The Glow Makeover was all about turning a swing set into an 80s dance party!. From the dance floor to the decorations and even the food, it was all glow in the dark. The shoot strived to be a black light swing set DIY makeover extravaganza!

The glowing food idea got nixed early on when Shanea, my partner in crime and head of the decorating committee, saw the outrageous list of ingredients and balked. We wanted the food to glow in the dark, not my children.

The plan was to decorate the swing set from top to bottom in elements that would glow under a black light. We used a combination of neon crepe streamers, neon gaffer tape, glow sticks, and black light bulbs and floodlights. And, if you have followed us for long enough, you know that we used command hooks in abundance.


The first step was to wrap all the swing chains and swing beam in the crepe streamers. I, Justin, handled this job with care and charisma and didn’t have any near falls off the ladder. Not even once. 😅

While I was doing this skillful, manly job, Shanea wrapped the 4×4 posts with battery-operated LED rope lights and more crepe streamers. We also made sure the swing beam had a coil of lights on it. The super spiral slide received its strip of lights as who wouldn’t want to go down a lit-up slide!. The swing set makeover was taking shape.

Shanea took great care in sketching out a dance floor on the bottom of the tower. Once she finished, I beamed a blacklight floodlight down on the floor.

At the top of the tower, we strung a chandelier of streamers and glow sticks with a blacklight floodlight to make it all pop. We hung another black light in the center of the swing beam.

The Result

As night fell, the set glowed to life. My kids had a fantastic time dancing, swinging, and eating safe but non-glowing cupcakes. As you see in the pictures, it was a success, but we did learn a few things.

  • Get plenty of black lights: swing sets are extensive and challenging to light up. We recommend going the route of blacklight floodlights instead of bulbs: the more lights, the better.
  • Do this on a warm night. The tape on the floor gave way as soon as damp shoes scuffed against it. Barefeet and a dry environment will improve the dance floor.
  • Skip the streamers, go with tape: we would have had better results and less work if we had used more tape and fewer streamers.
  • LED Rope lights are fantastic: If you want to keep on the set long-term, go with the kind that has an adhesive backing. Rope lights are a better choice if you plan to take them down.

All in all, it was a fun shoot. I would love to hear how you improved on our glow swing set makeover! Let us know!

Here are the amazon links for the items we used.