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Creative Ways to Reuse Light Bulbs

Updated on April 24, 2017

the three R's

Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. These are three powerful words that will make your lifestyle more environmentally friendly should you choose to do so! The three R's are in this specific order for a reason. For example you should first focus on reducing what is unnecessary or what you can do without. You could do this by not buying items wrapped in plastic, borrow instead of buy, and sharing. Of course there will always be something objects that you find yourself with that you would normally toss. This is where this article comes in handy. It is all about the middle step: reusing. When you reuse an object you give it a new life and it is no longer headed for the last step, recycling. Reusing objects is simple and can bring out the creativity in you as well!

Fun Ways to Transform a Light Bulb!

  1. Hanging vases are a beautiful way to use a light bulb and add a fresh look to your home or outdoor area! To make these delightful vases, you will need: needle-nose pliers, tweezers, a small screwdriver, string/twine, flowers, and of course the light bulb! I suggest you also wear protective gloves and eye protection because you are working with glass. Use the tweezers to pry off the disk on the tip of the bulb. The part under the disk is actually glass so be careful during this next step. Insert the screwdriver and twist until the glass snaps. Use your pliers to remove everything that is inside the light bulb and dump it all out. Tie a piece of twine securely around the top and it is ready to hang! Fill with water and your favorite flowers.
  2. Ship in a bulb is a fun way to not only reuse a light bulb but have your friends wondering how you did it! These bulbs will be an excellent addition to any desk or shelf. Use the video at the end of the article as a visual how-to guide. For more help on how to, follow the link below (terrariums) for written instructions on how to open up the light bulb.
  3. Terrariums are a wonderful way to bring nature indoors and be environmentally friendly at the same time. You will love these tiny green environments encased in glass for you to observe. Easy to follow step by step instructions (with lots of pictures!) as well as do's and don'ts can be found here.
  4. Hot air balloons have the same shape as most light bulbs! Without having to break open the light bulb, this fun and easy craft requires just some paint, paint brushes, and creativity! These whimsical pieces of art look great hanging from the ceiling and would look just right in any children's rooms. The designs can be as simple or complex as you like...have fun with it!
  5. Snowmen made from light bulbs are perfect decorations for cold weather seasons and even as gifts! Like the hot hair balloons, you don't have to break into the light bulb to to do this! Use scraps of fabric for a scarf and hat. Glue the a bottle cap to the bottom of the snowman to serve as a base. To make a snowman ornament attach a loop of yarn or wire at the top.
  6. Decorative pieces can easily be made from burn out lights. Simply dip the bulbs in glue and glitter! Allow to dry completely and place them in a glass jar to display in your home. If the lights are colored you can skip the glue and glitter and put them in a tall glass vase. Choose colors that go with the season or theme you are working with. These make perfect centerpieces especially during the holidays.
  7. Hanging colored bulbs are an easy and great addition to any room. All you have to do is paint the burnt out light bulbs in the colors of your choice and hang from fishing wire! The effect is very whimsical. The colors you choose will determine the tone of the piece. These could also be used a garden decoration as well, hung from tree branches or outdoor roofing. These colored bulbs could also be a colorful decoration for a special occasion.

What do you do with your light bulbs?

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What do you normally do with burnt out light bulbs?

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    • Rhonda Lytle profile image

      Rhonda Lytle 3 years ago from Deep in the heart of Dixie

      Wow. A+ and big time bonus points for originality. I'm loving almost every idea here and have never once heard of any of them. The first photo is enchanting. How cute that would be over a fairy garden or my kitchen window for that matter. Love this!

    • AvineshP profile image

      Avinesh Prahladi 4 years ago from Chandigarh

      I just love this hub, these are certainly some of the best & creative ways to make use of the bulbs.

    • Anil and Honey profile image

      Anil 4 years ago from Kerala

      Nice, we can follow (save money ) this new and beautiful idea,

    • moonlake profile image

      moonlake 4 years ago from America

      Cute ideas..Voted up.

    • ziyena profile image

      ziyena 4 years ago from ... Somewhere Out There ...

      Nice! Very creative idea ... cute cute cute!


    • Theater girl profile image

      Jennifer 4 years ago from New Jersey

      I love the vase idea! I will be trying this summer for sure!

    • tobusiness profile image

      Jo Alexis-Hagues 4 years ago from Bedfordshire, U.K

      Great ideas, and such a fabulous way to be environmentally friendly. Loved it all.

    • Phyllis Doyle profile image

      Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

      These all are lovely ideas. How very creative! I especially like the hanging vases and the tiny terrarium. Thanks for sharing these tips.

    • AudreyHowitt profile image

      Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

      I love this idea--Thank you Jackie for sharing!

    • Jackie Lynnley profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

      Wow, now that is something else!

    • Yasmins Art profile image

      Yasmin Crawford-Hunt 4 years ago from Shenyang, China

      I love the vase idea, they look so pretty!

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 4 years ago from Central Florida

      What cute ideas! I no longer use regular light bulbs; I use the curly ones, so I wouldn't be able to implement any of these ideas. However, I love what you've come up with!

    • purl3agony profile image

      Donna Herron 4 years ago from USA

      I love these ideas too. These items are beautiful, yet made from something we take for granted and throw out when they no longer work. Great hub!

    • Monica Kay 215 profile image

      Monica Kay 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Wonderful ideas. I love the idea of repurposing everyday items.

    • chipped teacup profile image

      Sarah 4 years ago from Pennsylvania

      ComfortB, thank you! I am glad you liked these ideas and hope you will be inspired to reuse other objects as well. =)

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Love these bulb recycling ideas. I've always wondered how the ship could fit in the bulb. Now I know. Thanks for sharing.

      Voted up and useful. Sharing :)