DIY Light Bulb Vase

DIY Lightbulb Vase - The Merrythought
A few years ago, I spotted an upcycled light bulb vase in a magazine and thought my mom needs that! I showed Mike the picture and told him he should try to make one for her. So he did. (What a guy!) He’s made quite a few different styles of them over the last few years. I finally captured the process of how he does it to share with you.  So start saving those old light bulbs and get your craft on!   (These make great Mother’s Day gifts!)
Light Bulb Vase Supplies - The Merrythought
Supplies you’ll need:

For the vase:

  • old light bulbs
  • needle nose pliers
  • nail set
  • hammer

For the stand/hanger:

  • wire / floral wire for hanging vase
  • wire cutters
  • wooden dowel
  • drill
  • electrical tape – optional

You’ll be working with glass, so it’s a good idea to wear safety goggles and gloves. (Mike did not put safety first!).
Step 1 Lightbulb Vase
Over a garbage can, use the nail set and hammer to break the black part of the bulb…be careful, it is glass.
Step 2 Lightbulb Vase
Remove the small silver layer with your pliers.  Tap out black glass into garbage. Break the next layer of glass inside the bulb carefully, using the nail set and hammer again.  Break off any little pieces around the inside edge of the bulb.
Step 3 Lightbulb Vase
Remove the “guts” of the bulb with your needle nose pliers.  Shake out any loose glass.  You now have a vase.
Step 4 Lightbulb Vase
Drill a 1/8 inch hole in the dowel (or big enough for your wire to fit it in).  Mike also wrapped a few layers of electrical tape around the dowel because the dowel wasn’t as big as the light bulb base.  (You will also be able to adjust the size after removing the wire from the dowel). Cut your wire into 20″ pieces.  Mike used the wire that you use to hang drop ceilings with.
Put wire into the hole in the dowel and start wrapping the wire around the dowel clockwise. Wrap it 2-3 times.
Step 5 Lightbulb Vase
Use the wire cutters to remove the wire from the dowel, cutting right at the hole.  Check to see if your bulb will fit into coils, adjust if needed by turning the wire with pliers to either tighten or loosen.
Step 6 Lightbulb Vase
Thread bulb into wire, it should thread in and tighten up  – like putting a bulb in a light socket.  Bend wire down to form a base, shaping it how you like.

To make a hanging vase, follow the steps above for preparing the light bulb. Then drill two holes in the bulb base and attach floral wire.
DIY Lightbulb Vases - The Merrythought
DIY Lightbulb Vases - The Merrythought
DIY Lightbulb Vase - The Merrythought
Enjoy your new cute, upcycled vase! Have a happy day! Manda

  • SakuraFriday, April 19, 2013 - 4:45 pm

    I love this idea, but I’m worried about bumping them and having the glass break. Any way to reinforce it where it is slightly more durable?ReplyCancel

    • MandaFriday, April 19, 2013 - 8:44 pm

      I’m not sure of any way you could reinforce the bulbs. I would suggest trying to find heavy duty (rough service) bulbs, they might have thicker glass.ReplyCancel

  • JordanFriday, April 19, 2013 - 7:48 pm


  • LanceSunday, June 2, 2013 - 11:35 pm

    Sweet! My girlfriend just left for Jamaica & this is perfect for when she gets back in a week. Just a simple, Thinking of you/I miss you gift 🙂 nice ! Thanks for the idea, ill be back on hereReplyCancel

  • nocreationwithoutchaosFriday, June 7, 2013 - 4:11 pm

    I didn’t know you could do those yourself!
    By the way, I linked to this post on my blog:

  • Bebe ButlerSunday, June 9, 2013 - 10:34 am

    luv luv luv luv luvReplyCancel

  • The 5 DreamcatchersMonday, April 28, 2014 - 11:49 am

    Cute idea!

    I included your idea in my post “Parents Day”.

    If you want, visit my blog:



  • wedding organiser in SydneyTuesday, October 14, 2014 - 3:05 am

    Thanks for the idea cause by this it will be very helpful for me to make one and gift it to someone special.ReplyCancel

  • DebSunday, November 22, 2015 - 12:50 am

    You can u light bulb bottles from Hobby Lobby that look like the real thing but are made of heavier glass for around 2 dollars…ReplyCancel

  • AntMonday, December 21, 2015 - 2:42 pm


    Really like the tutorial. Could you please inform me the thickness (diameter) of the wire used? I have a rough idea what I am looking for, but want to make sure it’s thick enough!


    • MandaWednesday, December 23, 2015 - 9:40 am

      Hi – we used 12 gauge wire!ReplyCancel

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