DIY – Glow in the Dark Jellyfish

Paper plates and yarn transform into these denizens of the deep. If you use glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint, you can even see their “bioluminescence” in action when you turn out the lights.


Heavy-weight paper bowls
White yarn
Glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint
Paint brushes and painting supplies
Zipper sandwich bags
Skewer or sharp pencil


  • Paint the bowl inside and out. Use two or more coats of paint for a brighter “glow”.
  • For the tentacles, cut 10 – 12 pieces of yarn approximately 36 inches in length. Place them in a zipper sandwich bag with several squirts of glow paint and seal the bag.
  • Squish! Squish! Squish! until the yarn is completely covered, adding more paint if necessary. If the paint is too thick, add a little water to the bag.
  • Hang the yarn to dry.
  • At the center of the bowl, punch two holes about 0.5 inch apart using a skewer or sharp pencil.
  • Cut a piece of yarn approximately 40 inches long. Thread it through the two holes so that both ends come out the bottom of the bowl.
  • From the inside of the bowl, pull the yarn up to form a small loop. Thread the tentacles through and roughly center them under the loop.
  • Flip the bowl, pull the yarn taut and tie a double knot.
  • Back on the inside, grasp the tentacles as one bunch and tie a single knot.
  • The frilly appendages flanking the mouths of some types of jellyfish are called oral arms. To recreate these, unravel a few pieces of yarn that hang close to the center of the bunch.
  • Charge your jellyfish creation in bright light for at least 30 minutes. Turn out the lights and enjoy its luminous glow!

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