15 DIY Craft Ideas for Old Light Bulbs

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By: Lisa Evans
Published: December 17, 2016
Last Update: February 12, 2023
Learn how to upcycle your old light bulbs and turn them into something useful by taking a look at our list of 15 craft ideas for bulbs hat no longer work.

Light Bulb Crafts you Need to Try Out

Usually when one of your light bulbs stop working your first instinct is to throw it out, but did you know that you can use them for purposes other than lighting room? There are many different ideas you can use to craft something amazing out of old lightbulbs. Here are just some of these ideas to give your old light bulbs a new lease of life.

1. Vase

Once your bulb no longer lights up your room, brighten your home in a different way by turning the bulbs into vases. As bulbs are quite small you will only be able to put in a few flowers, but they will add a nice feature to any part of your home.

Light bulb vaseFind out how: themerrythought

2. Oil Lamp

You're probably more used to using an electric lamp rather than an oil one, but they're great for in emergencies or if you just want to create an ambient atmosphere. These light bulb lamps are really easy to make and only need a bulb, oil and some wicking. Once you light the wick, the lamp will last approximately 1.5 hours.

Light bulb oil lampFind out how: homemadeserenity

3. Mini Snow Globe

Make mini snow globe ornaments for Christmas by filling light bulbs with cute bottle brush trees and white glitter. They are really easy to make and will look gorgeous hung on your Christmas tree or even just stood up on the mantelpiece. These mini snow globes are also great stocking fillers.

Light bulb snow globeFind out how: nobiggie

4. Ship in a Bottle

You’ve probably seen a ship in a bottle, but have you ever witnessed a ship in a light bulb? The process is still the same but instead you’re assembling a tiny ship which can be placed inside a bulb. This craft is quite tricky and requires a lot of time and patience but you will definitely be pleased with the result of your finished product.

Lightbulb ship in a bottleFind out how: wonderhowto

5. Air Plant Terrarium

If you have a green thumb you should attempt to make a tiny terrarium in a light bulb. These are great if you live in an apartment and don’t have your own yard. It can be tricky to build due to the small space in the bulb, but the end result is always beautiful.

bulb terrarium Find out how: cieradesign

6. Hot Air Balloons

Brighten up any room in your home with these pretty hot air balloons. These are ideal decorations for a child’s bedroom or baby’s mobile, and are simply made out of recycled light bulbs, fabric scraps and bottle caps. Depending on how old your children are they could even make the balloons themselves.

bulb hot air balloonsFind out how: slideshare

7. Pear Decorations

Recycle your old light bulbs and turn them into a lovely rustic decoration for your home. All you need to do is wrap twine around the light bulbs and insert pieces of twig to create a collection of pear decorations. Then just put them on display by placing them on the mantelpiece or in a basket.

bulb pearsFind out how: practicallyfunctional

8. Hanging Planter

Attach twine or fishing line to a light bulb to turn it into a useful hanging planter. This is a very inexpensive craft as you don’t require many supplies for this project. Once you have made it, you can store fresh or dried flowers in the planter and display it either inside or outside of your home.

Light bulb hanging planterFind out how: diyprojects

9. Concrete Hooks

If you're sick of coat hooks breaking off due to the strain of your heavy jackets and coats, try making concrete hooks. These hooks are very sturdy and are created by filling light bulbs with a cement mix and inserting lag hooks into them. The hooks solidly grip the wall and they are very easy to install.

concrete bulbsFind out how: instructables

10. Snowman Ornaments

You can find many Christmas themed DIY crafts using old light bulbs, so make sure you have a stockpile of old bulbs in the lead up to the festive period. This way you can make pretty decorations likes these snowman ornaments for your Christmas tree. You can easily make these in under ten minutes, or you can get your children involved and give them a fun Christmas craft project.

Light bulb Snowman ornamentsFind out how: kelseybang

11. Necklace

Upcycle your old lightbulbs into pendants for funky necklaces. You can use bulbs of different shapes and sizes to create a variety of different pendants for your necklace. However we recommend using small bulbs so the necklace isn't too bulky or heavy and it won’t be pulling on your neck.

light bulb necklaceFind out how: stuffstephdoes

12. Glass Sculpture

If you manage to collect a large amount of old bulbs, you can glue their bases together to create this interesting glass sculpture. Alternatively you can ask friends and family if they have any old bulbs that no longer work which you can use. It's really easy to make and the sculpture will look great in your living room.

light bulb sculptureFind out how: cfabbridedesigns

13. Valentine Gift

Instead of giving roses or chocolates on Valentine's Day, make something sentimental for your partner. This quirky valentine gift is made from an old light bulb containing red gauge wire twisted into hearts, and attached to a small wooden block with a love note. You can personalise the note with any message and the gift will last a lot longer than flowers.

bulb valentineFind out how: saleenamarie

14. Glass Topiary

Make a statement centerpiece for an event such as wedding or even just your home with a glass topiary. This topiary is made from an assortment of light bulbs and is a great alternative to flowers. If you don't have enough old lightbulbs to make it, ask friends and family if they have any you can use.

bulb topiaryFind out how: ruffled

15. Bumble Bee Decoration

If your children enjoy making crafts, get them involved in this fun bumblebee project. These cute bees are a great way to celebrate the arrival of spring, and they are easy to create. Simply paint the bulbs yellow and black and glue materials such as pipe cleaners and googly eyes to them to make these fantastic creations.

Light bulb bumble beeFind out how: sheknows