Sunday, August 15, 2010

Mystical Glowing Walkway

Categories: Decoration. Cool. Bigger is better. Cheaper is better.
Skill level: Super Easy.
Time needed: 1 hour
Expense: $10 - $25

"Mystical Glowing Walkway"

Assuming you have your black-lights all set up, you’ve probably already put up a lot of cool hanging decorations. Have you thought about adding something to the floor/ground to make it glow? What’s particularly wild about this effect is that we are used to walking on dark (non-illuminated) surfaces, so when we introduce a glowing, luminescent walkway, it’s almost like you feel like you’re “hovering” as you walk. You don’t feel “secure” or “grounded!”  It’s a little dizzying and disorienting. It’s a GREAT feeling to give to your Halloween guests! Keep ‘em a little “off balance”. It makes them even easier to scare!

There’s two different versions. Either you can have glowing “bricks” or “shapes” on a non-glowing base, or there’s non-glowing bricks or shapes on a glowing base. Technically there’s a third version (glow on glow, but, if you choose that option, you can surely interpolate from the other two.)

Version 1: Glowing Bricks on a Non-Glowing Base


Duct tape.

3M “Spray Mount” spray adhesive & Fluorescent sheets of paper
or Fluorescent spray paint.

A roll of paper from home center: paper-bag brown.

Go to the home center, and, most likely, in the paint section you will see a few options on rolls of paper. The rolls may vary from small footage (10 feet long) to hundreds of feet long! They should be at leat 2-3 feet wide. There will typically be both brown (the stuff used to make brown paper bags) and white. Sometimes you can also find other colors. (If you want other colors, you will most likely need to special order it on the internet. I’ve NEVER found rolls of fluorescent paper---now that would be great!)

For version 1, we’ll be using the brown paper. It is NOT reactive to black-light. This paper is fairly heavy (like brown paper bags) and can withstand some heavy traffic. I bought a thirty foot roll. Our walkway was a good twenty some feet. There’s a couple different options for adding the glowing shapes. I wanted to try something “quick and easy.” So I bought a stack of 8 ½ x 11 inch (letter size) sheets of fluorescent paper. The pack had five colors (red-pink, green, orange, yellow, and blue.) I made sure the sheets were reactive to black-light. So, if you follow my lead, here’s what you’re going to do: cut the fluorescent sheets in half, creating your 8 ½ x 5 ½ inch “bricks.” Roll the paper out on the ground (sidewalk, driveway, ….). Take the spray adhesive and start laying (pasting) your bricks to the roll. Alternate the colors (if you have multiple colors. Make sure you also alternate each row so that it does not line up perfectly. Cut some half-bricks if you want to or just start the second row a “half a brick in” from the side. Keep doing this alternating pattern.

The number of bricks across will depend on the width of the roll of paper. It turns out we only had 4 across. USE DUCT TAPE to SECURE the paper to the walkway. You don’t want anyone to trip on or rip up your masterpiece!
The results are really quite impressive for the minimal amount of complexity involved. All of the time is spent “laying” the bricks.

The picture doesn’t exactly do the effect justice since you can’t experience the dizzying glow.
 Rather than pasting fluorescent paper to the paper roll, you might choose to use fluorescent spray paint for this Halloween Decoration. If you’re somewhat “artistic” you might try making swirling patterns and such. Or, perhaps you can use several colors and “splatter” the paint atop the roll. If you would rather have “bricks,” then simply cut a stencil out of a piece of cardboard: take some cardboard and cut a shape OUT of the cardboard. The shape might be a perfect rectangle. Or, you might make the edges very uneven and more “stone like.” Of course, you can make a few different stencils. You might even choose round shapes (like river rocks.) No matter, once you have the stencils in hand, simply lie one on the paper, apply the spray pain through it, and move on to the next. NOTE: watch out for “build-up” and “drippage” from the stencil. You can choose to either completely fill the shape (make a solid brick or shape) or simply “hit” the edges of the stencil so that only the edges glow. This will make the middle of the shape taper off into darkness. I prefer the latter. It saves time, paint, “drippage”, and  looks more “cool.”

Cut some shapes out of cardboard  to create a stencil.

Spray paint a pattern onto the paper roll.

Version 2: Non-Glowing Bricks on a Glowing Base

Duct tape.

3M “Spray Mount” spray adhesive & black sheets of paper
or black spray paint.

A roll of paper from home center: butcher paper white.

All you need do is “reverse” the above project. Get a roll of glowing white paper (commonly called butcher paper.) (MAKE SURE IT IS REACTIVE TO BLACK LIGHT!) Paste non-fluorescent paper bricks to the top or spray paint black bricks or shapes using the stencils. Again, be sure to secure the paper walkway to your permanent walkway using duct tape.

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1 comment:

  1. I just sent this to my son-in-law. I have a Pinterest Board that is for ideas for Him!!! My daughter did well when she met and married him. This is an idea I think Aaron will like. Thanks!