DIY Glow Stick Fairy Jars


Published: May 13, 2022 · Updated: May 6, 2024 by Sacha — This post may contain affiliate links. Read our full disclosure.

Do your little ones love fairies? Delight them with these super simple Glow Stick Fairy Jars! These miniature glow jars come together in under five minutes, and they make great DIY night lights or fairy garden lanterns. Such a magical craft to make for your kids!

Never made glowing fairy jars before? If so, you have to try it at least once. Not only is this craft incredibly cool, but it only requires a few minutes and a few simple supplies.

If you’re looking for a way to make bedtime more fun for your little ones, you can use these easy glow jars as DIY night lights. The glow will start out strong, but slowly fade as your kids fall asleep.

Why You’ll Love This Craft

Easy to make: This craft may look fancy, but it comes together in under 5 minutes and requires minimal effort to make.

Dollar store supplies: You won’t need any pricey or complicated supplies to do this project—in fact, you should be able to find everything you need at your local dollar store!

Totally magical: This craft is one of my kids’ all-time favorites, and although we have made it dozens of time, they are still just as amazed by it now as they were the very first time.

Safety Tip

While this craft is meant for kids to enjoy, all manipulations should be done by an adult. This project is meant to be looked at, not touched—my kids love it when I leave the jar on a shelf in their bedroom so they can look at it as they fall asleep.

If your child loves this craft and you are looking for something similar that your child can manipulate, this Glow-in-the-Dark Sensory Bottle and this Glow-in-the-Dark Sensory Bag are also perfect for bedtime. They make great calming activities, and like the fairy bottles, they have a glow that slowly fades.

Required Materials

Supplies to make miniature glowing fairy bottles.
  • Small glass jar or bottle: I bought a pack of mini glass bottles in the craft section at my local dollar store. You can also do this project with a regular-sized jar, but it will require more glow stick liquid.
  • Glow stick: Because I was making tiny fairy bottles, I used miniature glow sticks that were 8 inches in length. If you are using a regular-sized bottle or mason jar, you’ll need to use larger glow sticks (or several smaller ones).
  • Iridescent glitter: Make sure to use chunky iridescent glitter. Unlike regular glitter, iridescent glitter is translucent, which will allow the light from the glow stick liquid to shine through. We bought ours at Walmart, but you can also get it on Amazon.

The full supply list and instructions can be found in the how-to card.

Choosing the Size of Your Jar

We like to use miniature bottles for practical reasons, but larger bottles and mason jars work too. Just make sure you use larger glow sticks, or several smaller ones, so that the inside of the jar is completely covered with liquid.

(P.S. Have leftover mason jars that you’re looking for something to do with? Check out this adorable Thumbprint Candle Holder. It would make a great Mother’s Day gift!)

How to Make a Glowing Fairy Jar (Step-by-Step)

Hand holding a cracked glow stick in the dark.

Step 1: Crack a glow stick. Grab a glow stick and crack it to make it glow. Wait until it is glowing at full strength before you move on to the next step.

Hand holding a glow stick with the tip cut off.

Step 2: Cut open the glow stick. Use sharp scissors to cut off the tip of the glow stick. If you are using a regular-sized glow stick, cut off one end; for miniature glow sticks, cut off both ends.

Small bottle with glow stick liquid at the bottom.

Step 3: Pour the glow stick liquid into a bottle. Tilt the glow stick and pour its contents into the bottle. You can discard the empty glow stick when you’re done with it.

Small bottle with glow stick liquid and iridescent glitter at the bottom.

Step 4: Add iridescent glitter. Use the back of small spoon to add iridescent glitter to the bottle. I added three or four tiny scoops, but the exact amount will depend on the size of your bottle.

Hand holding a small bottle with iridescent glitter sticking to the sides.

Step 5: Shake the bottle. Seal the bottle and gently shake it in every direction to cover the sides with glitter. If there isn’t enough glitter, open up the bottle to add a bit more, then seal it up and continue shaking.

Single purple fairy jar glowing in the dark.

Step 6: Turn off the lights. Once all the sides of the jar have been covered, the fairy jar is ready to use! Turn off the lights and watch the magic happen.

Our kids can’t get enough of these simple little fairy lanterns. They are so easy to make, but they look totally magical—like having actual glowing fairies in a jar.

They are perfect for fairy gardens, and they also make great night lights, because they glow brightly at first, then slowly fade as your little ones fall asleep.

5 glowing fairy jars in assorted colours, in the dark.

