effect is one of the cheapest and
easiest projects you can do for a
fun house or at a party.
Yet, it is amazingly effective at
making young children happy.
A glow in the dark dot room is
simply a room with multi-colored
glowing dots randomly spaced on
all of the walls. A black light
fixture is hung from the ceiling.
A dot room has a happy or
fanciful feeling. In
addition to the visual effect of
the glowing dots, children also
can enjoy the effects of black
light on their clothes.
If you have a larger dot room,
you can put an actor in the room
completely covered in black with
matching dots. If you have
the actor stand against the wall,
he is barely noticeable until he
moves. This trick works well
on adults and children.
Once you understand the
simplicity of a dot room, you
realize that there are many ways
they can be constructed. If
you look around your house, you
can probably find materials that
you already own.
This article will talk about
each individual component
separately with a list of possible
materials and construction tips.
Overall, keep in mind that you are
just building or painting a small
square room with dots and hanging
a black light.
Before you begin, consider long
term storage if this is not a
Like any building or room, you
will need to start by building a
frame. This gives the room
structure as well as giving you a
place to attach the walls and
ceiling. A standard glow in
the dark dot room is usually 10
feet wide, 10 feet deep, and 8
feet tall. If you would like
to add an actor, you should have a
room that is about 20 feet long.
Keep in mind that if this
structure is outside, that it may
have to hold up in winds or rain.
For a portable or temporary dot
room, an inexpensive canopy sold
for camping does well. This
provides sufficient structure and
a roof with crossbeams to support
the black light. They can be
taken apart or folded for storage
in a tight area.
Standard 2x4's lumber also
makes a great structure. If
you go this route, make sure that
you do not have any nails or
screws where they can snag a
Metal conduit is an inexpensive
alternative. There are
companies that specialize in
selling this pipe for sales
canopies like those used in flee
markets. They will have all
the connectors and can provide you
2" PVC pipe does well if you
can find the appropriate
Walls and ceiling
I personally prefer to use
corrugated plastic for my walls
and ceiling. Corrugated
plastic is similar in structure to
the cardboard that is used to make
boxes. But instead of paper,
it is made from plastic. It
is lightweight, inexpensive,
durable and easy to assemble.
It is available from most sign
companies for about $14 per sheet.
The model and brand I use is
Corroplast 4mm black. I use
nylon cable ties to attach the
sheets to the structure.
This allows me to disassemble it
quickly with a sharp knife.
I seal any seams or holes allowing
light to enter with black
A very inexpensive alternative
is 6 mil black plastic sheeting.
It is available at any hardware
store for approximately $6 for a
50 foot roll. This should be
enough to complete most rooms.
When buying, hold a single ply up
to the light to see if any light
passes through it. Look for
another brand if it is not 100%
opaque. Use 2" plastic
packaging tape to attach the
plastic to the structure.
Typical building materials like
drywall or plywood also work.
When using these materials, use
traditional building techniques.
If you have followed my
directions in order, you now have
a great room without an entrance.
Corrugated plastic has a built
in hinge. Cut out the
bottom, top and one side of the
door. For the other side,
only cut through one layer of the
plastic. This should create
a built in hinge that can be bent
and creased. I usually add
extra material to the outside
edges of the door so that the
light is sealed out when the door
Doors in plastic sheeting can
be created by just cutting a slit
from the bottom to about 6 feet
up. Using tape add a piece
of overlapping plastic to the
outside to help shield incoming
Purchase 2 packs of white or
fluorescent "price stickers"
available for about $2 at your
local office supply. These
are small 1" stickers that come in
different colors and are intended
for pricing items at a yard sale.
If you want a glow in the dark
dot room, then you will need to
paint these stickers with glow in
the dark paint. I would
suggest the sample pack of glow in
the dark paint so that you will
have a variety of colors.
Paint the stickers before applying
them to the walls. Do not
let your children work with the
To apply the dots, simply peel
and stick. Move randomly
around the room with no order
whatsoever. As the room
starts to fill up, try to fill in
large empty areas. Properly
done, colors and spacing should be
completely random. My rooms
typically have about 6 inches
between the dots. Our dot
sticking expert says "Don't think
about it, just stick". Do
not stick dots to the ceiling.
These rooms can use any type of
black light in any type of
fixture. I personally prefer
tube lights over the bulbs.
Good sources for black lights are Walmart or Spencer Gifts.
Use large nylon cable ties to
attach the black light to the
ceiling structure. It does
not have to be centered.
Use twice as many cable ties as
you think you need for extra added
Most of the materials listed on
this page are not fire retardant.
Therefore they should not be used
for public or high-volume
activities. Proper adult
care should be used to supervise
Corroplast offers a fire
retardant version of their
material for about $20 extra per
A glow in the dark dot room provides amazing
amusement to children and adults
of all ages. It is also a
great opportunity to share the
construction with your child.
As with any structure that
involves children, please make
extra sure that it can withstand
extreme abuse without collapsing.
Do not let your child near the
wet paint as it can be hazardous.