Lightbulb Ornaments




Introduction: Lightbulb Ornaments

Tips on reducing waste and conserving resources can be summed up by the three R’s: Reduce, Resuse, Recycle

Reduce means to decrease the amount of trash you produce and the amount of recourse you use. By doing something as simple as buying products with less packaging, you are implementing the principle of ‘reduce’.

Reuse consists of using an item over and over again instead of throwing it away after one use. By reusing, you create less trash as you are not throwing things away as often. An examples of reuse would be to use a washable mug or water bottle instead of opening a disposable water bottle overtime

Recycle means taking trash and converting it into a previous form(such converting water bottles into plastic that can be used to produce something else) that can be used again. Many cities offer recycling services in which one can turn in used paper, metal, plastic, and other materials for recycling.

Another way to reduce waste is to upcycle. Upcycling means to take no longer wanted items and turn it into something of a different function for further use. An example of up cycling would be to use old sweaters to make mittens. Upcycling is different from recycling as recycling turn the item into its original form( water bottles into plastic), while upcycling takes one or more items together and integrating them into a different item.


To create these upcycled lightbulb ornaments you simply need burned out lightbulbs, scrap fabric, and common craft items. They make a lovely addition to the Christmas tree and are a fun project to do with kids. Although this guide only shows three designs, the possibilities are endless and you can transform the lightbulbs into any ornament you desire.

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Step 1: Materials


  • Acrylic Paint
  • All purpose glue
  • Hot glue
  • various brushes
  • Plastic Ribbon
  • Pen/Marker
  • Cotton Balls
  • Lightbulbs- Burned out lightbulbs that no longer worked
  • Scrap Fabric- Left over fabric from previous project that would be been thrown away

Besides the trash items- lightbulb and scrap fabric- all other materials were various craft items I had lying around.

Step 2: Plan Your Design

  • If you choose to, you can quickly sketch the design you wish to paint on the lightbulb with a marker or pen before hand.
  • This does not need to be exact as it will be covered with paint later on.

Step 3: Painting Black Coat

  • For the penguin, begin by painting its black coat.
  • You may need to apply several layers of paint for an even, opaque color.
  • Be sure to wait until the paint has mostly dried before adding another layer.

Step 4: Painting White Coat

  • Now paint the white portion of the penguin.
  • Several coats may be required.

Step 5: Add a Wreath

  • Using green paint, add a wreath to the center.
  • To create a wreath, first paint a circle and then add outward strokes from the circle.

Step 6: Paint Remaining Details

  • Add remaining details such as eyes and beak.
  • Also, paint berries on the wreath using red dots.

Step 7: Making the Christmas Hats

  • First cut out a triangle with a base wider than the metal part of the bulb from a piece of scrap fabric.
  • Use the triangle you cut out as a stencil to create an identical triangle.

Step 8: Glue Triangles Together

  • Using all purpose glue, glue the two triangles together on the long sides, leaving the base open.

Step 9: Paint Triangles Red

  • After the glue has dried, paint the two attached triangles red (if your fabric is not already red).
  • Wait for the paint to dry.

Step 10: Add Cotton Balls

  • Taking a cotton ball, cut off a section and loosen it to a desired length.
  • Glue this strip to the bottom of the triangle. Repeat on other sides.
  • Then take a nail sized piece of cotton and press it into a circular form.
  • Glue this to the top of the triangle. Repeat on other side.

Step 11: Add Ribbon to Hang

  • Cut off 6-7 inches or ribbon and hot glue the ends together to create a hoop.
  • Attach the end of ribbon to the back of the hat with hot glue.

Step 12: Glue the Hat to the Lightbulb

Apply hot glue to the metal rim of the bulb and place the christmas hat you created over the metal rim.

Step 13: TADAHHHH~ Your Ornament Is Complete

Hang your new ornament on your Christmas tree for all to admire.

Step 14: Grinch and Olaf Ornament

  • To create a grinch ornament, the overall process is the same. Simply paint a Grinch or Olaf instead of a penguin.
  • Use the same process to make a Christmas hat and attach the hat to the bulb.

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    6 years ago on Introduction

    Love this idea. Better than throwing the bulbs away. But is the white paint a bit variable in consistency when painting on to the bulb? (Sorry, I'm a bit picky :-( ) - it's nice when the overall effect looks smooth as in the other photos. The hat looks good too especially as it's different material that has been painted in the right colour - hadn't thought of doing that!