These fireflies are inspired by the original design, but are more simpler to set up and doesn't involve nearly as much electrical work. However the effect is not identical to the original firefly design, but different in it's own way.

Difficulty: Beginner hobbiest

Parts List

Building Instructions

  1. First, decide how many fireflies you wish to make. (Preferrably no more than four per blacklight)
  2. For every fly you wish to create, cut a piece of cardboard about 1" by 2".
  3. Then color each of the pieces completely with a black marker on both sides.
  4. After this, dot a small circle of paint onto one side of each of the cardboard pieces to represent the firefly.
  5. Let dry.
  6. Poke a hole at the top of the cardboard pieces with a pencil. Make sure the hole is on the longer side of the cardboard, so the cardboard is turned to look like a right-side-up rectangle when hung.
  7. Tie the black string through the hole so it hangs about 3ft. or so for each fly.
  8. Tie your flies in tree branches together but not too close so they will not tangle too easily. Be sure they are located in a dark area at night.
  9. Animate the flies with the use of hidden fans.
  10. Use the blacklight to illuminate the fireflies. You may need to hide the blacklight also. The blacklight will make the dots glow but the string and cardboard should not be visible.


These fireflies probably look more realistic since real fireflies use a "bioluminescence" to give a soft glow. Blacklight gives an identical glow effect when in contact with fluorescence. Actual Fireflies usually glow a yellow or neon green.

Don't want to make them yourself? Order your own already made online

Backyard Imagineer: Tres Adames

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