Introduction: 5 Things You Can Make From Light Bulbs

Picture of 5 Things You Can Make From Light Bulbs

If you have old light bulbs lying around, perhaps you can make something cool out of them.

There are many things that you can make.

In this Instructable, we will have a look at 5 of those things.

If you can't see a video version of this Instructable, here is a direct link:

Step 1: Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Picture of Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Please wear gloves and goggles!

The glass can fly any direction

I did not wear gloves all the time as I have done it many times before.

Use a utility knife to separate the contact from the black glass.

Most of times you can take it off only with the knife, but sometimes you might need to use pliers.

Step 2: Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Picture of Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Insert a small flat-head screwdriver in the center and twist it until the black glass breaks.

Step 3: Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Picture of Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Use pliers to break off the tube

Step 4: Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Picture of Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Use a small flat-head screwdriver to break the stem.

You should be able to break it by twisting the screwdriver in different places while applying the pressure.

One you have made a hole in the stem, switch to a bigger screwdriver.

Step 5: Hollow Out Your Bulbs

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To make the hole bigger, apply downward pressure to the glass with a screwdriver.

Wash your bulb before the use.

Step 6: Paper Clip Dispenser

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Light bulbs make great paper clip dispensers.

The weight of the paperclips will hold the light bulb.

When the paper clip is needed, just shake the light bulb

Step 7: Light Bulb Vase

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Use a cookies cutter to place your light bulb vase

Step 8: Solar Light Bulb

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For the Solar light bulb, use a bulb that is not hollowed, but has bottom opened.

Take off the top from a solar garden light.

Step 9: Solar Light Bulb

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Glue a string to the light and the bulb on top of the LED.

Now hang the bulb outside. It will charge during the day and light up during the night.

It will look like the actual light bulb is glowing.

Step 10: Light Bulb Oil Lamp

Picture of Light Bulb Oil Lamp

Glue or attach a washer on top of the hole.

I used a high temperature resistant sealant.

It suppose to resist temperatures up to 1000°C (1832°F)

There are also high temperature glues available.

Check your local hardware store.

Step 11: Light Bulb Oil Lamp

Picture of Light Bulb Oil Lamp

Metal cookie cutter is a great choice to hold the bulb.

Fill the bulb with the fuel (I used paraffin based fuel)

Insert the wick and let it absorb the fuel before lighting it up.

Never leave the Oil Lamp unattended

Step 12: Light Bulb Corkscrew

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Remove the worm from another corkscrew and insert a small screw at the bottom (for the Instamorph to stick better)

Step 13: Light Bulb Corkscrew

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Fill the bulb with Instamorph and stick it in the oven.

You will want to use some kind of bowl to hold the bulb.

Once Instamorph has melted, take out the bulb and top it up with more Instamorph.

Stick it back in the oven and repeat the procedure until the bulb is full.

Step 14: Light Bulb Corkscrew

Picture of Light Bulb Corkscrew

Insert the worm and hold it until Instamorph cools down.

When the bulb is cold enough to hold it in your hand, cool it down under cold running water.

Don't do it with the hot bulb or the glass might break.

Step 15: Light Bulb Corkscrew

Picture of Light Bulb Corkscrew

When Instamorph has cooled down, break the glass.

Enjoy your light bulb corkscrew.


When I was a kid and a young teenager, I made the clear ones into beakers by removing the ring and capping them with glass or a stopper for distillation experiments in Chemistry. I found they worked just as well as the expensive ones when I got a job. A buddy used other shapes to make his on vacuum tubes but I not sure how he did that his father was a physictis

by washing the bulb out, even the frosted ones become clear...the frosting comes off. Well, at least it did for me!

I didn't have that result back in the 1960s and 70s, I guess they have changed the coating. Thanks.

No worries....

Thanks, I haven't done much in years, I am setting up to make my own Art inks and didn't know they had changed the coating.

yeah but, the introduction of mercury vapor and halogens. pretty much ruined my supply, of large 500w, 750w, 1200w to 5000w burnt out incandescent bulbs for this.

since a 60w bulb, is only good for about 50ml and too fragile to take too much pressure. but do make, good small boiling flasks. you certainly, would not want to use this with any coiled condenser but the straight through condensers like a west.

but as for being cheaper not if you are buying new bulbs to do this, especially for the larger wattage bulbs.

I have found some from old stock being tossed out, in local businesses, that used up there old stock, I guess I am lucky and I will have to buy the expensive ones when the few I have are gone.

super_me (author)2016-09-10

awesome ible...I made it...will upload pic later on. Maybe when I decorate it!

inspecter gadget (author)2016-08-29

Hola , estos proyectos son absolutamente brillantes!!!!

WILSON CHENGB (author)2015-08-19

I think light bulb is too fragile..

SooUu (author)WILSON CHENGB2016-08-24

I'm with you Wilson, light bulbs scare me to death because they break so easily and the glass shards are so dangerous. I did enjoy the Instructable though

sandra.rinaldi3 (author)2015-08-19

How about projects for the new cork screw shaped light bulbs? You can't just throw them away and it's not easy to find somewhere to drop them off. I've been thinking once I get enough of them, painting them with nail polish and hanging them from my trees or bushes for a pop of color and whimsey.

AD8BC (author)sandra.rinaldi32015-08-20

You can't? When I bought our house I replaced all of those silly CFLs with halogens and threw them all out. Nobody complained. :)

SooUu (author)AD8BC2016-08-24

That's because no one knew

sandra.rinaldi3 (author)AD8BC2015-08-20

The light bulbs contain mercury and are poisonous if broken and
therefore should not be thrown away in regular trash or cut open as in
the crafts done with regular bulbs. They are highly toxic! Most cities
have disposal sites but they are not always easy to get to.

