DIY Glow in the Dark Traffic Light

Are you having your kids tell you they are b-0-r-e-d before lunchtime now? This DIY glow in the dark traffic light is a simple and easy toy to make and will help their imagination!

traffic light

My almost soon to be nine year old son made this for his little sister’s birthday. She loves to ride her scooter and he wanted to make her a ¬†gift she could play with while riding her scooter. (Secretly though, off the record HE uses it just as much as she does). Even the neighbor kids enjoy it. This was also a simple kids activity for him to pass off for boy scouts.

You only need a few things and some simple tools to get started. We used scrap wood and supplies and it worked great.

traffic light

kids traffic light

traffic light

glow in the dark traffic light

kids traffic sign

DIY Glow in the Dark Traffic Light


  • Two boards 4"x 24" (You will want the boards no thicker than 3/4"-1". We used thick plywood, but you can use any wood
  • Sandpaper
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Hinge
  • Two screws or screw eyes
  • 12" chain or wire
  • Reflector tape or glow in the dark paint (we used acrylic glow in the dark paint)
  • Painters Tape and paintbrushes, if using
  • Clear polyurethene spray for sealing (optional)


  1. Cut the boards to their desired lengths, sanding the edges until smooth. (You can use a machine or a hand saw. I made my son use a hand saw. Just because I'm mean like that. Or so he says. I call it creative energy dispersement)
  2. Paint both of the boards in your background color. (We did black). Once dried, use a 3-4" circular stencil and paint one red, yellow and green colored circle. You will want to place the stencils before painting to ensure they are evenly spaced on your board. You will also need several coats of paint for best results. Allow paint to dry before placing another coat on.
  3. On the other board, make stripes with reflector tape or use the painters tape to evenly mask off the areas that you will want for paint. Paint with several coat, allowing paint to dry before placing another coat. Spray both sides of the board with the clear polyurethane spray and allow to dry for increased durability and to seal the paint. (This is optional though).
  4. Once boards are dry, attach the hinge to the top of the two boards. We used a door hinge, but you could use two one inch hinges as well.
  5. Measure 8" from the bottom of each board and insert a screw eye or screw. Attach the chain or wire between the eyes or screw. Wrap and secure the wire around the screw.

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