Glow-in-the-dark stickers can serve as emergency lights when the power goes out, teach children about stars and constellations, or just add some fun to nighttime activities. They are easy to make with your kids, whether you choose polymer clay, glow vinyl, or glow-in-the-dark paint. Fortunately, you don’t have to know how they work to enjoy the results of your project.
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Simple Paper Stickers
Combine simple coloring book or greeting card images with craft paint on adhesive printer sheets for personalized stickers. If you don’t want to use printer paper, add a tab of double-sided tape or spray adhesive to the back of your creations. Trace your designs onto the printer paper. Paint them with acrylic glow-in-the-dark paint and allow it to dry completely. Go over the lines and details with a permanent marker and cut out your stickers.
Using your computer’s printer for your images may result in smeared work when the paint hits the ink.
Glow Vinyl Stickers
These may be the easiest craft project ever. Use your crafty die-cutting machine to cut stickers from glow vinyl, or trace a mirror image of your designs onto the back of the vinyl and cut it out. Add double-stick tape or spray adhesive, and you’re set.
3D Clay Stickers
Let your stickers pop from the surface when you make them with glow-in-the-dark polymer clay.
Things You'll Need
- Glow-in-the-dark polymer clay
- Clay rolling pin
- Parchment paper
- Cookie cutters or paring knife
- Baking sheet
- Damage-free picture-hanging strips
Condition your clay according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Generally, this means squeezing and rolling it in your hands for about 5 minutes.
Spread parchment paper on your work station to prevent stains from the clay. You may also use a large ceramic tile.
Press the clay onto the surface, spreading it as thin as you can with your fingers. Use the rolling pin to roll the clay to 1/8- to 1/4-inch thick.
A pasta machine comes in handy for pressing out the clay. However, you probably won’t want to use it to make pasta after running the clay through it, so consider a garage-sale find to dedicate to only clay.
Dip the cookie cutters in cornstarch, shake off the excess, and press them into the clay. The starch helps the clay to release from the cutters. You can also use a paring knife to cut out shapes you like.
Line your baking sheet with parchment paper and transfer your cutouts to the pan. Bake the clay according to the manufacturer’s instructions, usually about 15 minutes at 275 degrees Fahrenheit.
Check your baking clay frequently, as it can burn easily.
Allow the clay to cool thoroughly before attaching hanging tabs to the back.