They're not Highly toxic. That's been blown out of proportion. They have less Mercury that a straight tube light. You need to be careful cleaning them up but it doesn't take a crew from the EPA or anything like that. Just have good ventilation, move kids and pets out and don't use a vacuum cleaner. (It's glass, You wouldn't clean up glass with a vacuum cleaner anyway.)

nanaverm (author)sandra.rinaldi32016-08-21

Lowes and possibly Home Depot have recycling bins for CFLs and batteries, too.

John T MacF Mood (author)2016-08-21

I think this is a great Instructable!

Suggestion for all "naysayers".

Go to your user settings under "You". Go to Settings, then, "Customize". Check the "All Steps default"

"When viewing Instructables, do you prefer to see all the steps on one page?
Check the box in front of

Then you won't miss a LOT of the important information.


SooUu (author)John T MacF Mood2016-08-24

Is this only for the paid version? Because I can find "customise" in my "you" settings

DeenooS (author)John T MacF Mood2016-08-24

Thanks, i thought there is not way to change this.

Yes, good idea but unfortunately only works with a premium account. :(

vicsar (author)super_me2016-08-22

If using Google Chrome you can install this application (it works for me):

super_me (author)vicsar2016-08-22

Thanks... i do use chrome on the pc/laptop but not on ipad

Cheryl MB (author)super_me2016-08-21

I don't have a premium account. I simply click on the "View all steps" button next to "Next" and the page fills!

vicsar (author)Cheryl MB2016-08-22

If using Google Chrome you can install this application (it works for me):

super_me (author)Cheryl MB2016-08-22

true, but what John T Mac FMood said was to go to your user settings, and check All step view default. That is only available for premium members. What you mentioned means that you'll get all steps, but you'll keep on having to click it. It won't be by defa

vicsar (author)John T MacF Mood2016-08-22

This feature is only available with a Premium Membership.

If using Google Chrome you can install this application (it works for me):

ST NZ (author)John T MacF Mood2016-08-21

This is so helpful, thank you!!!

Thank you John T Mac. That was quite useful info!

wazalac18 (author)2016-08-23

Solar Light Bulb is a BRIGHT idea, i think putting clear liquid to make it BRIGHTER (would be nice too)..

but we have to choose liquid that would never compromise the glass transparency (like moss build up) and sealed enough so the circuit wont be damage by corrosion due to moisture...

veroblue99 (author)2016-08-23

I really like this idea. Recycle is make a better world!

Maggs♍️ (author)2016-08-22

I prefer to recycle and reuse wherever I can and this instructable provides some interesting ideas and solutions to reusing light bulbs Thank you!!

DottieM (author)2015-09-15

One Christmas I received a beautiful or ornament made from a light bulb. It is painted in a swirled pattern then small artificial plant material & ribbon for hanging. I would like to make one & hope you can help. You're very clever & I like your ideas. Thanks.

aannafred (author)DottieM2016-08-21

I made a lot of these & sold them - really easy! Just empty the lightbulb; if it is "frosted", shake salt into it and the 'frosting' will disappear; wash it out with warm water; let dry; using glass paint (available at most craft stores) drop a little into the bulb and swirl around. Read the instruction on the glass pain, you might have to heat the bulb to set the paint; wrap top with ribbon and VOILA! You can put those tiny fairy lights into them and have a string of lighted ornaments too!

aannafred (author)aannafred2016-08-21

Thanks! It really is fun and they look great!

Nokota (author)aannafred2016-08-21

Oooooh I like your idea more than any of these! Now to find some dead lightbulbs before christmas... I have a lot of glass paint!

alperkabakci made it! (author)2015-11-17

great idea!

Nokota (author)alperkabakci2016-08-21

What kind of lamp oil are you using that is PURPLE? O.O

Nokota (author)2016-08-21

I would have to say the outdoor light and the oil lamp look the most useful to me. The corkscrew is huge and I'm not a fan of the look, And the vase seems a little pointless to me, but that's just my taste. The lamp could easily be kept on hand for power outages and stuff or used as deck lighting or to keep bugs away... Great instructable!

Alexaluvu (author)2016-08-21

I think that all of the projects were my favorite, but I really liked the flower vase! Thank you for posting this instructable!

ScottD156 (author)2016-08-21

Made a few of these

SirCooksalot (author)2015-08-21

An empty bulb makes a really cool mini-terrarium too. Go out for a hike in the woods and cut a little rug of moss, gather some unique rocks or shells at the beach, maybe put some sand in the bottom. It's fun to collect the stuff, and then it's a challenge to use a tweezer or chopsticks to place the stuff inside... Looks sweet and makes a nice outside the box gift.

super_me (author)SirCooksalot2016-08-21

make an ible about it

slippyshoe (author)SirCooksalot2015-09-01

the mini terrarium could be a bit easier with this other instructable to cut open a bulb (then glue it back together)

Krell Metal (author)2016-08-21

He removed the glass from the bulb first leaving only the the Intsamorph plastic. Ther is no danger of breaking glass.

jjz (author)2016-08-21

Thanks for sharing!

lmaccaskill (author)2015-09-25

Duh! Did you not read the part where the glass is completely removed?

You're right, I apologize and yes I did screw up.

todd5 (author)phoenixforsigns2016-08-21

Wow, people really like to wine when you make a little mistake.

cesarm001 (author)lmaccaskill2016-08-21

No they do not read ....they are dum dum people

About This Instructable




Bio: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks
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