Turns out lightbulbs are worth keeping around long after they lose power. Check out these three inspired ways to put them to use.
Step 1: gather your supplies. Consider options that will hide the bottom section while allowing the upper portion to remain exposed. Small vases, flower pots, candle holders, and even tin cans are great options. Then decide how many lights you will use. This will drive the number of light bulbs, batteries, and flashlight bulbs you will need to create your centerpiece. The version shown uses a vintage wooden sugar mold.
Step 2: prepare the lightbulbs. First, remove the existing lights from the light bulbs. This is a little messy and is best done outside or over a drop cloth in order to catch the broken glass. This tutorial walks you through the steps to remove the base and inside light using needle nose pliers.
Step 3: make the battery-powered lights. Next, you can begin assembling your lights. You will need one AAA battery and one flashlight replacement bulb for each light bulb in your centerpiece. You’ll also need electrical wire and tape. Make sure the voltage of the flashlight bulbs are matched to the voltage output of the batteries (1.5V).
Step 4: cut two pieces of wire approximately 8 inches each. Attach one end of each piece to opposite sides of the battery and secure with tape. Attach the other ends of each piece of wire to the wires of the flashlight bulb. At this point, the light should illuminate. If it does not, you may need to secure the wire to the battery and/or to the light more tightly.
Step 5: once the light and battery is secured, you can insert the light into the lightbulb.
Once all of your light bulbs are assembled, insert them into your containers.
And you’re done — that’s some truly elegant upcycling.
2. Next up, Stephanie from Stuff Steph Does creates a lightbulb necklace.
Step 1: gather your materials and tools..
Step 2: cut a piece of wire 14”-16” long. Make a small loop on one end with the round nose pliers.
Step 3: make a bend below the loop with the flat nose pliers.
Step 4: wrap the wire around a marker or dowel that is slightly smaller than the lightbulb’s base. If you don’t have one, you can wrap the wire the directly around the lightbulb, just make sure to keep the wire tight! Leave some extra at the end for finishing.
Step 5: take the wire off the marker and slide onto the bulb. You may have to play with the wire a bit to get it looking just how you want it. Twist the extra wire under at the bottom and trim off any excess. Attach the jump ring to the loop at the top, put on the chain, and you’re done. A chic new necklace that’s easy enough for a novice jewelry maker.
3. Last but not least, Melanie at Bliss Bloom Blog turns lightbulbs into artichokes.
Step 1: gather your supplies: old lightbulbs, duck cloth canvas, hot glue gun/glue sticks, scissors, and round wooden disks.
Step 2: cut your squares. Cut 12 two-inch squares and 21 three-inch squares out of the duck cloth.
Step 3: cover the lightbulb base. Take a 3-inch square and cover the base of the lightbulb. Glue down the center of the square, make four cuts, and wrap and glue the material around the base.
Step 4: make shapes. Fold in the corners and glue ALL of the squares into a “house” shape (left photo). The folded part will be the tip of each “petal”. Take 10 3-inch “house” shapes and trim the bottom so it resembles a “boat” shape (middle photo). Take the remaining 10 3-inch “house” shapes and trim the sides into a “hexagon” (right photo).
Step 5: fold and glue all squares.
Step 6: cut ten 3” squares into “boat” shapes.
Step 7: cut ten 3” squares into hexagon shapes.
Step 8: glue on the “petals”. Start at the base of the bulb with the 2-inch “house” shapes. As shown, apply the glue on the edges.
Step 9: slightly overlap each petal and work your way down.
Step 10: move on to the ten “boat” shapes and finish up with the ten “hexagon” shapes.
If you want your artichoke to stand up, glue a wood disk to the bottom.
Done! Fresh produce decor that will never go bad.
Pippa Armbrester is a quilt designer and maker. Follow her adventures in life and in quilting at her website.