Elegant Lightbulb Flower Vase W/ Copper & Wooden Base - Repurposed & Reused




About: I love my two sons, I enjoy my 89' Jeep, skateboarding, wood working, gardening, upcycling and creating a comfortable enviroment in which I live. I am constantly inspired by the creativity on this website a...

 Ok here is a nice gift to make and give for the holidays...or any time of the year for that matter. It's a vase made from a repurposed lightbulb and some scrap copper with a pine wood base. Very simple!

Best of all it doesn't cost you much...just time and effort. Awesome! So here we go....


* 1 Burnt out incandescent appliance bulb (mine was a 60w)

* 1 Small scrap piece of copper approx. 15" - 16" long (mine was 8 guage thick...I think!)

* 1 Wooden base (mine is 4" x 4" bought at Hobby Lobby craft store)

* Power drill w/ wood bit bit (drill bit should be same size diameter of copper wire so it fits in hole SNUG!)

* Hot glue gun

* Staple gun

* 4 small upholstery tacks

* Cabots Wood Stain (mine was Walnut)

...and add in some rags to the mix, eye-protection, rubber gloves, small screwdriver, razor blade, needle-nose pliers...that should about do it for now. You will find that you might need a different assortment of tools, more or less, but these are the basics...any other tools needed I will point out as we go. :)

Step 1: Wooden Base and Stain...

 This part is pretty straight forward. You can cut and shape your own wooden base if you'd like...but I bought mine. I have about 20+ of these to make as gifts, plus friends have asked to buy some so they can "gift" them. 

 Taking a drill (with a drill bit the same size as the copper wire) I then made a hole about a 1/2 inch in from the top edge and centered in the middle. Once the hole is drilled it is on to the next step. You can see I have a pile completed already!!


 Again, straight forward, pretty simple. I followed directions on the can's lable from Cabot. Gloves, clean & lint free rags and a bit of elbow grease. I followed directions and repeated until I found the shade I was looking for. I used a walnut stain but also have a dark cherry and a couple others I use. You could paint it black, green, yellow, whatever you like....set aside to dry.

Step 2: Copper Wire Stand Assembly...

 This part will take some improvision on your end. With your length of copper you'll want to fashion a coil socket for the lightbulb to screw in to....just like a normal lightbulb socket.  

 Perhaps you have a wooden dowel, maybe pvc...I used the male socket end of a very heavy duty CFL bulb that was broken. I attached this to some pvc and wind my gopper around that to form my "socket". I am sure there are easier ways but this works for me. Anyhow, just a few times wrapped around, nothing major.

 NOTE: On the bottom of the base I carved out an area for my copper wire to sit (counter sink it) it doesn't spin around freely. You can do this with a dremel, a router, or the hard way like I did...a sharp wood chisel. Be safe!!

 I put the copper thru the hole I drilled, bent it in an "L" shape and secured it down with a tiny biy of hot glue with staples. Once that was secure I used some upholstery tacks for feet. I have sticker that goes over the staples and copper end.

 Now it is just a matter of bending and adjusting the copper to the position that you like. I keep a simple curve and have it hang over, suspended.

Step 3: Hollowing Out a Lightbulb...

 This part takes a bit of care and caution. Eye protection is strongly advised. Gloves should be used also. A box cutter, some small screwdrivers and a pair of small need-nose pliers are my tools of choice here.

*  First you pry the small metal tab on the bottom of the lightbulb and pop it off.

* Next take a small screwdriver and break away the black ceramic part that is next. Just put the driver in the hole left from the tab and wiggle back and forth. The ceramic will break apart. Take care not to damage the aluminum socket too much...ya' wanna try to keep it nice looking!

* Once the ceramic is broken away, you will then break the inner glass part that makes up the filament.

Only slight pressure is needed. No need for a strong hand here, go easy. I like to come back and clean up the edges with a file. Not neccessary but it gives it a clean look plu gets rid of any jagged edges should you put you finger in the end...lot safer.

Rinse the bulb out well with water.

Step 4: Screw the Bulb In....YOU'RE DONE!!

  This is it, almost done! Now take the bulb and screw it in the copper socket, step back, take a look and adjust it so it isn't crooked or leaning any particular way too much.

NOTE OF CAUTION:This is a lightbulb. It is fragile to a certain degree. When making adjustments YOU MUST NOT GRAB THE BULB! Grab and adjust the wire only. If you must adjust the bulb THEN PLEASE grab it by the BASE of the socket. And be gently, copper will bend easily, glass will NOT!

Finishing Touches...

 The last part is taking some aquarium sand or small decorative stones and placing them at the bottom of the lightbulb. Don't drop the stones in hard or the bottom will break out. I once dropped a small stone in the hole from above the lip and the bottom broke out! Again, be somewhat gentle. Just use common sense. :)

If ya' have any questions just ask. I will more than likely have some left over once I finish for the family. :)

Now fill the lightbulb with water and a flower cutting. Enjoy!!

 The last picture was a lightbulb vase I made that was hand painted by Etsy artist, Lindsay Mineau @ Decorative Dots. She does some awesome hand painted designs. Check her out.

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13 Discussions


6 years ago on Introduction

Have to agree with linrodann--this is probably the nicest looking lightbulb vase I've seen thus far--plus I appreciate how thorough your instructions are. One of the other Instructables here tells people to go do a search on Youtube to find out how to remove the metal and ceramic base, so I appreciate that you show your method for doing so clearly.

Thanks for sharing this with us. :)

To me it looks like one of the pieces used to connect flexible tubes (like 1/4" vinyl tube) to whatever you want to connect them to. It might be called a ferrule; that's a generic term for any tubular metal fitting.

jawasanJohnny 5C

Reply 6 years ago on Step 2

I am not sure exactly what it is called....I found it in the same section as the crush washers, copper and brass fittings, etc....I think the person called it a ferrin, or something like that.....
I will be at the hardware store tomorrow and will post up the correct name for ya'. :)


Thanks...saved me some $$ for Christmas this year too! :) If I had wood working tools i would make the bases myself as well. One day...one day...