Introduction: How to Make Light Bulb Vase

Picture of How to Make Light Bulb Vase

I spotted an upcycled light bulb vase in a magazine and thought my mom needs that! I showed Mike the picture and told him he should try to make one for her. So he did. (What a guy!) He’s made quite a few different styles of them over the last few years. I finally captured the process of how he does it to share with you. So start saving those old light bulbs and get your craft on! (These make great Mother’s Day gifts!)

Step 1: Things You Need

Picture of Things You Need

For the vase:

  • old light bulbs
  • needle nose pliers
  • nail set
  • hammer

For the stand/hanger:

  • wire / floral wire for hanging vase
  • wire cutters
  • wooden dowel
  • drill
  • electrical tape – optional

Step 2: Breaking the Black Part of Bulb

Picture of  Breaking the Black Part of Bulb

use the nail set and hammer to break the black part of the bulb…be careful, it is glass.

Step 3: Removing the Silver Layer of Bulb

Picture of Removing the Silver Layer of Bulb

Remove the small silver layer with your pliers. Tap out black glass into garbage. Break the next layer of glass inside the bulb carefully, using the nail set and hammer again. Break off any little pieces around the inside edge of the bulb.

Step 4: Removing the ''guts'' of the Bulb

Picture of Removing the ''guts'' of the Bulb

Remove the “guts” of the bulb with your needle nose pliers. Shake out any loose glass. You now have a vase.

Step 5: Stand/Hanger for the Bulb

Picture of Stand/Hanger for the Bulb

Drill a 1/8 inch hole in the dowel (or big enough for your wire to fit it in). Mike also wrapped a few layers of electrical tape around the dowel because the dowel wasn’t as big as the light bulb base. (You will also be able to adjust the size after removing the wire from the dowel). Cut your wire into 20″ pieces. Mike used the wire that you use to hang drop ceilings with.

Put wire into the hole in the dowel and start wrapping the wire around the dowel clockwise. Wrap it 2-3 times.

Use the wire cutters to remove the wire from the dowel, cutting right at the hole. Check to see if your bulb will fit into coils, adjust if needed by turning the wire with pliers to either tighten or loosen.

Step 6: Hanging the Vase

Picture of Hanging the Vase

Thread bulb into wire, it should thread in and tighten up - like putting a bulb in a light socket. Bend wire down to form a base, shaping it how you like.

To make a hanging vase, follow the steps above for preparing the light bulb. Then drill two holes in the bulb base and attach floral wire.

Enjoy your new cute, upcycled vase! Have a happy day!


jforest45 (author)2016-01-02

Brilliant idea and so gorgeous! I happen to have a small collection of antique light bulbs, some of which are quite large and will look fabulous as flower vases! Thank you so much for the great idea and easy instructions.

diamondemb made it! (author)2015-05-10

Thanks for the hints.
Made this for my wife on Mother's Day.

tdzurnak made it! (author)2015-01-21

biggest problem encountered is the glass and collar coming unglued,but some epoxy take's care of that. i made a few of them.great idea,thank's for sharing.

pam.riker.9 (author)2015-01-06

Love this idea, and they look so cute grouped like that! Thank you for posting this idea.

craftclarity (author)2014-05-29

Lovely, and simple. Nice work.

thank you

victorN1 (author)2014-11-24

all that work.... you can actually find the glass bulbs to make terrarium out of that's pre-made, and probably much cheaper too at, glass light bulb terrariums...

action pig (author)2014-05-16

Truly beautiful, and I love the way the wire stands look! Thanks for posting!

Mielameri (author)2014-05-15

These look so whimsical...very nice!

RuudvandeLooij (author)2014-05-15

Those vases look great with all their shapes and sizes, and since I didn't have any light bulb vase in my collection, I added your instructable to my collection of light bulb projects:

Penolopy Bulnick (author)2014-05-15

Those look beautiful! I love all the different shaped lightbulbs!

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)2014-05-15

Awesome! love the ones on the stands :)

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