Our ward’s assigned theme for this year’s stake youth costume dance was “neon and glow sticks.” What kind of a theme is that??? A quick search on Google showed a bunch of costumes using black sweats with glow stick outlines:
With only a couple of days before the activity, I didn’t think I could order or prepare something like that, and wasn’t sure I wanted to anyway. Halfway down the page, though, there was a picture for a jellyfish costume.
Glow in the Dark costume

Jelly fish glow, and come in neon colors, so we decided that would be a good costume choice, and something  we could create in a day or two. Bright and early the next morning I checked our supplies, went off to the store (multiple ones!) and got to work.

The first stop was Joann, looking for a couple of neon t-shirts. They had orange and green in the proper sizes, so that took care of the color choice, (although my grandson was disappointed our jellyfish weren’t pink). I also picked up some ribbon, tulle and iridescent fabric. The dollar store had plenty of glow sticks, along with a few other things like foam board and shower poufs*. Unfortunately, they didn’t have hats, so the next stop was Party City, where I found inexpensive plastic fedoras that did the job. Still no battery-powered light strands, so on to Home Depot. It’s a good thing the Christmas decorations are already on the shelves!

*One thing I learned this week was that you can clip the string on the pouf and the ball turns into a long strand, perfect for the large jellyfish tentacles.

With the supplies on hand, it was time to start creating. The first step was to cut an 18-inch circle out of the foam board. Then cut an opening for the hat in the center and tape the two together. The instructions I found said to use hot glue, but that didn’t work for me.

The next step was to tape the battery pack for the lights under the rim in the back. I tried the “hat” on at this point and it fell off the back of my head, so I made two adjustments that weren’t mentioned in the various instructions I found online. One was to add a chin strap (made by poking two holes for a 6-foot by 6-inch piece of tulle) and to tape some spare batteries to the front to help balance the contraption. That did the job.

Then it was time to add all the tentacles. The shower pouf made three large tentacles, which I placed on the back and sides of the hat. Then I cut various pieces of ribbon and taped them all around until it looked right.

Most of the instructions then said to hot glue bubble wrap to form the mound. I did that for the green costume, but tried pillow batting for the orange one. Either one would work, but once again the hot glue didn’t. I just kind of placed it in position, then covered the mound with a square of bubble wrap which I then taped to the brim in between the different ribbons. Hopefully this all makes sense, but  if you ever try this, feel free to make it up as you go along, that’s part of the fun of the creating process.

At this point, I wound the light strand around the top and taped it into position. Then I tried covering it all with the tulle (4 layers worth). I discovered that pins worked the best for attaching this, and was grateful I remembered that little trick. I was getting a bit frustrated until I did, because neither tape nor glue was sticking to the tulle.

The final pre-party step was to overlay some shiny, translucent fabric over the top, again attaching it a few times with pins stuck into the foam. I wanted to be able to see clearly, so mine (the green one) has a short little “veil”. Wayne wanted more of the jelly-fish like body, so his (the orange one) has a longer one. It would have been ideal to make this a giant circle, about 30 inches in diameter, but I got all the fabrac the store had left on the bolt, and there wasn’t enough to do so.


Just before walking into the party, we added glow sticks to the hat by taping them to the shower-pouf tentacles. We also added a few more glow sticks around our neck and arms, turned on the lights, and were quite pleased with the results.

I love seeing the creativity that comes out for Halloween fun. We were really glad we didn’t go with the stick-figure idea when we saw that another ward had! It was a fun evening. I wonder what we’ll come up with next year, but I’m ready to wait a year to find out.

Happy Halloween!