How to make glow-in-the-dark art

Mike Aspinall 29 October 2021

Create some eerie art this Halloween with the magic of glow-in-the-dark paper

Sound the craft alarm, I’ve stumbled across something incredible. Printable glow in the dark paper! Yesprintable paper that’s loaded with glow in the dark pigment. How has this passed me by until now? My mind is rattling with project ideas!

The paper is compatible with any inkjet printer (if you have a home printer, it’s probably an inkjet). It works by absorbing light throughout the day, then emitting it as an eerie green glow when it gets dark.

Of course, I’ve wasted no time in trying it out to make some spooky, glow in the dark Halloween art. This project couldn’t be simpler, but the effects are really, really cool.

What you’ll need

  • Glow in the dark printer paper (find the link on my website)
  • A high-resolution photo
  • Inkjet printer
  • Picture frame
  • Optional: photo mount

Glow in the dark art

What to do

Take a photo of something spooky on your phone or camera. Pumpkins, black cats, Halloween decorations or old houses work well. Try to keep the image clean, simple and on a white background. (Alternatively, you can download professional photos from stock image websites). The key thing to remember is that any pale areas of the image will be the parts that glow the most. Therefore, try to keep large sections of the image white, or very pale. If too much of the paper is printed on, it won’t glow as strongly.

Using a photo editing software, adjust the image so it’s black and white. I’d also recommend increasing the contrast so it looks very stark, with bright whites and dark blacks. I also increased the sharpness of mine, so the detail really stands out.

Load your printer with the glow in the dark paper. Make sure the paper is the correct way up so that the ink will print on the glow in the dark side. If you’re not sure which way to put it, run a test print on some cheap copy paper.

Print out the image as close to full bleed as your printer will allow. Wait for a few minutes to allow the ink to dry completely before you touch it.

If necessary, trim or mount the printed image.

Frame your DIY glow in the dark Halloween wall art, and hang it up somewhere it will get lots of light in the day time.

This project was one of those low effort / high impact onesit took just minutes to print, but has become the star of my Halloween decor! I love it. And the paper I bought came in a pack of 5, so I still have plenty left to make more.

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