My girls have been fascinated with jellyfish since seeing hundreds of them washed up onto New Smyrna Beach last summer.  Together we crafted a sting-free variety out of paper bowls, yarn and glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint. Would you like to learn how?


  • heavy-weight paper bowls
  • white yarn
  • glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint (we used FolkArt and Martha Stewart brands)
  • paint brushes and painting supplies
  • scissors
  • zipper sandwich bags
  • skewer or sharp pencil


Paint the bowl inside and out.  Use two or more coats of paint for a brighter “glow”.

painting the bowl

For the tentacles, cut 10 – 12 pieces of yarn approximately 36 inches in length. Place them in a zipper sandwich bag with several squirts of glow paint and seal the bag.

Yarn tentacles and paint in a zipper sandwich bag

Squish! Squish! Squish! until the yarn is completely covered, adding more paint if necessary. If the paint is too thick, add a little water to the bag.

Squishing the paint

Hang the yarn to dry.

Yarn drying

At the center of the bowl, punch two holes about 0.5 inch apart using a skewer or sharp pencil.

Holes at the center of the bowl

Cut a piece of yarn approximately 40 inches long.  Thread it through the two holes so that both ends come out the bottom of the bowl.

Yarn threaded through holes

From the inside of the bowl, pull the yarn up to form a small loop.  Thread the tentacles through and roughly center them under the loop.

Yarn tentacles threaded through loop

Flip the bowl, pull the yarn taut and tie a double knot.

Double knot

Back on the inside, grasp the tentacles as one bunch and tie a single knot.

Single knot

The frilly appendages flanking the mouths of some types of jellyfish are called oral arms.  To recreate these, unravel a few pieces of yarn that hang close to the center of the bunch.

Unraveled yarn
Craftiments:  Kids Glow-in-the-Dark Jellyfish Craft

Charge your jellyfish creation in bright light for at least 30 minutes.  Turn out the lights and enjoy its luminous glow!

Craftiments:  Kids Glow-in-the-Dark Jellyfish Craft