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DIY Light Bulb Vase

This week we’re sharing some of the blog’s greatest hits! These are some of our most loved posts by you, our amazing readers.

Don’t throw away those old light bulbs just yet! I have a fun, easy DIY for you that will brighten up your home decor or workspace :) This DIY is very simple, but it requires working with glass so you definitely need to be careful!

diy lightbulb vase

What you need: A light bulb (any shape or size will work!), pliers and gardening wire.

diy lightbulb vase

Step One: First you need to remove the little silver layer on the bottom of the light bulb.  Work the pliers under the layer to create a little lip, and then you should be able to peel it right off with the pliers.

diy lightbulb vase

Step Two: Now you have to remove the black cap from the bottom of the light bulb. This was the most difficult part for me – you DEFINITELY want to wear safety goggles and be extremely careful, as it is glass.  Some sites suggest using a hammer to crack the black glass but this didn’t work for me – with some time, I was able to work the pliers into the hole left after you remove the silver cap, and snap the glass.  I used the pliers to tap the rest of the black glass off the bulb.  Do this outdoors or over a hard surface so you can sweep up the bits of glass.

diy lightbulb vase

Step Three: Once the black glass was removed it was really easy to get the little glass tube and wiring on the inside of the bulb out – I simply tapped it with the pliers and it broke right off.

diy lightbulb vase

And now you have your empty lightbulb! I didn’t like how the metal part looked so I covered it with a little piece of fabric:

diy lightbulb vase

Step Four: Add flowers and water, and hang with the gardening wire!

diy lightbulb vase

Now I want to make more! In addition to brightening up my desk space at work, these would be adorable for a summer party or, as Jemma just suggested as I was making it, as bathroom decor!

Be sure to check out our new DIY Projects category for more DIY Inspiration!

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Jenn -July 27, 2011, 12:48PM


T -July 27, 2011, 1:33PM

I also saw that image on Pinterest and I can’t wait to try it. Just a few notes, I’ve read that you should never use florescent bulbs because the stuff inside is toxic. Also, some bulbs have a white coating on the inside which I believe is just kaolin, which is safe to remove, simply use tissue to white it out. Anyways, thanks for the DIY, can’t wait to try it.

Krysten -July 27, 2011, 2:24PM

I’m getting married soon and this would be a great idea for down the isle hanging off the chairs and off the trees!

Cez -July 27, 2011, 3:21PM

so nice!!!!! looooove it!!!

Taylor Rae -July 27, 2011, 3:44PM

I’m making these for my new house whether my boy friend likes them or not. So simple yet adorable.

shea -July 27, 2011, 3:53PM

I love that! they’d be so cute to have lined up across a window

kristen -July 27, 2011, 4:15PM

ahh sooo cuuute!!

Anonymous -July 27, 2011, 6:54PM

love love love

BohoQueen -July 27, 2011, 8:41PM

Such a creative, easy sounding, eco-looking, adorable project! These would look great at an outdoor dinner party during the summer! I think I’m going to have to try them, and hang it on my bulletin board with a thumb tack like shown. Can’t wait! xoxo

Haley -July 27, 2011, 9:32PM

That is beautiful…
I am so going to be makign these tomorrow.
My friend is visiting from Korea and she will love it!

Taylor -July 28, 2011, 2:25AM

I saw this on a blog the other day and I am really excited to try it! I think they would look really cool hung at different lengths from tree branches or around a big patio umbrella! :D A good recycling project also!

ashley -July 28, 2011, 3:36AM

you women,and men, are wonderful

Nicole -July 28, 2011, 10:25AM

I love this so much!! so very cool

aida -July 28, 2011, 11:07AM

the best DIY I have seen in a while!!! now I cant wait for a light-bulb to go out! :P

anya -July 28, 2011, 11:38AM

these are so wonderful! muy creative !

thalia -July 29, 2011, 1:20AM

that is so pretty and creative.