Helpful Tips

  • Cut off both ends of the glow stick: When using miniature glow sticks, cutting off both ends will make the liquid a lot easier to pour. (This isn’t as necessary for regular-sized ones.)
  • Keep the glow stick horizontal: If you aren’t careful, cutting off the tip(s) of the glow stick can get a little messy. Make sure you keep it horizontal and move it very carefully in order to limit the mess.
  • Don’t add too much glitter: Start with a little bit of glitter and add more as needed. You can always add more if it’s not sufficient, but if you add too much, you’ll need to dump out the contents of the bottle and start over with a new glow stick.
  • Experiment with different colors: Different shades of glow stick liquid will create different colors of fairy jars, so have fun experimenting! We bought a pack of glow sticks in assorted colors and used them to create a whole rainbow.

Frequently Asked Questions

They glow for the same amount of time that a glow stick would, though the exact amount of time will depend on the brand of glow sticks you buy. Ours began to fade after 20 minutes or so, but it took several hours for them to stop glowing completely.

Glow sticks are considered non-toxic, but that doesn’t mean that they shouldn’t be handled with care. Swallowing the liquid can cause stomach irritation, and glow sticks contain small glass vials that break when you crack them. For this reason, every step of this project should be done by an adult.

You won’t be able to make the bottles light up again once the glow has faded, but you can reuse the jar provided you clean it quickly enough. The longer you wait, the more difficult it will be to remove the glitter.

Mason jars are more forgiving because they have a wider opening that makes it easy to scrub the inside, but smaller bottles will need to be cleaned as soon as possible (ideally the next morning).

To clean them, add a few drops of dish soap, fill the bottle with hot water and let it soak for a little bit, gently shaking it to loosen the glitter. Once the glitter has fallen to the bottom, use warm water to rinse out the bottle.

To avoid pouring microplastics down the drain, you can press the bottle opening onto a paper towel to catch the glitter and dispose of the paper towel by throwing it into the trash.

Have a question that wasn’t answered here? Let me know in the comments and I’ll be happy to help!

More Simple Crafts for Kids

If you have made these DIY Glowing Fairy Jars or any other project on my website, please let me know how it went in the comments below. I can’t wait to hear from you!

Hand holding up a glowing jar, in front of other glowing jars.

DIY Glow Stick Fairy Jar

Sacha
Do your little ones love fairies? Delight them with these super simple glow stick fairy jars that come together in under 5 minutes!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Easy Craft
Cuisine American
Servings 1 fairy jar

Ingredients
  

  • 1 glass jar or bottle
  • 1 glow stick
  • chunky iridescent glitter as needed

Instructions
 

  • Crack the glow stick to make it glow.
  • Once the glow stick is glowing at full strength, use sharp scissors to carefully cut it open, holding it horizontally to avoid spilling the liquid. If you are using a regular-sized glow stick and glass jar, cut off one end; for miniature glow sticks and jars, cut off both ends.
  • Tilt the glow stick and pour its contents into the bottle. (The empty glow stick can be discarded.)
  • Use the back of small spoon to add iridescent glitter to the bottle.
  • Seal the bottle and gently shake it in every direction to cover the sides with glitter. If there isn’t enough glitter, open up the bottle to add a bit more, then seal it up and continue shaking.
  • Once all the sides of the jar have been covered, turn off the lights and watch the bottle glow!

Video

Notes

1. Safety precaution: All manipulations should be done by an adult. This craft is for looking at, not playing with.
2. Bottle size: This craft can be made using a miniature or regular-sized glass bottle. The larger the bottle, the more glow stick liquid you will need. If you are using a larger bottle or mason jar, use a bigger glow stick or several smaller ones.
3.  Helpful tips:
  • Cut off both ends of the glow stick: If using a miniature glow stick, cut off both ends to make the liquid easier to pour.
  • Keep the glow stick horizontal: This will help limit the mess when cutting open the glow stick.
  • Don’t add too much glitter: Start with a little bit and add more as needed. You can always add more, but once it has come into contact with the glow stick liquid, you won’t be able to remove it without dumping out the contents of the bottle and starting over.
Have you tried this?Mention @thecraftathomefamily or tag #thecraftathomefamily to let us know how it went!

5 thoughts on “DIY Glow Stick Fairy Jars”

  1. I just came across this post and it’s amazing. Have you found a way to make them last for more than 30 minutes? I plan on making them either way but wanted to ask anyways!!!

    Reply
    • Unfortunately I haven’t found a way to make them last longer than a glow stick would last… though it occurred to me recently that you can reuse glow sticks by throwing them in the freezer before they stop glowing, and then pulling them out again when you’re ready for the next use. So I wonder whether you could place one of these bottles in the freezer while it’s still glowing and then take it out again another day? I’ll probably give it a try to see if it works and update the article if it does!

      Reply
  2. Cool, I love it! My little one and myself love anything lights or glowing. Thanks for this. We’re definitely trying this, this weekend 😊

    Reply

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