3 Ways to Upcycle Old Light Bulbs into Creative Home Decor

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Incandescents are so out! (Well, almost. By the end of the year incandescent light bulbs will be phased out and off the market in favor more efficient options.) But before you toss out those outdated light bulbs, consider ways in which you can reuse them. If the cartoon light bulb isn’t illuminating about your head, never fear! The internet abounds with ideas for turning old incandescent light bulbs into clever crafts. From pretty vases to mini terrariums, you can turn those old bulbs from something that once brought light to your home to something that brings life!

Before you begin any of these crafts, you’ll need to clean out the light bulb of its electrical components. (Never attempt to do this with a fluorescent light bulb as it contains toxic phosphor on the inside.) Check out Team Droid’s step-by-step instructions for hollowing out a light bulb, complete with pictures.

Hanging Light Bulb Vases 

Once you’ve cleaned out the light bulb’s interior, you can fill it with whatever strikes your fancy (and whatever you can configure into it, of course.) One of the simplest uses of a hollowed light bulb is as a miniature vase, perfect for holding a single flower or a small bouquet, or as a planter. Balance the bulbs on napkin rings, bottle caps or whatever you have on hand to keep it upright. Or take it the next level and hang a series of light bulb vases to create a dramatic look.

light bulb terrarium 

Once you’ve mastered the art of light bulb vases, kick things up a notch and use your hollow light bulb to create a mini terrarium. (Think bottle ship-building meets gardening.) For instructions on how to build a mini light bulb terrarium, check out The Hipster Home blog. (Non-hipsters welcome, too.) 

What ideas do you have for upcycling old light bulbs? Share your crafts idea in the comments section!

Images (top to bottom): Photo Courtesy Free People blog; Photo By Juliette Melton/Courtesy The Hipster Blog