Picture of Light Bulb Vase
A very simple, yet elegant vase, made from a light bulb.

Recently someone came around with a free energy saving light bulb for every home. So I made something from an old burnt out bulb that the new one replaced. The bulb was hollowed out, and then suspended on a simple stand.

You need:

-a light bulb
-metal rod - I found mine in the junk box. I think it came from a filing system. Something around 3/16"
-A piece of wood. I used part of a wine case. You could use anything really. Try something interesting like drift wood.
-the basic tools: saw, drill, Dremel, pliers.

Disclaimer- Glass is sharp. Be careful. Don't eat light bulbs. This is probably known to cause cancer in the state of California.
Remove these adsRemove these ads by Signing Up

Step 1: Hollowing Out the Bulb

Picture of Hollowing Out the Bulb
This step is probably most dangerous. The bulb could easily shatter. Wear Gloves!
I used TeamDroid's guide.

Here's a quick run through.

- Break off the metal contact from the bottom
- Use a screw or a knife to crack the brown glass insulator
- Looking inside you will see the fill tube. Break it off and remove it
- Remove the filament and other debris with needle nose pliers
- Use a dremel to grind down the glass edges inside for extra safety
- Clean out the powder with water
- Scrape off the writing with wire wool

Step 2: Holes

Picture of Holes
Make a hole through the threaded part of the light bulb, close to the top. The hole should be through both sides.

Use a drill bit, or a dremel grinding bit. Make sure the hole is large enough to allow your rod to go through it.

Step 3: Cutting Rods

Picture of Cutting Rods
Cut out two 3 inch rods, and another 3 inch piece with a bend in the end.

My rod had a bend in it already, but you can make one by clamping the rod in a vice and pushing on it, until it bends 90 degrees.

To cut the rods, secure them in a vice, and use a hacksaw to make cuts.

Smooth the ends using a piece of sandpaper.

1-40 of 47Next »
kelseyann883 years ago
thank you! i looked at your post to figure out how to gut a light bulb.
Kiteman8 years ago
A very nice Instructable. You could do a few bulbs and make a sort of chandelier or mobile, or put sea monkeys in one as a tiny fish tank...

As for not eating lightbulbs, YouTube can always be relied on to bring the moron out in humanity:

Crucio Kiteman6 years ago
That's obviously not really glass, or everything from his mouth to his sphincter would be ripped to shreds. A very bad joke that's going to get impressionable kids hurt or more likely killed.
Kiteman Crucio6 years ago
Stupid, yes. Fake, no. Google for Mr Mange Tout.
Crucio Kiteman6 years ago
Fake yes. Seriously, this is a video prank of some shmuck college kids, not a one-of-a-kind French stuntman. Inhumane hunters used to grind broken glass and mix it with bait to kill wolves.
I guess it could be real, he does chew it really well, so his insides could well survive. It sounds like real glass too...
According to some reading I did on Moh's hardness scale, teeth are about the same hardness as Apatite, which is a 5 on the scale. Glass is 5.5 to 7 depending on the type. Diamonds are a 10. So it seems you wouldn't be able to crunch up glass with your teeth. My guess is that the glass he ate in the vid is really cleverly-disguised rock candy. /me shrugs.
KFCjesus Crucio4 years ago
aaaaaaahhhh dont you love people who read a little about a subject and try to assume everything else? the moh's hardness scale has nothing to do with crunching or breaking. it scales what hardness different substances/materials are usually by scratching them against each other. for example, you can scratch glass with a diamond but not vice versa. you can scratch micah with glass but you cant scratch glass with micah. im sure you could crush a piece of glass with some big chunks of micah or maybe crush a diamond with a big slag of glass. the moh's hardness scale pretty much states that the glass probly scratched this dudes teeth up pretty good. i hope who ever reads this learns something
AznPanda Crucio6 years ago
Say are you making fun of the french????? Huh? better not be Cause thats not nice D:
wupme Crucio6 years ago
There are plenty of people who do that. My Grandfather was one of them, and he didn't fake it.
 I dont know, its probably just me, but the crunching sound kinda sounds.. pre-recorded. Its kinda loud for a camera to pick up, and some of the first crunches were slightly off. 

