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Photo Tutorial — Glow in the Dark Mason Jars

Published by Diana Tula · March 13th 2013

When we saw this photo for the first time on 500px we knew it was our favorite and added it to Editors’ Choice. Since then the photographer Luca Gerda László has been getting many requests to share the secret behind her glow in the dark mason jars. The big secret is about to unravel...

The image above is one of my “most famous” photos and I got lots of requests on how I made these glowing jars. I decided to do a step-by-step tutorial for you and I hope that it will help you to achieve a similar result.

I have a lot of mason jars. Small ones and bigger ones, but I think big jars look more cute and magical. Big jars also take a lot of time to paint, it took me about 5-6 hours to paint the jar in the middle of the photo. Be careful with the paint, it is waterproof, so after it dries you may not be able to remove it from your clothes and furniture. Also, be sure to wash your brush right away after using this paint.

You’ll need:

  • Mason jars
  • Glow in the dark paint (get it online or at local craft store)
  • Paintbrush
  • Tap water


Glow sticks. Instead of glow in the dark paint try using glow sticks. Buy glow sticks online or in your local dollar store, cut into the sticks and splash the fluid all over the jars. Be careful not to stain yourself or the surrounding area. The glow in the dark effect will last only for a few hours.

Mason jar alternatives. If you don’t have mason jars available use clear glass or see through plastic cups.


  1. Wash your jars. Then mix the paint with your brush to have the glowing particles evenly dissolved.
  2. Make tiny dots in the inside of the jar. The more dots you make, the prettier the jar will look. Dot on one colour first, then the next, etc.
  3. Leave to dry. You're done. It is this easy. In daylight your jar won't look that fancy, but at night it will make your room beautiful and cozy. Charge it with a lamp or with daylight and take it to a dark place to photograph!

Thanks to Lucy (Luca Gerda László) for sharing this tutorial and thank you for reading! Looking for more tutorials? Check out previously featured "Coffee With Milk" article, revealing tips & tricks behind splash photography.

Let’s share your skills and educate those new to photography. If you have a tutorial you’d like to share, be it in shooting, post production or top tips for getting your work out there please get in touch, email


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Enrico Fossati  about 1 year ago
Kamilla Sadigova  about 1 year ago
Everything genial is simple!
Jenn Alessa  over 1 year ago
Suresh Kb  almost 2 years ago
why we want to - Charge it with a lamp or with daylight ????? :)
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Diana Tula  over 1 year ago
Because the colours are fluorescent & if you will keep them in the dark the jar won't glow :)
Juan Vergara  almost 2 years ago
Ben H  almost 2 years ago
I sell ultra bright/longer lasting Europium based glow in the dark powders, paints, wrist bands, violet lasers and more on my site along with other fluorescent stuff cheaper than anywhere else online, check it out if you have a chance
Paul Glover  almost 2 years ago
Such a simple idea, with beautiful end results :)
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Tony Tu  almost 2 years ago
looks cool. must try it.
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Jake Hyatt  almost 2 years ago
Trying this out this weekend! :) Will post as soon as complete!
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Diana Tula  almost 2 years ago
Awesome :) Good luck!
Michael Burke  almost 2 years ago
Why paint the inside?
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Diana Tula  almost 2 years ago
I think it's easier for painting, this way you can hold onto the outside and not smudge the paint as you rotate the jar :)
Pati Makowska  almost 2 years ago
Amazing work !
David Gamboa  almost 2 years ago
So very cool! Can't wait to try this.
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Diana Tula  almost 2 years ago
Looking froward to seeing your results! Could you post links here of your experiments? Thanks David :)

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