Mac -July 30, 2011, 1:36PM

I love this. Totally linking to it later today! Gotta hurry before those summertime blossoms all but disappear!

kama -July 30, 2011, 2:35PM

I saw this on pinterest. I had some of these that I made many years ago while living in Mexico. I put a piece of ivy in each one and watch them grow like crazy. It was awesome! I just had to keep refilling the water and they took off filling the bottom of the bulb with roots. Thanks for sharing the how-to. That’s how I did it too! :)

Susie -July 31, 2011, 5:55PM

Great idea. So chic and creative.

berty -August 2, 2011, 4:14PM

this is such a great idea! Light bulbs are so hard to recycle–this is a great solution

1129design -August 5, 2011, 7:52AM
Anonymous -August 6, 2011, 1:42AM

Berty: Just because you take it apart, doesn’t mean you can throw away the pieces. I’m sure non-broken light bulb disposal policies still apply.

Qing @ Coolest-Party-Ideas -August 9, 2011, 12:28AM

WOW! A great idea!

Matthew @ wall decals for kids rooms -August 12, 2011, 7:36PM

I wish I could figure out stuff like this but reading your blog is the next best thing! Those light bulb vases look so clean and beautiful. A great way to recycle broken ones :)

Inspire Me Heather -August 16, 2011, 8:57AM

Well, aren’t these just the cutest? So lovely, thanks for posting!

coffeeaddictnextdior -August 19, 2011, 12:31PM

so creative! I’m totally doing this.

Newman -August 22, 2011, 12:05AM

Wow, this is simply so creative, turning a bulb into a vase. You’ve just sparked a few ideas in me too! :)

Anonymous -August 25, 2011, 1:43AM

How clever! I would never have thought it possible to reuse a light bulb. Unfortunately Canada is phasing out incandescent bulbs in favour of compact fluorescent bulbs. Reusing them will prove more difficult. They contain hazardous material and would have to be used intact. They do have a cute shape, though.
These vases could also be used to root cuttings.
Thanks for the inspiration.

haniela -August 27, 2011, 4:32PM

Totally love these!!!

amelia -August 31, 2011, 11:49PM

maybe someone’s mentioned this already…. but I think it’d be really nice if you credited that first image. just saying you saw it on tumblr doesn’t give us much to go on, and I’d love to know more about where it came from originally. do you have any idea?

stephanie -September 6, 2011, 6:55PM

I agree with Amelia!!! You guys are getting all the credit for the first image on pinterest and that’s just not right!

fp julia -September 7, 2011, 9:23AM

hey guys – the image links through to where i found it, unfortunately i have not been able to locate the original source as tumblr sites don’t always credit it. i have tried searching for it, but if anyone knows i would be happy to add the credit. thanks!

mckenna -September 8, 2011, 7:46AM

I love this. I have a window sill and Oh My Lord.. completes my room. Another DIY project love <3 xoxo

Anonymous -November 15, 2011, 7:00PM

You may want to make a comment about safe disposal of the tungsten filament in the light bulb. While it is not believed to be toxic, its effects in groundwater and the environment are not fully known, and proper caution should be taken. The fluorescent (newer) light bulbs contain mercury, which *is* poisonous.

deborah shaw -December 19, 2011, 8:21PM

i really would love to try this .

Anonymous -January 30, 2012, 8:12PM

So cute and delicate

Anonymous -January 31, 2012, 9:14PM

i had a bright idea,,use tiny battery operated lights in the bigger bulbs

anonymous -February 1, 2012, 4:51PM

You might try using a tube cutter / pipe cutter as an easy and fast way to take off the end. They use a hardened steel wheel to let you cut around a metal pipe in a circle. It is probably safer and more reliable too.

anonymous -February 1, 2012, 4:56PM

also, use safety glasses and other protection. light bulbs have a vacuum inside, which means they will shatter and explode like a grenade if you break the seal quickly.

