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6 Ways to Repurpose Incandescent Lightbulbs Creatively

Posted on July 18, 2010 at 7:34 AM


Like many governments and businesses, Ikea is phasing out sales of incandescent lightbulbs. Some cities and towns won't accept them for recycling, so what to do with all those bulbs both unused and used?

Image Sergio Silva


Recycling Incandescent Lightbulbs Creatively

Recycling these lightbulbs to transform them into beautiful and creative ways is possible. But you must take care when working with glass. Before you start, make sure that you are working away from your kids and family pets, that you have protective eyewear and gloves. Now you're ready to get going.

First, you will need to hollow out lightbulbs safely. TeamDroid has very clear instructions to show how to do this. Each of the following projects also have instructions for preparing the bulbs but the TeamDroid one has very clear pictures that make it easier to follow.

Tiny Terrarium




Hipster Homers have instructions to make one of these cute little terrariums. These would be great gifts for some in hospital as they require no watering.

Lightbulb Greenhouse




Instructables has a page on how to repurpose your light bulbs into greenhouse planters.

Ship in a Bottle



Here’s a variation on a popular ship-in-a-bottle also from Instructables.


Bud Vase

This project, from ReadyMade, is another way to recycle a lightbulb--into a bud vase! Get the instructions in ReadyMade's February/March 2010 issue or online.

Hanging Flower Vases




The Care2 Healthy and Green site has a variation on the bud vase so you can create create an interesting hanging garden.

Tiny Aquarium




If you need more inspiration, check out this lightbulb offered for sale by Etsy seller Sage Leaves.

Feeling inspired but don't have enough bulbs. Why not collect lightbulbs from family members and friends (buy them a CFL in exchange and you'll be doing even more good!)?

Categories: Lightbulbs, Gardening, Crafts

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