The first time I saw a glow stick, I was maybe 11 or 12 years old. My parents were having a bonfire in their backyard – the type of bonfire that’s about the size of a minivan – which was pretty normal for us in rural Ontario. (Yep, we were super sophisticated that way…) All the kids had these thick, neon yellow, super bright glow sticks to help light our way to the back of the yard in the dark.
It was a bit of a hike to get out there – lots of steps, rocks, hills, even a small bridge that we had to go over. Now that I think about it, I don’t see how those glow sticks were possibly going to be enough light to help us. Maybe the glow sticks back then were brighter? Or we just didn’t care. We could probably get back there blindfolded if we had to.
It seriously felt like I was holding a magic wand. Does anyone else remember feeling that way the first time you held a glow stick? It was the coolest thing EVER.
I’ll never get tired of hearing the first little crack of the glass inside of them. Except when they cracked when I was trying to make these brooms. That was just annoying.
So I guess it’s not too surprising that my girls get pretty excited about glow sticks too. When I was done making these broomsticks, let me tell you, Leah and Kate had a rainbow of glowing broomsticks on their night table that evening that would make Harry Potter proud! And the next day, their Barbies had several new broomsticks arranged nicely around their dollhouse.
These glow stick broomsticks are such a great little craft/favour/activity/whatever-you-want-to-do-with-them for this time of year. They are fantastic if you don’t have to make a ton of them. Six was perfect. Ten would be okay. Twenty would drive you a little crazy, I think? They are easy, but a little tedious.
How to Make Glow Stick Broomsticks
I was inspired by the glow stick brooms over at Northstory. She uses felt instead of paper and they look awesome! You should check them out. I’ll wait here while you look.
OK, now here’s what you need for these:
- Glow sticks (the bracelet ones)
- Kraft paper
- Double sided tape
- Cardstock or construction paper
Glow sticks are incredibly cheap these days. I got these bracelet ones at the dollar store. The twine was from Michael’s and the kraft paper is the end of a roll that I’ve been working on for years. You can see the paper wants to roll up in the photo below, which actually turned out to give the brooms tons of character. But I’ll talk more about that in a minute.
Cut a piece of kraft paper to be approximately 7.5″ x 5″. It doesn’t need to be exact. Anything within an inch or so of those dimensions will work.
Draw a light line to use as a guide for your cut marks.
I’m a huge fan of using exacto knives and rulers to cut things. I find it so much easier and quicker! But no worries if you don’t have one handy – scissors will work too.
Cut out thin strips of paper up to your pencil line to give it the broom effect. Each one was about 1/8″ wide. I felt like I was making little hula skirts. It took awhile, but it was worth it.
Since the glow sticks are the bracelet ones, they come with the little plastic things that go on the ends to keep them together. Go ahead, and secure them to one end. The little plastic pieces will help to make sure the paper can’t slide off the stick.
Be careful though – These thin little glow sticks snap really easily.
Add a long strip of double sided tape to the edge of the paper. Position the glow stick so the plastic clip thing is just below the tape.
Start rolling the paper around the glow stick. The double sided tape will hold it all together as you go.
Keep on rolling until the paper is entirely rolled up. We could be done here, but who doesn’t love adding fancy labels to things?! (We’ll get to that in a moment!)
I kind of goofed a bit when I was making these. I used three pieces of flat kraft paper and three pieces of end-of-the-roll curled up kraft paper. I didn’t expect it to give such different results, but you can see what happened in the picture below.
The rolled up paper ended up giving rounded looking brooms and the flat paper gave stick straight brooms. If you’re making these for yourself, and you want them all to be the same, make sure all your pieces of paper curve the same way.
Ah yes. The fancy labels! I splurged a little. I printed off a 50% off coupon and a 40% off coupon from the Michael’s website and I bought myself the two punches below. One is a Martha Stewart 1/8″ hole punch and the other one is a Recollections 1-13/16″ label punch. I feel like such a nerd, but I’m so excited to have them! I can’t wait to make my own labels for Christmas presents!
I cheated a little and just used orange construction paper for my labels. Honestly, I didn’t want to adjust my printer to print to a funny sheet size, so construction paper seemed like the easiest choice. Goodness knows we have heaps of construction paper in this house.
I’ve included a free printable for the tags if you decide to make these yourself. Just click here to download the PDF –> Happy Halloween Tags Printable
This punch was so much fun!
I love that I can make my own labels from any paper I want!
The 1/8″ hole was perfect for the twine to fit through. OK, well, perfect might be an overstatement, since it was a little snug, but it still went through no problem. It’s a great hole size for twine, thin ribbon, string, or wire.
I tied the twine in a little bow around the top of the broom part. A super easy and cute little label!
So here’s the difference between the two types of kraft paper. Here’s the paper that wanted to roll itself back up. I didn’t bend or roll it or anything, it was just naturally curved from being wrapped around the roll in the closet for so long.
And here’s the paper that was more or less flat. You can see the two completely different broom shapes. I was really hoping all my brooms would be the same. Whoops! But at least with my mistake, I can show you what the two different types look like.
These would be great favours at a Harry Potter party too, don’t you think?
So again, the photo above is the curved paper from the end of the roll, and the photo below is the flat paper.
I thought I’d prefer this flat shape.
But to tell you the truth, I really like the rolled up ones. I think it gives them a lot of character?
These take a bit of time to put together, so I don’t recommend making dozens of them.
These glow stick broomsticks make a great little favour for a Halloween party or a Harry Potter party. They are cute, whimsical and have tons of character! It took me about 45 minutes to make six of them, so you could reasonably make ten in an hour. My girls LOVED playing with them when they were finished!
If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out our 50 Awesome Glow Stick Ideas for even more glow stick inspiration!