12 Brilliant Ways to Repurpose a Light Bulb

12 Ways to Repurpose a Light bulbI grew up in the 90’s, back when thrift store shopping was considered alternative and grunge.  While I tooled around Goodwill listening to Nine Inch Nails on my Walkman, my more sophisticated friends were at the mall, looking adorable & stylish in the latest trend from The Limited.

But that was the 90’s.

Thrift-store shopping, dumpster-diving, and hand-me downs deliver a new parlance that has clever DIY’ers quaking with excitement for Saturday yard sales and obsessively scouring Craigslist for the Next Big Find.  This elegant new term for taking used items and making them new = REPURPOSING.

Also commonly referred to as recycling, upcycling, reinventing, revitalizing and/or reusing, entire boards are dedicated to this subject on Pinterest. Everything – and I mean everything – can be repurposed.  So why not the light bulb?

With a few basic tools and a steady hand, a light bulb can be hollowed out and transformed into a unique gift or decorative project.  Prepping the bulb, however, is not a task that we recommend for the kids.  Before you undertake any of these projects, take a moment to watch a video or read a tutorial on how to safely hollow out a light bulb.

12 Super-Cool Ways to Repurpose a Light Bulb

1. Witches Brew

via Pinterest
via Pinterest

Just in time for Halloween, creep out the neighborhood kiddos with Witches Potions made from old flood lights.

2.  Light Bulb Pears

via Todd & Lindsey
via Todd & Lindsey

Light bulb pears make a great Fall craft to fill empty vases and bowls, or scatter on a mantle.

3. Celebrate Your Graduate

via Frog Prince Paperie
via Frog Prince Paperie

Celebrate the student in your life with a bright future by filling empty bulbs with colorful candies (or dollar bills!) for party decorations.

4. Tiny Terrarium

via Tiny Terra
via Tiny Terra

This tiny terrarium is filled with sand, moss and a plastic toy alligator.  Maybe the worlds’ easiest pet.

5. Aglow with Christmas

via Pinterest
via Makezine

Old light bulbs + glue + glitter = whimsical holiday ornaments. 

6.  I Love You, Light Bulb

via Design Sponge
via Design Sponge

You light up my life, Valentine.

7.  Bulb Couture 

via Etsy
via Etsy

This light bulb necklace pendant isn’t just for the Steampunk subculture.  Teachers, recent graduates, or perhaps a Christmas present for your favorite electrician?

8. Back to the Future

via Instructables
via Gizmag

These ironic light bulb oil lamps are a juxtaposition of past & present and pay homage to their predecessors.

9. Star of the Show

via Family Chic
via Family Chic

Let your old bulbs shine as the centerpiece at your next dinner party with a little superglue and ingenuity.

10. Up, Up & Away

via Rook No 17
via Rook No. 17

Adorable – and surprisingly simple – these hot air balloons crafted from light bulbs would be adorable in a child’s room.

11. Suspended Animation

via youaremyfaveparties.tumblr.com
via Style Me Pretty

Beautiful at a wedding ceremony, flowers suspended in repurposed light bulbs and hung from tree branches appear as if they are falling from the sky.

12. Chic Bud Vase

via Apartment Therapy
via Apartment Therapy

Something old and something new is always a beautiful recipe. Bring the outdoors in with this clever vase made from an old bulb.

In this era of use & reuse, these unique designs are reminders that everything has a purpose, and even perhaps, a repurpose.

For more information on how to safely recycle lightbulbs the old-fashioned way, read our post “How To Recycle Lightbulbs”

Renee Carlson

Renee Carlson

Renee specializes in digital marketing & content development for Pegasus Lighting. When she's not blogging about all-things-light, you’ll find her nestled in the ‘burbs of Raleigh with her husband & three active boys, getting lost in her Kindle, tackling a long list of home improvement projects, or cheering on the Carolina Panthers.