Sunday, December 16, 2012

Repurposed Light Bulbs: Christmas Tree Ornament Tutorial

Shocker Alert: I crafted this week. I used to craft all of the time but I kind of just quit. You see, crafting takes imagination and skill (I have that), but crafting is much more than that. You have to have time (this is not a luxury I have) and patience (I stepped out of the line when they were handing that out because it was just taking.too.long). But I've missed it because it's relaxing and rewarding so I stepped back on the craft wagon for the holidays thanks to a bright idea I had while working on a giving mission. And the result was fabulous (in my head...OK I think this is really cute). Without further ado, my latest crafting project: Sparkly Christmas Tree Ornaments made from repurposed light bulbs.
Eco-friendly, easy (although a little time-consuming), and most importantly...sparkly!

Want to make one or 12 of your own? I'm here to tell you how! You probably already have the supplies around your house so gather them and let's get started. What you'll need:
  • A blown light bulb ( need to throw anything away)
  • Elmer's School Glue Mixture: 2 parts glue, one part water
  • Small Paint Brush 
  • Glitter
  • Vise Grips (shush, we're rednecks, you can use something else but this worked great)
  • Craft Wire
  • Ribbon
  • Embellishment
  • Ornament Hook
  • Elmer's Glue Spots
Step 1: Put the base of the bulb in a vise grip for ease of handling and so you have a place to let it dry through the process. 
Step 2: Paint on the glue mixture. 
Step 3: Get ready to get your glitter on. I did this over the sink so I could wash the overspill down. Note: I also think it's important that the glitter you use matches your fingernails, but that's probably just me. 
Step 4: Sprinkle the glitter until the bulb is covered while the glue mixture is still wet.
Step 5: Let it dry then apply another layer of the glue mixture and another layer of glitter. 
Step 6: Lather, rinse, repeat. Yes this is where that patience (that I don't have) came in. I had to put one layer of glue mixture then glitter, then another layer of glue mixture and glitter, then top it off with one more layer of glue mixture to hold the glitter to the bulb and avoid all of that unwanted fall off in to the carpet. That's a lot of dry time. 
Step 7: I wrapped craft wire around the neck of the bulb, tied it off, and formed a loop at the top so I'd have some way to add the hook for hanging. And it was ready for ribbon.
Step 8: Apply the glue mixture to the neck of the bulb, over the wire, and wrap ribbon around 3 to 4 times. Glue down the end of the ribbon so it doesn't fray. 
Final Step: Get out your Elmer's Glue Spots and your favorite embellishment. Apply the glue spot to the center of the ribbon, apply the flower, attach the hook to your wire loop, and you're ready to decorate the tree. 
It looks very vintage, it's eco-friendly and inexpensive, and oh-so-very sparkly!


  1. So stinkin' cute! I have a ton of bulbs I will be doing this to when I find some of that valuable thing called time.

    1. Do it while you're watching a WWM video. I did. I have a photo to prove it. :)

  2. I'm so proud to see some crafting and some light bulb loving going on. :)

    1. You forced me to love bulbs and get my craft on again. You should be proud. #thatwasnotaneasytask

  3. So cute! I wish I was more crafty, but I'm glad I have sparkly friends who make tutorials like this instead!

  4. This is a cute idea and I bet it pops out on your white tree.

  5. These are the cutest light bulbs I have seen and they are so sparkly too...just like you!! Shine on! :)

  6. I like what you guys are up too. Such smart work and reporting! Carry on the excellent works guys I’ve incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site.
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  7. I have also done this with the help from your blog post thanks for great post to decorate

    Christmas Tree. :)


  8. What a great idea!! Thanks for sharing this.


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