Light Bulb Window Sill Planter




About: student in industrial design struggling to focus because my dog is so cute

It's Christmas break and I was itching to make a new project now that I have some free time after exams. Came to Instructables and saw a contest that got the creative juices flowing so if you like my project please take a moment to vote for me :)

Here is a really cute quirky way to use old wood and bulbs to make a little planter where you can grow your own herbs! This also makes a great gift for any gardeners in your life!


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Step 1: What You Will Need:

Tools used:

  • Drill press
  • Hole saws ( I used 1 1/8th' and 2 1/8th'. Keep in mind it may vary depending on the light bulbs you decide to use)
  • Jigsaw
  • Circle template or any means to measure the size of the light bulbs neck
  • Clamps

Materials needed:

  • Gorilla glue
  • Wood (2 different thicknesses or scraps)
  • 3 old Light bulbs
  • Sandpaper
  • Polyurethane spray
  • spray paint (optional)

Step 2: Building the Stand:

To start we need to build the stand. In the pictures above I have a illustrator drawing with the dimensions. The second picture shows what each piece of wood looked like when i first cut it out. Note Part A does not have the slots cut out. I will touch on that later on.


  • Note that the base (as noted in the drawing) should be cut out of a thicker wood or it should be 2 pieces glued together because it needs to be a little bit heavier to support weight of the light bulbs.
  • The curves were added for an extra aesthetic touch, feel free to continue without them.

Part A

  • Part A is the part that will support the light bulbs I will get into more detail about it in the next step.

Step 3: Part A

Mark Part A about one third down the short end. use a ruler to make a mark on the 2, 6, and, 10th inch on the long side. Using you ruler extend the lines down to meet with he first line you drew.

these will be used as guides to drill your holes.

Step 4: Measuring Your Neck

Before you drill the holes into Part A you need to determine the size neck your light bulb has. You want the light bulb neck to be able to fit in the hole with wiggle room.

As you can see in the picture above I used a circle template to measure the neck then found the corresponding bit size.

The light bulbs I used fit nicely inside the hole created by a 1 1/8' bit.

Step 5: Part A; Part 2

So now that you have the hole side and the guides down you can drill the holes. I needed to move my middle hole slightly back so it would follow the curve.

Once you have your holes drilled draw a line from the outer most part of each circle and extend it back. Cut these out using the jigsaw. You part should resemble Part A in the third photograph now.

Step 6: Assembly

Now before joining the parts give everything a good sanding.

the larger part of Part B attaches to the middle on the back of the base. I used wood glue and nails to do this.

Then using just glue i centered part A on top of Part B. Use the picture above for reference.

Finally paint the base whatever colour you like.

Step 7: Now the Light Bulb Braces

Now using some scrap wood and my drill press I cut rings that would fit snugly around the light bulbs.

I knew from building the stands that 1 1/8th inches fits nicely around the neck so I cut out three holes in a block of old wood. Then taking a larger hole saw (2 1/8') I drilled around the smaller holes to create the ring shapes shown in the first picture.

I decided to make the holes off center to add a touch of character. Again you can do as you please.

Since these will likely be in contact with water I coated them with some polyurethane spray for some protection after sanding them smooth.

Step 8: Assembly

I coated the necks of the light bulbs with gorilla glue and then placed them inside the rings and left them to dry overnight

If you are unsure as to how to clean out a light bulb there are many sources online to guide you. I may produce an Instructable on how to do so later but until then google is your best bet.

Step 9: Putting It All Together

Now all you have to do is put water and plants in the bulbs and set the stand by some sunlight.

I made the dimensions to fit on the average window seal so place it there if you would like. I'll link you to a website that provides information about what plants or heard you can grow in just water here. You can also place soil in the light bulbs and grow herbs that just need shallow soil, but you will have to be careful because there is no way to drain the extra water unless you want to tip the bulb over. Here is a list of herbs that do well in small spaces.

Enjoy and leave your thoughts in the comments!

Indoor Gardening Contest 2016

Runner Up in the
Indoor Gardening Contest 2016

Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2016

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Participated in the
Epilog Contest 8



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    12 Discussions


    2 years ago

    Cool, BTW: If you want the holes in the bulb wood rings "bulb braces" to be centered start with a small drill bit to get your center established .. then go to your small and large hole saws and only go in 3/8"+. Then do the large through cut first then the small one. It's still a pain to clamp or hold the 2 1/8 round to finish the small one but it will be centered.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Great info for anyone who wants the holes in the braces centered ^^


    2 years ago

    I like the look of the plants and wood. The light bulbs are a novel and unexpected part that will draw comments from people. I did think that when making one for my mother (87) that the back of part A should be wider too support the weight of the bulbs filled with water. Another use for this is to start cuttings you would be able to see the roots grow great for kids to watch. Your creativity is a great thing that many people don't cultivate and should. Don't stop.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    This is very touching thank you!


    2 years ago

    This very cool bud, the design is great...One thing tho you have everything marked in feet not inches lol..Be needing some BIG light bulbs. Voted. Peace.

    1 reply

    Reply 2 years ago

    Ahah shoot I missed that! Thanks I'll get on fixing that!! Have a good one ✌?️