Thursday, March 24, 2011

Glow Stick Costume Tutorial......

This past Halloween, my 10 year old son and his best friend, dressed as glow stick figures for their costumes. They had so much fun as soon as it got dark. I cannot even begin to tell you how many people were in awe of their costumes. They looked so cool out walking around the neighborhood...truly like a couple of stick figures. Well, now it is March and the boys (along with a 3rd buddy) are going to participate in the 4th Grade Annual Lip Sync Soiree at their school. They are going to resurrect the costumes and do a dance on the stage with the lights out (no actual lip syncing for them). I decided to see if  I could come up with a better way to attach the glow sticks to the costume. During their trick or treating in October - the sticks came disconnected a few times - and had to be repaired. Don't want this to happen in the is what I came up with....
First you will need:
Black Sweat Pants
Black Hooded Sweatshirt
Clear Vinyl (I bought the thinnest they had at Joann's)
Black Binding (Double Fold)
Sewing Machine and Needle and Thread Too
and of course...Glow Sticks (the 22" necklace glow sticks work get alot of coverage)
How To Make The Costume:
Here is the sweatsuit I started with. When you attach the vinyl to the suit, make sure to lay it out like it is on a person. This way the glow sticks will go on the front of the person and not off to the sides (if you followed the seams).

I cut the vinyl into about 2" wide strips. The length doesn't matter - the longer the better though.

Next, I took the black binding and placed the vinyl in the fold of the binding (like a sandwich) and then sewed using my sewing machine all the way down the length of the strip, being sure to catch the vinyl inside. I used a zig zag stitch to get more coverage.

When I was done, I had about 8 of these strips with binding sewn on either side.

For the hood, I sewed 3 shorter pieces (1 at each side of bottom of hood and 1 at top). Making like a straw/tube for the glow stick to slide through.
I sewed a long strip down each arm and a long strip right down the center of the sweatshirt. Some I sewed by hand as I couldn't get it into the machine without sewing through some unwanted layers. But it went fast. For the pants I sewed a long strip down the front of each leg - slanting in toward the crotch area to make an upside down "V" shape.

After you have sewn on all your vinyl strips to the sweatsuit, you can easily slide the glow sticks into place. Depending on the size of  the person wearing it, you may need to use clear packing tape to overlap the two glow sticks to make them shorter. Don't try to cut them or the "glow" will leak out.
You will need to tape the ones that meet at the joints (like that legs to the body, and the head to the body, arms to the body) so that you don't have a gap in the stick figure - so it will look all connected.

This is an indoor picture of my son wearing his costume on Halloween - so you are able to see the person in the costume, but when they go out into the dark..... is a real life stick figure. Here he is dancing around in the yard.

And here he is with his buddy heading out to trick or treat!
(they had some kind of glow in the dark mouth thingy in their mouths in this pic)
I will post some pics when they do their show next month, but I hope this has been helpful. There are alot of sites that will tell you to hot glue the glow sticks to the clothes or just tape them and it probably would work, but you will be repairing all night long. I think this is the sturdiest way to do it. Makes the costume reusable also. Just replace with new glowsticks. Our glow sticks glowed for  hours! So, don't worry about that.

Oh, and I should order to take pictures of these awesome costumes, you must turn off your flash! Otherwise, you will see the person in the picture.
You can go here to see the actual performance of their act with the finished costumes:

Please leave a comment if you visit this tutorial....I love to hear back. :)

Please visit my sidebar to see all the blogs I have linked up this post with!



  1. This is so amazing. I am in awe that you thought of it!!!! Great idea and thanks so much for sharing!!!

  2. Absolutely brilliant! What a clever costume!

  3. That is such a fun idea! I reminds me of the blacklight dance that used people in black clothes with white gloves that was done at the Oscars nearly 15 years ago.

  4. Amazing costume, infact brilliant! thanks so very much for sharing your creativity on Craft Schooling Sunday!

  5. Wow! I was just telling my son (last week!)about 2 guys I knew who had done this about 15 years ago, then turned to my husband and said "how should we do this costume for halloween?" we talked about velcro, but I am so going to use your tutorial! I'm bookmarking it and will let you know when I get the costumes done....thanks!!!

  6. Thanks MamaBug! I look forward to seeing how your costumes come out. They are SO much fun to wear! Hope the tutorial ends up being very helpful. It shouldn't take long at all.

  7. That's such a great idea. Must remember that for Halloween! How clever!

  8. How fun! I think Chris Brown stole your idea for his performance on Dancing with the Stars last night :D

  9. I have used Tulle to mount lights on things..and you can see through the binding or anything needed.. and soft and flexible..
    what a great idea and a fun night

  10. @Kathy - I tried the tulle tonight as I am making the third and final costume for the show and its a great idea, but won't work for me because I had to use black tulle so you wouldn't see it and it really "dulls" the effect of the glow stick. (Esp. where glow sticks fade out as time goes on - I don't want it to be a more dull glow). It is def. easier though. Thanks.

  11. That looks like fun! And a fun idea!

  12. my son wants to be "tron" for halloween this year. I'll have to show him this awesome idea!

  13. This is awesome. I'll have to remember this when we're contemplating our Halloween costumes for next year.

  14. I absolutely adore this! I featured on today's My Crafty Weekend. Thanks for sharing!

  15. That is such a creative costume. Archiving that for when my boys are older...

    Thanks for linking up to Creative Juice!

  16. What a fun idea, I am going to have to remember this one! Thanks for sharing this at Fantastic Friday. I hope that you will join us again tomorrow.

  17. Oh my gosh, that is the funniest thing I've ever seen. I LOVE it! I'm keeping this in mind for next Halloween! ha ha...

    Thanks so much for sharing this at For the Kids Friday! I appreciate you stopping by! I'll be posting this week's party soon. I hope to have you back for the next party!

    :)rachel at

  18. omg...that is boys want to be glow stick guys for halloween...I was going to sew the connectors on..but this looks alot easier....Thanks for sharing..

  19. Genius! I love creative, home-made costumes.

  20. I'm using your method right now. I bought 1/2" binding. Is that correct? I keep going back and forth between 1/2" and 1/4". Can't figure it out...

  21. Love this!!!This is a great tutorial! Instead of going to Joann's for vinyl, I went to Publix and got a clear vinyl shower curtain. That saved me some moolah! :)