Fun DIY Projects with Light Bulbs

Save those old light bulbs! Turns out there are some really great DIY projects you can do with them.  If you have uniquely shaped light bulbs you could make these projects even more exciting!

Vase Ideas

Make a cool vase out of an old, clear light bulb. First, carefully remove the insides of the light bulb, leaving just the glass and the large metal piece at the end. Then, you can mount or hang the bulb in many different ways to personalize it to your space.

For the quickest and easiest mount, add small clear silicone feet on the bulb, or glue the bulb onto a flat-side-down water or soda bottle cap (or some other kind of ring the bulb will fit onto.) You can have the bulb stand straight up, or at an angle.


An alternative to mounting the bulb vase, is to hang it. There are many great ways to do this, involving twine, attaching a chain or wire hanger to the metal, or any other creative way you can think of to hang it.


A slightly more complex, contemporary-looking vase can be made by bending wire of your choice, forming it into a base on one end and around the neck of the bulb on the other end. The base can then be set directly on a table.

Lamp Ideas

There are a couple ways you can use a clear light bulb AS a lamp instead of just IN a lamp!


If you want to add light to one of your light bulb vases, use a bit of sticky tack to attach the following right inside the neck: take apart a single-bulb LED keyring. Use three small watch batteries that will fit inside; tape them together end-to-end with one of the LED wires taped on one end, and the other wire bent to form a switch that lights up when it touches the batteries. Then a screwdriver or other slim tool can be used to turn the light on and off. When on, it creates an intriguing glow inside the bulb! Note: whenever you add water to the flowers in the vase, make sure you remove the batteries first!


You can also make your light bulb into a very cool oil lamp. For this particular lamp, you want to try to keep the black glass in the base of the bulb in place, filing the hole in the center just large enough to fit the wick through. You can make a base from your preference of a piece of wood or metal, or if you prefer a minimalist look, from a large metal washer and a couple of magnets. Once you have determined the base of your choice, carefully fill the bulb no more than 2/3 full with lamp oil, and insert a thick oil lamp wick into the opening of the light bulb, long enough for the wick to touch the bottom of the bulb. This idea is also great because it uses the light bulb in a different way but for the same purpose—to create light!

Lighting Tips – for when the bulbs still work!


Living Ideas

Add life (literally) to your burned out bulbs! Whether it’s a terrarium, greenhouse, or mini fishbowl, a light bulb can make a perfect new home.


For a terrarium, soil is not recommended, as the moisture it holds can make it moldy in such a confined space. Start with dry sand and/or small pebbles, then add preserved moss (which isn’t living, but holds moisture and will provide some humidity for the terrarium), and air plants, which can sustain themselves on air and a small amount of water rather than having roots in soil. For extra pizzazz, add tiny figurines or other little items to add some character or personalization. The terrarium should be placed in a spot with partial sunlight, and every couple weeks spritz the terrarium with a little water, draining out the extra water. Finally, the terrarium can either be hung up somewhere, or apply small silicone “feet” to the bulb so it can stand alone, or mount the bulb on a wooden or metal base.


For a greenhouse, the light bulb will be upside down. Take a small plant and carefully push the top of it into the bulb, leaving the roots out. To make the base of the greenhouse, take an unused, unattached light socket to screw the bulb into. Then set that on top of a small plastic cup with dirt. If you don’t want to mess with the socket and cup, the roots of the plants can be planted directly into the ground!


For a tiny fishbowl, you might consider using a larger light bulb. When choosing a fish, of course be sure to choose a size and type of fish that is suitable for the space. Use small pebbles or other small fish tank accoutrement to decorate, if you like, or have the stem and roots of a small plant in the water (like a stalk of bamboo.) These little fish tanks look especially neat when they are all hung up in a row, but don’t forget to maintain them!

Are there any other creative uses for burned-out light bulbs that you have found? If so, comment below, and we might use your idea for a follow-up blog containing even more crafty ideas!

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