5 Things You Can Make From Light Bulbs




About: Innovative Projects, Diy's, Life Hacks

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:


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Step 1: 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

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

Step 3: Hollow Out Your Bulbs

Use pliers to break off the tube

Step 4: 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

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

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

Use a cookies cutter to place your light bulb vase

Step 8: Solar Light Bulb

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Instamorph has cooled down, break the glass.

Enjoy your light bulb corkscrew.

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152 Discussions

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

6 replies

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

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.


3 years ago

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

inspecter gadget

3 years ago

Hola , estos proyectos son absolutamente brillantes!!!!


Reply 3 years ago

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

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.

5 replies

Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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


Reply 3 years ago

That's because no one knew


Reply 4 years ago on Introduction

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.)



Reply 3 years ago

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

John T MacF Mood

3 years ago

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.


2 replies
SooUuJohn T MacF Mood

Reply 3 years ago

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