DIY Halloween Ghastly Glowing Garage Lights

DIY Smokestack Studios Spooky Halloween Coachlights


Our very first Smokestack Studios blog post! YAY!
We've been wanting to add a blog to our business website ever since...well, forever. We never really had time to get around to it, but this idea was just too fantastically spooky to keep to ourselves. Today will be our first step towards letting you in on some of our original ideas that we've come up with to give your holiday decor that extra nudge from average to AWESOME! Sometimes the smallest things are the best things, and it can all be done without breaking the bank.

A little ghost story to preface our tutorial:
My wonderful husband Tim thought up this original Smokestack Studios DIY Holiday Hack yesterday and literally pieced it together for our own outdoor Halloween decor in a matter of minutes. We were wanting to make the house have a haunted, but CUTE look. Tim already bought supplies to make the house look like it was pulsing light from inside the windows, so he needed something outside to accent the house. We had some UV black light bulbs in the basement that we used in the coach lights last Halloween, so we put them up again and decided they looked pretty plain and boring...(For those of you that don't know, coach lights are the lights on the sides of the garage. I always just called them garage lights until I became a homeowner, then I became privy to the spiffy homeowner lingo.)

Smokestack Studios DIY Holiday Hacks Halloween Garage Lights

They're not TOO bad, but they just look like plain old boring fluorescent ultraviolet black lights...we had to spice it up.

So we started looking online for something that makes the lights glow better, but didn't really find any information or products. We looked for transparent plastics, fluorescent vinyl, glow in the dark glues, you name it. Nothing would have worked easily without actually messing up our house and we didn't want to spend $$$. So we started to brainstorm things that we know glow under black lights: white t-shirts, neon plastics, tonic water (yes it glows under black lights!)...and PAPER!

Georgia Pacific Standard 92 Bright Multipurpose Paper

Printer paper is the winner. It has an optical brightening agent added when it's manufactured that makes it glow BLUE under black lights. We used Georgia Pacific Standard 92 Bright Multipurpose Paper. Tim read somewhere that any paper made after 1950 is fluorescent, so don't go using your great great grandpas birth certificate, it won't work. But any printer paper will probably work just fine. Anyway, paper is cheap and can easily be cut into shapes then stuck to surfaces. Once we finished the project we were surprised by how ABSOLUTELY AMAZING AND SPOOKY IT LOOKS. You can make the coach lights on your house so much ghastlier for Halloween by just following these 3 EASY STEPS with supplies almost everybody has lying around their house.


Smokestack Studios DIY Halloween Coach Lights


Hold the paper up to your lantern and trace along the edge of the glass with a pencil. Do this a few more times on one page while lining up the lines from your previously drawn shape. You'll be cutting along those lines in the next step, so this way you'll make multiple "patterns" at the same time with less cuts and less waste.

Smokestack Studios Halloween DIY Garage Lights


Cut out the patterns. I stacked up a few pages of paper together with the traced piece on top, then just cut them all at once. It's way faster and easier that way. The cuts don't have to be perfect since nobody will probably be up close staring at them...or maybe they will because this project is seriously so amazing. On second thought, you better make them perfect. We used our good Gingher scissors that Tim's mom bought us for our engagement gift. They're sharper than all get-out. Every homeowner should have some so here's a link. Just don't let your littles use them without supervision.

Smokestack Studios DIY Halloween Home Decor - Ghost Coach Lights


Tape the paper up into the lantern. My cut out paper pieces fit perfectly against the glass and were held in by the lip of the lantern that holds the glass in place. I considered not even taping it but feared a draft might blow my poor paper away :( so just tape some scotch tape vertically around the bottom. You can even see the tape wrapped around on my lights, but it doesn't matter, it'll be dark and people will be too busy looking at the perfect paper cuts spooky glowing lanterns we just made.

Smokestack Studios DIY Halloween Home Decor - Ghastly Lanterns

Easy right!? So easy. Pictures really don't even do it justice because it has this blue hue with an ultra violet glow that just can't be captured. So you'll have to experience it for yourself. Now just wait for it to get dark annnddddd BEHOLD: SPOOKY SPECTRE HALLOWEEN COACH LIGHTS! GHASTLY GLOWING GARAGE LIGHTS! WHATEVER YOU WANT TO CALL THEM! 

Smokestack Studios DIY Ghastly Garage Lights - Halloween Home Decor

Oh, and HAPPY HALLOWEEN!!!!!!!!!
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Smokestack Studios DIY Halloween Home Decor - Spooky Coach Lights