How to: Make Glowing Firefly Jars

My birthday is on June 17th, which, when you're a kid, is a pretty great day for a birthday. You never have to go to school, the activity options are endless, and your party can always include a squirt gun fight.

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But, each year I also get another special, seasonal gift. Even now, among the good times with families and friends, I always see the first fireflies of the year on my birthday. It started with those outdoor parties and cookouts as a kid, and continued through the bonfires of high school, the theme parks of college, and now, a quiet evening walk with the people I love the most. Perhaps I don't notice them in the days before, but every year, it just happens: the lightning bugs come out. So, as you can guess, I kinda love them, in that six-year-old kid sorta way. So, I do feel a special sentiment towards these firefly-alike Mason jars.

Unfortunately, they seem to be one of those internet phenomena where things get passed around, and no one seems to know the original source. Therefore, there aren't any specific step by step directions, but if there were, I'd imagine they'd go like this:

"Flick glow-in-the-dark paint onto the inside of a mason jar. Allow to dry."

Make 'em. Tonight.

Update: Cyndee, in the comments below, was able to locate a how-to from what seems like the author of the original photograph. Check it out here.

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Joann on Jul 15, 2015:

Hayley,where do you live?
We have a craft store called Mochaels or a JoAnn fabric.

Hayley Knowles on Jul 15, 2015:

Where can I get glow in the dark paint? The cheapest I can find it is $50 for a 500ml tub. Thats really expensive and I am 16 and can't afford it. These are the perfect Idea for my best friends birthday and I was going to suprise her but I just can't afford the paint. Does anyone have anywhere that I can get some?

Donna D on Dec 22, 2014:

firefly jars were on my 14 yr old daughter's Wanelo Christmas list- I purchased glow in the dark paint at Michael's, some brushes and putting them in a box with mason jars with this post! wish me luck !! Merry Christmas !!

7H on Apr 30, 2014:


We like your jam jars.

But we were wondering how long does the glow paint out of the glow sticks last once flicked inside the jam jar?

We are making them for a school project and wondered if they would last for a few days and then not glow anymore?

Thank you

Miss Scott and 7H

Rick on Jul 05, 2013:

I enjoyed the "bio" very much, Chris.

Dyanna on Jul 02, 2013:

A step-by-step tutorial for making these jars from the orginial creator: http://frompankawithlove.wordpress.com/2012/01/08/glowing-jar-project-varazslat-a-lakasban-enhu/

Ann on Jul 02, 2013:

Hey, my bday is June 17th too! :) Nice way to kick of summer and a new year of possibilities

Anonymous on Jun 23, 2013:

Glowsticks loose there glow though so its not such a good idea..

casey on May 08, 2013:

The picture looks more llike ultraviolet paint and a blacklight since it has that bluish glow.

Tracey on May 06, 2013:

My birthday is June 17 too!

V on Mar 15, 2013:

my birthday is also june 17! I love it. best birthdate ever:)

Geli on Feb 18, 2013:

I tested this out with glow sticks and it worked pretty good. I was able to wash it out. I want to try it with paint so that by the time it turns dark it's all charged up and it's like surprise when they start to glow.

Anonymous on Jan 06, 2013:

try glow sticks


dottie on Dec 24, 2012:

Just to mention I used Rustoleum glow in the dark on paper lanterns, it did'nt work very well, and ended up using the whole can just for one shade, its probably better used for other craft projects though.

Anonymous on Nov 08, 2012:

We have the same bday.!
i'd love to try this for my boys.!

jiako on Sep 24, 2012:

Where do you get the glow-in-the-dark paint? I used glowstick of Dollarama instead, and it turned pretty great. But yours looks better!

Anonymous on Aug 20, 2012:

You can hug me later:

Maddie on Aug 18, 2012:

Dude! we have the same birthday!

Anonymous on Jul 29, 2012:

What colors of glow in the dark paint did you use?

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