DIY Glow Sticks From Film Canisters


Most of us, if not all, have accumulated a boxful or two of those empty film canisters after months of being Lomographers. I keep those canisters hoping that someday I can make something out of them.

Then, after a failed light painting project, I realized I can make my own light sabers instead of buying another set of disposable glow sticks.

Credits: icuresick

You will need the following stuff:

  • At least three clear or transparent film canisters with the soft cover.
  • Cutter
  • Scissors
  • Small flashlight that fits in the film canister.
  • Scotch tape.
  • Translucent colored folders, or any translucent and colored stuff that can be rolled

First, get one film canister cap and cut an X shape using the cutter.

Make sure that you can place your small flashlight properly, so the final glow stick will not fall while being used during light painting. This cap and flashlight tandem can easily be attached to the mouth of one of the canisters.

Next, remove the bottom of two canisters. I cut it first forming a letter X so I could easily remove the whole base with scissors, one quarter at a time.

Then, connect the three canisters together with scotch tapes. The canister with base will be the “point” of our saber.

Cut 3 to 3.5 inches by 8 inches colored plastic folders. Roll and tape them so you can easily change colors if you have only one flashlight. Place a circular or square color gels for the point/tip of the saber.

Finally, attach them all together to create a glow stick that you can use as a light saber for light painting. You can create a longer light saber but you may need a stronger flashlight.

Try creating a single-canister light pen for simple doodles.

Credits: icuresick

written by icuresick on 2011-10-24 #gear #tutorials #art #tutorial #light-painting #bulb #tipster #canister #slow-shutter #glow-sticks #light-saber #hand-craft #empty-film-canister #top-tipster-techniques


  1. fischkombinat
    fischkombinat ·

    Thanks for this idea!

  2. kerpella
    kerpella ·


  3. renze
    renze ·

    Interesting!! XD

  4. eva_eva
    eva_eva ·

    oh my! interesting!

  5. jetnz81
    jetnz81 ·

    DIY Star War's Sword???

  6. dnnrwr
    dnnrwr ·

    awesome :D

  7. feelux
    feelux ·

    I'd love to make a longer one. >:)

  8. yeheii
    yeheii ·

    astig. you are a jedi! :D

  9. johnccc
    johnccc ·

    Love it ! I've got to give it a go !!!

  10. icuresick
    icuresick ·

    Thank you! I hope try this tipster. Just in time for the Halloween!

  11. saidseni
    saidseni ·

    Thanks for sharing! I always wondered what you're using. Very nice tipster!

  12. stouf
    stouf ·

    WAOOOO ! : )

  13. b0rn2b1ush
    b0rn2b1ush ·

    i love the fact na extra si conrado de quiros - favorite columnist ko yan. hahahaha!

  14. jobozky
    jobozky ·

    :O lo intentare!!

  15. kylethefrench
    kylethefrench ·

    god damn you that is clever

  16. analogmonolog
    analogmonolog ·


  17. eastmoe
    eastmoe ·

    great idea..

  18. stratski
    stratski ·


  19. suizidekid
    suizidekid ·

    haha I did the same thing, back in July on my first Light Paintinh Album…

    it worked great digital, but analog hmm.. is was a little weak, maybe the flashlight was not strong enough.. so we used the red lamp :)

    had an variation with a ping pong ball as head :)

  20. antibiotyx
    antibiotyx ·

    @b0rn2b1ush LOL! natawa naman ako sa comment mo. may cameo appearance din sina ambeth ocampo at rina jimenez-david. haha.
    @icuresick san ka nakabili ng flashlight na kasya sa canister? japan home 88?

  21. domo-guy
    domo-guy ·


  22. icuresick
    icuresick ·

    @antibiotyx sa Quiapo ako bumili, P100 to P150 ang bentahan sa kalsada. Meron pang elegant case hahahaha! @b0rn2b1ush Masabi mo lang na nagbabasa ka ng dyaryo noh? haha

  23. b0rn2b1ush
    b0rn2b1ush ·

    @antibiotyx: hehehe, parang out of context ang comment eh no? sige na nga, here goes... erick, i love your tipster! hahahahaha deh seryoso, maganda nga. @icuresick: masabi lang na fan mo ako ha. ayan na ang papuri ko. baka naman kasi akalain ni conrado siya lang ang kinabiliban ko sa article na to. hahahahaha at nga pala, isang buwan na akong di nagbabasa ng dyaryo. ayoko ng dyaryo dito, walang showbiz balita. hahaha!

  24. begutierrez
    begutierrez ·

    Light painting is one of the things I enjoy the most, and now I have something to do with the ton of film canisters I have!! Thank you!

  25. tattso
    tattso ·

    really cool stuff

  26. ellieoh
    ellieoh ·

    Made in the Philippines? Ang galing! I hope I could try light painting, too, soon. :D

  27. holgadd
    holgadd ·

    new idea...awesome.. :)

  28. dasjuerg
    dasjuerg ·

    the force is strong with this one :D great tipster

  29. icuresick
    icuresick ·

    Thank you again for loving my tipster! :)
    Thanks for the translations, too! :D

  30. yernieyip
    yernieyip ·

    Too cool..

  31. dreamy
    dreamy ·

    This is awesome!! Thanks

  32. wolkers
    wolkers ·

    Amazing idea!! Thanks for sharing this with all of us :)

  33. boobert
    boobert ·

    Awesome tipster!!! .... masabi lang! LOL. Galing!

  34. foodeanz
    foodeanz ·


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