Brett's last day away from us involved a morning commissioning ceremony, a bus ride to the Seattle/Tacoma airport, and then a few hours of waiting before two legs of his trip home. He wasn't scheduled to get to Springfield until almost midnight and I knew I wanted to greet him with something exciting when he got home so he'd know how much he was missed.
I was pretty sure I wouldn't be able to handle two kids, a camera, and a huge sign at the airport so I decided I needed to decorate something at the house. Something I could set up before hand and have waiting for him.
I looked around and realized we hadn't used the glow stick bracelets that my mom gave Sebastian for his birthday. We had gone to bed so early that Fourth of July night! I suddenly had an idea to make my own neon sign!
I asked Twitter friends where to find more glow sticks and got a variety of answers but ended up at Target with some options. If you're thinking of re-creating something yourself, I suggest trying Michael's or the Dollar Tree for cheaper ones. I bought two bags of 15 standard bracelet sized sticks and five necklace sized sticks and used all but one of them.
I spelled things out on the floor before I took it outside in the dark to make sure I had enough of what I needed and to get my colors arranged. The kids were already asleep inside so I snuck out with my scotch tape and got to work.
I was working in a hurry because as soon as I was done I had to wake the kids up in order to meet him on time so my tape job wasn't the best but it did the trick and you couldn't see it from the driveway!
My next door neighbor was on her porch when I started so I had to explain what crazy idea I'd hatched up. Thankfully, she's sweet! I'd told our across the street friends about my plan and texted them when it was finished. They were up and told me how nice it was that I'd made them a welcome home sign after returning from their date night.
I ran out of short sticks but folded the longer ones in half and half again to make the end of the arrow. I was taping one to the house when it started leaking neon juice all over my hand. It was like when you accidentally squash a lightning bug mid-light.
For this last shot I sat the camera on my highest ISO and supported it on our fence line but it's still a bit blurry. Also, it looks like our porch is on fire.
This was the next morning. You can see I used plenty of tape and that the colors are still pretty.
It was a fun idea and very well received. I loved seeing him slowly realize there was something on the house and knowing he appreciated the thought that went into it.
I think this would be a really fun way to propose to someone, don't you?
It's obviously temporary as the glow fades but I don't think this is the last time we'll use this concept to do something special at our house.
Tips for recreating your own neon love note:
* Sketch out your message and decide how many sticks you need.
* Buy a few more than you need because you'll get some duds.
* Make sure you can attach them with clear tape and that it won't damage the surface of the wall. Mine only peeled away at two spots because I was careful.
* Find the center of your word or phrase and then work your way out on either side.
* Use a tri-pod if you plan on photographing it.
* Make sure you don't mind everyone else reading your message, too!
* Check your spelling. Haha!
I'd LOVE to hear if you ever make your own glow stick love note. There are so many ways to make someone's day without spending much money!