Highlighter & Blacklight Party Ideas

glow party lights and blacklight
highlighter party with blacklights and kids

Highlighter or blacklight parties can be epic! Your invitation should ask everyone to show up to the party wearing a plain white t-shirt and dark pants they don’t mind getting highlighter on. (Long-sleeved white shirts are great for more writing space!) When your friends arrive, they should be given a handful of highlighters to use throughout the night. Rent backlights to fill your party room and make the highlighter glow brightly, creating the ultimate highlighter & blacklight party!

During the party while everyone is talking or dancing, they can write messages on each other’s shirts. Maybe your crush will write a special message on the back of  your birthday shirt, or you’ll find out you have a secret admirer! But remember that it’s good to have guidelines for guests so you don’t have things that you wouldn’t want to show your parents at the end of the night. Generally people end up drawing on everything so it’s better to do it in a place that can be easily cleaned and the walls wiped down.

At the end of the night your friends will have their own unique highlighter shirt to take home as the ultimate memory of your amazing birthday party. Blacklight parties produce great pictures of everyone glowing and having an awesome time celebrating a sweet sixteen!

Highlighter Party Decorations:

  • sweet sixteen glow party with club lighting and blacklights
    Highlighters (plan on 2 per person)
    *TIP* Yellow, Orange, Pink and Green work best
  • Guests will need to wear white shirts (On your invitation, ask guests to wear them but have a few backups just in case someone forgets)


If you are having the party in a living room or small basement (20ft x 20ft or smaller) it makes sense to buy your blacklights. The best inexpensive blacklights you can get are the tube fluorescent type.

If you have a room that is bigger than 20ft x 20ft your best option is to rent blacklights. These larger rooms need a medium- to long-throw blacklight(s). These types of blacklights are a lot more expensive than the short-throw fluorescent tubes because they need to “throw” the blacklight over a long distance, or cover a large area, and are high-powered. If you don’t use one of these types of lights you won’t be able to make your whole party glow the way you envision.

neon glow hats neon yellow neon pink neon orange neon green

Glow Items

This is what makes our party epic! Get glow sticks, neon necklaces, neon streamers, neon balloons, Tide detergent (see below), or anything white. The more items you have that respond to blacklight, the better!


Little known fact: Tide and other laundry detergents actually glow under blacklight. You can paint with Tide on sheets or fabric and cover your party walls or windows. If you cover a room in Tide-painted or splattered trash bags or drop cloths, it makes clean up a snap at the end of the night.

blacklight and neon hearts lit up

Highlighter Bottles

Take a plastic 2-liter bottle, clean it out and remove the label. Disassemble a highlighter pen and put the ink tube into the bottle. Fill it up with water and let it sit for 24 hours. Shake it up on the day of the party and you have glowing bottles to decorate your catering table, line your party entrance, or highlight your presents table! These can also be very cool centerpieces if you have a lot of tables and it’s a great way to recycle old bottles.


Anything neon, white or a bright color will glow under the blacklight.

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Highlighter Party Tips

  • Rent?the correct amount of?blacklights: (1) 6ft blacklight for every 25ft of wall length in a room, and a dark room to make sure you can keep everything glowing (cover windows!).
  • Provide?enough highlighters (2 per person)
  • Bring?cleaning supplies to scrub any accidental?highlighted?surfaces?after the party
  • Highlighters work on hair!
  • Make sure you have good music or a good highlighter party DJ
  • Check our our Pinterest pages for Cake Ideas and Decoration Ideas!
glow party lights and blacklight

These parties can be a blast! They aren’t too expensive and you and your friends get to express creativity and individuality! It’s cool to glow at night and a party like this will have everyone taking pictures all night and talking at school on Monday!

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