I dunno, its possible, but not probable.
I'd assume they used a microphone (knowing that they would want to hear the crunches), and most of the videos I have posted on YouTube have ended up with the sound out of synch after uploading.  I have no idea why.
rickyd! Kiteman6 years ago
oh my god! your tongues bleeding!! what a surprise!!
ugh.... that video almost made me faint. damn my traumaphobia!
Ew Ew Ew!! Thats really nasty. Doesn't that like scrape up your esaphagus? Isn't it glass?? Wow and this is why we have to put safety signs on blow dryers saying why not to use while sleeping....
WhyHello4 years ago
darkclaw424 years ago
*Jealous* Ive never been able to open up a bulb like that without it breaking. Im going to try your method.
bullygil5 years ago
Awesome ideea and verry easy to make.It took me less than an hour to make it, and I'm pretty excited about it, since it's my first homemade gift.I hope she will like it ^_^
Me again:She loved it!Thx instructables and thx Sam ^_^
sam (author)  bullygil5 years ago
Glad to hear it!
smbarne5 years ago
Great idea and tutorial. I used this with another LED Instructable, a small switch, some wood stain, and some varnish to make one for my girlfriend. Thanks again for the Instructable :].
wupme6 years ago
I love the idea, definately gonna try this myself. But you should warn people, if you grind glass, the powder should not be inhaled, even small amounts are really bad. So you should wear some protection like a dust mask or a surgical mask.
insomniac g6 years ago
But eating lightbulbs is so much fun!

Great idea with the screw, I've been having a go at the brown glass with needle nose pliers and it always distorts the threading, I'm definitely going to try that out :)
Chameleon846 years ago
Too cool! I wonder if it would work as a planter for very small plants....
it would...its called a vase. no but seriously i've seen people put soil in one and plant things in it.
jamilks6 years ago
Great use of soon to be old technology, with the rise of compact fluorescents! Perhaps a heavy gauge copper wire, wound around the threads could be the hanger then you'd have a clear open hole to put flowers in... Thanks!
JettyMae6 years ago
wow this was quite tricky... i need to figure out a different base though; i don't have spare wood hanging around. Awesome project, thanks.
voyager84726 years ago
Nice Instructable! I'm going to try this the next time I have a burned out incandescent bulb. What I was thinking though is that one could make a wire stand for the bulb, if you wanted to increase the industrial look. :)
for the stand you can just uses a big washer
It looks so cute!
WastingBody7 years ago
Very nice Instructable; I might have to try it out next time I want to give someone some flowers.
afcbasser7 years ago
haha! awsome disclaimer.
inquisitive7 years ago
Great job with reused items! This is much more aesthetically pleasing than the different post TheCheese is so cheesed about. I hope the next time Cheese deceives his parents and logs on he will have matured enough to appreciate a good instructable and understand that although life does not demand a be nice policy, it should be expected, if not always executed by others.
I've been meaning to look for a creative gift idea for my friend who works as a Tacoma florist

He's really into reusing materials and of course, arts and crafts that relates to flowers would make a great impression on him. to go, thats 2 blocks from my house
When i hollow light bulbs i just swish some dry sand inside and that will get all the white clay out quickly along with glass
sambo48 years ago
eating that lightbulb that wat just a frozen water bomb run under water
Oabbey8 years ago
is this like how they stick a little rose in a crack pipe and sell it as a romantic gift? you're a clever one. but im on to you.....
(removed by author or community request)
sam (author)  TheCheese99218 years ago
I don't really see how your first paragraph relates to this at all.. But as for it being a repost, I wasn't aware of the other instructable. I did a search for "light bulb" before I posted. I didn't find anything, because AlexTheGreat's instructable was labeled "lightbulb". Even so, I probably would have posted it anyway, as it does provide a different way to do things, and with a different result.
1-40 of 47Next »