Alyona -February 2, 2012, 6:10AM

It’s very nice idea. I’ll use in my practice it.

Angel -February 20, 2012, 12:34AM

I am SO going to try this. I think I’m going to try plant starters in it.

T -February 22, 2012, 12:08PM

I use a small saw to cut into the metal screw-in part, then just peel it off using pliers–this usually takes care of all the removing in just one step. Bend the metal rim as much as possible to smooth the sharp edges, then use colored Duck Tape to hold your hanging wire and to soften the cut edges.

Anonymous -March 3, 2012, 4:53PM

I love it and tried it and found it much easier than the directions. Only took a few minutes. Thanks!!

polly -March 3, 2012, 4:55PM

I love this! Perfect gift for hard to buy fors. Really easy (easier than the directions. Ammonia takes the frost off frosted bulbs. Only took me 20 min. from start to finish. Thanks

sosrojoyo -March 5, 2012, 3:41PM

inspire me a lot…

Anne -March 6, 2012, 9:05PM

Can you use lightbulbs that aren’t burnt out? i need to do this for a college art project

Anonymous -March 16, 2012, 4:12PM


rebecca -March 18, 2012, 2:46PM

The white powder washes away with just water so you can use any kind.

madeline -March 26, 2012, 2:08PM

just made a bunch myself after seeing this they look great and so simple to do!

Nate Mullen -April 1, 2012, 4:10PM

I love this idea. When I was a kids, cousins and I used the same process to make test tubes fur science projects.

Dawn -April 18, 2012, 9:17PM

I hung one on my kitchen window with a suction cup hook…Love it!!!

sugumar -April 19, 2012, 12:42AM

nice 9952332054

mrudu -April 20, 2012, 1:42AM

Awesome grat idea

Raja -April 22, 2012, 7:16AM

Nice Decor…

noemi -April 25, 2012, 8:57AM

è un’idea spettacolare!!!!!!!lfarò senz’altro!!!!complimenti al suo ideatore!!!!!spero che mia madre non si spaventi a vedere la mia camera invasa dalle lampadine-vaso!!! xD xD xD!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Ajay Appaden -May 6, 2012, 8:36AM

Love the concept…Simple and elegant but is the bulb sturdy enough to use as a vase?? has anyone had issues with broken vases?? Or does anyone have any tips on handling to prevent breaking the bulbs??

Elie -May 24, 2012, 1:28AM

Cute idea…love it…I personally think it’s awesome you made it then blogged it…I googled it..and there are tons all over the Internet….where did it originally come from…people should do the research themselves if they want to know that information …:) just saying…….xo

Frank -May 29, 2012, 10:24PM

I love how simple this idea is but yet its elegant and pretty. Did you just hang one on the wall? I think it would also be really nice if he hung them at different height.

Rachel -June 18, 2012, 9:21PM

Thanks for the great project. A friend of mine made them for her baby shower featured here:

Madelyn -August 12, 2012, 2:15AM

I did this just now and I absolutely love it! I put a little pink rose in there and it is hanging next to the front door! Thank you sooo much!!!!!

RobAid -August 28, 2012, 6:35PM

I’ll have to try this :)

Zadidoll -September 12, 2012, 6:52PM

I know there is color light bulbs out there but what about using glass paint to create swirls and patterns?

Tru Blue -December 2, 2012, 1:26AM

Using your DIY, I was able to make light bulbs into Christmas decoration this year. Thanks for sharing this fun DIY.

milton -January 12, 2013, 2:15PM

Muy buena idea, puedo aporta indicando que para sacar el filamento, calentarlo con un cautil, se esprende facilmente por el calor generdo.


