Easy DIY K-Pop Light Stick Party Decoration


When my oldest daughter turned 21 at the beginning of the summer, we made her an illuminated BTS sign for her K-pop party.

She loved this simple party decoration so much that it is still hanging in a prominent spot in her bedroom.

Now, as my youngest turns 14, she is also a huge lover of K-pop, but we didn’t want to make the same surprise setup. She also has a different favorite group, Stray Kids. I wanted to come up with something that also lit up but was easy to make during the time she’s out of the house in the summer.

I decided on an easy and, in hindsight obvious, idea: a big light stick!

In case you aren’t familiar with light sticks, they are the illuminated torches held by fans during their favorite groups’ concerts and other events. The idea started back in the early 2000s during the 2nd generation of K-pop. Before that, fans had been carrying different colored balloons to designate their favorite groups. BigBang’s leader, G-Dragon, designed a special illuminated crown-shaped stick, dubbed the “BangBong,” for hardcore fans to carry.

Boy, did that idea catch on!

Today, this light stick is essential. When a new K-pop group announces their first official light stick, you know they’ve made it!

Many of these are highly collectible and super creative, and to be honest, if I was wealthy I would own a wall of them. They really are pretty.

Every group’s light stick is unique to them. Dreamcatcher’s comes in a coffin and can be assembled into a staff, and ATEEZ features an hourglass. All photos: Lisa Tate

These sticks have been created in several shapes (some not even sticks at all). BlackPink has a gavel, The Boyz have a megaphone, iKON has a baseball bat, and Itzy has a “light ring.” Many, including BTS, Seventeen, and Stray Kids, have a classic round orb shape with a different design inside.

The easy light stick prop we are making will follow this basic shape and just takes an LED-illuminated balloon (found in most party stores or with party supplies) and a big piece of poster board.

The illuminated balloons are simply big clear “beach balls” with a small string of LED lights you can wrap around them. Often they attach to a little plastic stick to hold them and the lights in place.

Turning this into a light stick is easy. The first step is customizing it. Of course, you can leave it plain, but in my daughter’s case, we’re doing a Stray Kids. Their newest light stick version has a compass-inspired design, so I’ll draw that design on the balloon.

If you want a certain design on your light stick, use a felt tip marker to trace or draw your image before blowing it up.

Note that I’ll do this before blowing up the balloon, as you have a great clear, flat surface to trace or draw images. I took the quick route and printed out the compass image I wanted. I traced it on the flat balloon in felt tip permanent marker, and there it is.

Blow up the balloon, wrap the LED lights around it so the battery pack is hanging off the bottom, and attach the balloon with the lights onto the provided stick. I put a small piece of clear packing tape on the end of the LED lights to hold them in place.

Now to make the handle. Roll your poster board into a big tube and secure it with clear packing tape. You can leave this plain or add a design as well. I simply printed it out and pasted it on the Stray Kids logo.

handle build
The handle of the stick is a simple rolled-up piece of poster board. You can add to it if you want to make it resemble a certain group.

Here is where you can modify it as you want. I cut the top of the stick with a slant and attached a white styrofoam plate to resemble the design of the Stray Kids stick, but you don’t have to add anything else if you don’t want.

To assemble the light stick, place the lit-up stick of the balloon down the hole at the top of the stick. I had to cut one for my plate, but it still works fine. The stick and the weight of the battery pack hold it in place, but you can also add a little more packing tape to keep the balloon attached to the stick.

Drop the lit-up balloon into the top of the light stick, and it is ready to go.

Now place it in a prominent place by the cake or presents for a cool light-up surprise.

It doesn’t matter if you are ARMY, STAY, ATINY, BLINK, or Bunny… the light stick will always be part of the K-pop culture.

Make it part of your K-pop fan’s party as well.

lightstick 2
Ready for the party! Just add cake!
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