Recycled Light Bulb Christmas Ornaments

Old incandescent light bulbs can be used to make a variety of craft projects. They lend themselves very well to Christmas ornaments. This is a guide about recycled light bulb Christmas ornaments.

December 18, 2009 Flag
8 found this helpful

Approximate Time: 2 Hours, allowing for drying time


  • Recycled large vanity bulb
  • Flat white spray paint
  • Cosmetic sponge
  • Acrylic paints (Ceramcoat)
  • White (Gesso)
  • Black
  • Yellow
  • Pumpkin
  • Rouge
  • Red
  • Clear acrylic spray
  • Sparkle Glaze (opt)
  • Various size paint brushes
  • Black felt hat to fit lg. Bulb
  • Ribbon of choice for hat band
  • Small Christmas embellishment for hat
  • Small pieces of 18/20 gauge wire


Spray paint light bulb with flat spray paint until bulb is completely covered. I use the bottom of a egg carton to hold the light bulb while spraying it.


After the light bulb is dry, start sponging several coats of white acrylic paint, letting dry completely in between coats of paint. It may take several coats to completely cover the light bulb.

Decide what kind of facial expression you want for your snowman. Trace onto tracing paper and with a piece of graphite paper underneath, trace the face onto the light bulb. Paint the nose eyes and mouth and don't forget to give him rosey cheeks. When completely dry, spray with a non-yellowing clear spray. Sometimes I brush on a sparkle glaze on the white before I add the facial details.

While light bulb is drying, glue on the hat band and embellishment to the felt hat. Wrap the wire around the threads of the light bulb very tightly. Then thread the wire through a hole in the top, front portion of the hat. Twist wire together and form a loop for the hanger. Enjoy!

By Lana from Show Low

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January 1, 20100 found this helpful

That is one of the cutest things I have seen all year!

Very good at step by step instructions, too!


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Anonymous Flag
September 20, 20120 found this helpful

Where did you find the felt hats and what size are they?

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December 8, 2010 Flag
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When making light bulb ornaments, how do you drill a hole into the plug side of the bulb to thread wire?

By Annie from Glasgow, KY

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December 13, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Right after I posted this I realized that. (I'm almost embarrassed to say this) I had the drill in reverse. It definitely works better when you are drilling in the right direction!

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Anonymous Flag
December 8, 20100 found this helpful

I am not sure what you mean :-( Could you please explain in a little more detail?

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December 8, 20100 found this helpful

I'm confused, too. :-( Wouldn't a small drill bit from one side of the bulb's base (the part you screw in) to the other make a large enough opening for you to thread light weight wire, or sturdy thread through? Perhaps I'm misunderstanding the craft project itself. It sounds interesting, though. More info?

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December 11, 20100 found this helpful

That sounds dangerous to me. Everyone I know just takes ribbon or thread to match the tree and ties it at the base of the bulb just above the part that screws into a lamp.

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Anonymous Flag
December 13, 20100 found this helpful


How funny! Well, we all have 'duh' moments. Part of being human and learning humility ;-) I love your light bulb decoration and Bless you for recycling those bulbs! You should submit that to the weekly ThriftyFun Craft Contest with how to directions!

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December 14, 20150 found this helpful

Good Afternoon,

I joined a few minutes ago, after seeing your snowman. His face caught my eye. I painted these fella's 40 years ago. They say it all comes back around, and it sure has.

My question is, would you mind if I used or copied (and I am asking permission ... to copy that face) my husband just passed away, not long now, and boy o boy I think I need this fella to help me through this season called Christmas.

So I wanted to ask your permission first before I started painting them for the kids and grandbabies.

Right before Jerry died, he has a record collection of over 100,000 records in our basement.... I know :/ what am I gonna do with that? I fret and worry all the time over. But the very last records he was cleaning, and he couldn't use because they were beyond saving, I would like to use as the base for these snowmen. And I think i will give them a hat as well. I want to give to each of the kids and grandbabies.

At least help me from going crazy... if that is possible.

So God Love you for listening to me, sorry for yammering on.

ps we at one time worked at the radio station with a fella from Glascow. /// I think that is where I saw you were from. I am not far from there, in Evansville.

Take care of yourself, stay well and above all things, BE HAPPY.


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June 29, 2008 Flag
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Use old burned out light bulbs for this craft. Wash and dry, use acrylic paints, paint light bulb white, let dry about 25 minutes.

Lightbulb Ornament

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May 19, 2005 Flag
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Use old burned out light bulbs as Christmas Bulbs: Paint and decorate with glitter, sequins, spray snow, and then add a decorative string or ribbon around top (base) of bulb for hanging.

By Aurelia C.

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May 19, 20050 found this helpful

I like to glue a bottle cap to the bulb before I paint with a good glue...helps them stand up........and I drill small holes on both sides of the metal screw area and insert cord or wire and glue in place for hangers. Snowmen...Sants..angels...penguins...witches..jack-o-lanterns are some of the oones I have painted.

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November 5, 20070 found this helpful

I would instructions on how to make Light bulb ornaments

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November 17, 20080 found this helpful

I imagined that in the fall, donation boxes would show up around in those cheerful places in those happy towns where busy people smile and remain hopeful, and those people would see the boxes and make a note on the back of the current shopping list or the print out of a co-workers tempting stuffing recipe.

The hand decorated boxes would explain how donating your old, unwanted, and nonworking Christmas lights would be repaired by the handy men and women at the senior center who use them to decorate the orphanages, institutions and hospitals in the community, when they are asked. They also offer them for sale after thanksgiving and then use the proceeds to match homeless animals at the shelter with deserving folks who could use a good friend to grow old with.

They also look after pets left alone by the passing of their master. The cost of adoption, grooming, training and even veterinarian services are provided for those who otherwise could never afford a pet. A pet who has been left behind. Waiting for the sadness to stop. All this from the sale of recycled Holiday lights. That's what I imagined. Is there a box for that? Dustykeys AT

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November 13, 2011 Flag

The "wreath" is a captured quilled wreath. The two little bulbs are recycled burned out bulbs with glitter (tape/glitter) and the round recycled light bulb is quilled tight coils! Fun and easy peasy!

Three clear Christmas ornaments with decorative inclusions.

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December 8, 2010 Flag
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I would like to know how to make burned out light bulb Christmas ornaments.

Lilly from Scranton, PA


Patterns for Light Bulb Ornaments

Make a reindeer by taking a Christmas tree light bulb, holding it socket end up, center and wrap a brown chenille stem around the socket once and then bend or twist the ends into antlers. (I like to wrap around a pencil for a spiral shape.) Glue on a pompom nose, red, or course on the front near the tip and add jiggly eyes. Good and easy enough for kids. You can add a pin back to wear it, or a string(clear fishing line) to hang it. (10/05/2004)

By Linda

Light Bulb Christmas Ornaments

An easy beautiful ornament is to take some red paint, paint a swirl all the way down the bulb as if you were making a candy cane and decorate the top part (which is the screw part), with a cute wired ribbon etc. you can use any color paint and get creative. Makes a great gift for a teacher, too. (12/01/2005)

By melfrmNY

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