Violet -March 3, 2013, 1:53AM

Just so you know, those are not pliers. they are sheers. -April 25, 2013, 4:06PM

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Audrey -May 27, 2013, 10:30AM

Great Idea

L'hort de l'Eva -June 5, 2013, 4:36AM

Hola !
Me encanta la idea ! Intentaré probarlo. Pero me da un poco miedo de tocar ampollas así y romperlas :s.
Os propongo leer el articulo que escribí sobre el tema del reciclaje creativo:

Espero que os gustará : )

Gabriel -June 28, 2013, 2:46PM

If you are looking for light bulb replacements to energy savers light bulbs as halogen a-19, compact fluorescents and LED and got this company that really can help you to make the right decision. Energy Saver Light Bulbs

Missy -June 29, 2013, 3:00PM

I absolutely love this idea! I think little starter plants would look great in these! I don’t know how well it will work, but I’ll let you know. I think I might try herbs to start off with!!! Dill would work really well I think!!! CAN’T WAIT! Thank you for the awesome idea and instructions!

Meg -July 29, 2013, 9:04AM

I always wondered how that was done!
Thanks for sharing!

edwarderick -July 31, 2013, 11:29PM

These tips to much helpful for party hope I am post for my friend Before buying paint, fabric or floor coverings, always check the colors where they will be used. Pay attention to the color throughout the day and night. Consider which direction your room is facing. East-facing and north-facing rooms will receive bluer light and may benefit from warmer colors and lighting. West- and south-facing rooms may feel more comfortable with a wash of cooler light and color.
Indirekte Beleuchtung

MadisonMorgan -August 2, 2013, 1:29AM

I was knowing this idea of using light bulbs as Planters. i found the similar idea on this link But this link gives more DIY ideas for light bulbs. You can use them as Herb or spices holder, as toys or teapot or lamp. Just go through it and have fun. :) try making some of them if possible.

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Knitascarf -August 5, 2013, 10:36AM

Very cute! This is an amazing idea.

sandip prince -August 16, 2013, 12:05AM

try this…..nd done….took little bit more tym….bt yup i did something creative..!!! :

Anonymous -September 4, 2013, 9:06AM

I tried this and it turned out beautifully! I kept in the filaments since i liked the way they looked and they put an air plant inside. I put a link to a picture here >

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Delight Bulb Planters -October 23, 2013, 7:36PM

It’s a bit difficult to make these light bulb planters. If you don’t want to take the time, check out this new product: Light Bulb planter filled with hydro bubbles and standing on our custom-design wood base:

The Planters are available on their own, or with Bamboo! You also don’t have to water them every day because of the hydro bubbles. There’s no dirt, no standing water – it’s neat and easy to take care of!

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jelly gamat gold -October 22, 2014, 3:34PM

i like this blog, every day i open this site and ifound somthing difrent

Lulu -June 8, 2015, 4:27AM

So basic and boring. My brother’s friend’s wife makes way cooler ones with the wire wrapping and curling around the glass with beads and charms! That’s what I want to make. Can’t find any tutorials on how to do that anywhere. I’ll just have to ask her.

Anonymous -July 17, 2015, 10:30PM

What plants did you use for the light bulb?

Tammy -September 18, 2015, 5:46AM

Cute idea! I love to recycle things! I have used old light bulbs for making ornament befor. I make them every year! I keep a box of them up in my craft closet to use. Maybe I will try this project with some of the clear ones that I have.

maddhome -December 14, 2015, 8:37AM

Thanks for sharing your creative idea with us. Its very cool and innovative idea and i loved it very much.

Ashley -May 29, 2016, 9:05PM

Ahhhhhhh!!! You’re a flipping’ genius!!! Hehehehehe so amazingly adorable, I MUST do this! Oh man I feel like going to flick the washroom light on and off or something (in hopes to burn it out quicker haha) no but seriously, very creative! They look like tiny glass vases, so beautiful!!! 5 STARS! :)

Ashley -May 29, 2016, 9:09PM

Holy LULU,
Ever heard the saying “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all?” You could have just moved on when you realized this wasn’t what you were looking for, and saved your breath. I shoulda saved mine and not wasted it on you!

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