothing will be highlighted while dark colors disappear into the night.

- Tonic water that contains quinine has a haunting blue glow.

- Smear petroleum jelly on windows, mirrors or sheets of paper to create glowing cryptic messages.

- Paint fabric with a laundry detergent that contains blueing agents or softening agents. These contain fluorescent dyes.

- Shine a black light on a smoking block of dry ice to make glowing fog.

- Make glowing water by breaking open a fluorescent highlighter pen and dropping the ink into a bowl or fountain of water. Please don't drink this water.

- Create a puff of smoke with your fingers by rubbing glycerol between the thumb and middle finger. Make some smoke with just a snap of the fingers.

Illuminate a Party with Glow Sticks

Glows stick can be used to create multiple effects:

- One easy way to spook the kids is to make eye-shaped cutouts in a toilet paper roll and place a glow stick inside. Hide these spooky eyes in dark corners, in the shrubs near the front door or behind curtains.

- Glow sticks are a safe way to light up a Halloween pumpkin. And, an alternative to carving the pumpkin with a knife, use an electric drill and drill large holes in a creepy pattern.

- Use glow sticks to adorn costumes to make it easier to see tiny trick-or-treaters during the dark night.

- Make a glowing ghost. Snap a glow stick, insert inside a deflated white balloon and blow up the balloon. Cover the balloon with a piece of thin white cloth and hang from the ceiling or from tree branches.

An alternative to the glow sticks is to replace light bulbs with a colored compact fluorescent twist bulb. These bulbs come in a range of neon colors.

Get Creative with Glow in the Dark Paint

There are several types of glow-in-the-dark paints that can be used to paint pumpkins, clothing and even skin. Here are some ideas for painting projects:

- Use glow-in-the-dark spray paint to draw designs on clothing. Look for a spray paint that is water washable. This is an easy way to create a skeleton costume and make costumes visible at night. There are also glow-in-the-dark fabric pens that make it easy to draw designs on costumes.

- Paint pumpkins, gravestones, plastic insects and plastic skulls with glow-in-the-dark spray paint. Cut out facial features then glue them to the pumpkins, and paint over the paper to create the jack-o-lantern's face. Remove the paper once the paint is try, and let your pumpkins glow to reveal a haunting visage.

- Give a haunted house an eerie glow. Spray paint an old sheet to make a backdrop for walls and hallways. Or, paint walls with words and symbols to direct traffic through the house of horrors.

- Create a pop of glowing color with glow-in-the-dark body paint and nail polish. If you'll be near a black light, then stark white and neon polish and paint will glow without added "glow-in-the-dark" ingredients.

Ready-Made Glow in the Dark Party Decorations

Ready-made glow-in-the-dark Halloween decorations are abundant. There is an assortment of wall decals, crawling critters, skeletons, tombstones, dinnerware and costumes to fit any Halloween decorating need. You'll also find glowing party games to keep the kids and adults busy. Get out the glow-in-the-dark balls, bats and laser swords for a ghoulish duel.

This article was originally posted on IdealHomeGarden.com

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