This is how to make an excellent excuse for driving a lag bolt into your wall, the Concrete Lightbulb Wall Hook. Functional yet sylish, it gives a nice industrial design feel wherever you mount it.

Last winter after breaking out the serious cold weather gear, I found myself fighting the coat rack next to the front door. It was, to put it bluntly, failing miserably. Tipping over, breaking off, it was a mess. I swore before the next winter I would drive some serious hooks into the wall that would handle all my heavy overcoat needs. I just haven't seen any kickass hooks yet that I liked enough to justify making serious holes in my walls.

Cut to the last few months. As mentioned in my blog ( here, here, and here) I've been playing around, trying to make a concrete lightbulb. Why? Because I find the contrast of blending a new material like concrete in an everyday shape like a lightbulb to be a great design element. So while messing around with these guys, I realized this would be a great excuse to drive lag bolts into my wall for hooks. By embedding a lag bolt into the concrete lightbulb, I could make a wall hook that was useful enough to handle anything I wanted to hang off it. Thus this project was born.

This is an entry in the Etsy/Instructables SewUseful Contest, so if you love this idea but don't want to make it yourself, not to worry! I have them for sale in my Etsy Shop. Click here to order yours today! Yes, it's an entry into a sewing contest without any sewing. Sometimes you just gotta.

Check out my other entry into the SewUseful Contest (also without sewing!) - "Big Brass Ones"

Step 1: Tools and Materials

You will need a work area where a little sand and concrete mix or glass shards is not an issue. Make sure you have a small brush and dustpan available at all times. Normally you wait till the end to shatter the lightbulb, but it can happen at any point in this process. So be ready for cleanup from the very start.


- Small pair of pliers

- small pair of wirecutters

- small screwdriver

- carbide scribe. You can use something like an awl or even a long skinny nail, but I found my trusty old scribe to be invaluable in this.

- plastic tub to mix the concrete in. I used an empty five pound tub of spreadable margarine.

- a scrap of wood to mix the concrete with. You could use an old wooden spoon or something like that if needed.

- plastic spoon to put the concrete mix into the lightbulb.

- A measuring cup and measuring spoons for adding the correct amount of concrete mix and water.

- a toothbrush you won't be using for your teeth anymore.

- coffee stirrer and plastic cups you "borrowed" from Starbucks

- Gloves and safety glasses. A must because the glass bulb often breaks and little shards go flying in all directions, including straight at your eyes.

- Misc. items like Sharpies, some rags, etc.


"Concrete" is a mix of cement, water and aggregates. My research showed that a sand mix, AKA mortar mix, is good when using a smooth surfaced mold like the inside of a lightbulb. It gives a very high shine when cured. A sand mix is different from your generic concrete in that the aggregates doesn't have any gravel, just various sizes of sand. I decided to do it with mortar mix instead of your standard bag of generic concrete.

- Quikrete Mortar mix. I got the ten pound bag at the local home improvement store for $2. This is enough to do over a dozen lightbulbs. I could have purchased the 60 pound bag for $7 at a much lower cost/volume, but this project really doesn't need that much.

- Lightbulbs. Just the cheapest standard sized incandescent lightbulbs you can find. I got mine at Walmart. A pack of four for 77 cents. Can't beat that with a stick.

- Water. You'll need about 4 tablespoons worth. I kept a bottle of water nearby on the bench and refilled it from the tap when needed.

- Lag Bolt. I'm using a 5/16" lag bolt, 3.5" long. 5/16" was the largest sized lag bolt I could fit into the lightbulb without cutting off the head. I didn't want to do that because the head gives the bolt a lot of grip when embedded in the concrete. With a lag bolt 5/16" in diameter, I can drill in the wall a 1/4" hole to get a good balance between grip and ease of installing. In other words, it turns easily into the wall yet holds really well.

About This Instructable


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Bio: Named "Emblematic of the Instructables Universe" by the New York Times, I'm a maker and designer who enjoys looking at things sideways and playing ... More »
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