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Hey, craft fans! We’re recovering from Hurricane Sandy here in New York — here’s hoping you and yours are safe and sound, too. While lights and electricity are something we often take for granted, I’ve come through the storm with a whole new appreciation for power. Even old light bulbs can be reused in creative ways. Take a look at these bright ideas for recycling and turn a dim bulb into a bright, shiny new craft.

SAFETY NOTE: While each craft varies, a good general rule of thumb is to wear safety goggles and gloves when crafting with light bulbs to protect yourself from glass shards. Please read the instructions carefully and craft responsibly!

light bulb vase

Thinking about planting some bulbs? How about using light bulbs instead of flower bulbs? Check out this ReadyMade tutorial and turn all your old light bulbs into bud vases for your favorite small flora.

light bulb terrarium

If you like the idea of a bud vase but have a black thumb, try making a light bulb terrarium instead. Once it’s all finished, it’s so low-maintenance. Head over to The Hipster Home to see how it’s done.

light bulb oil lamp
Even if a light bulb dies, it can still be used to illuminate a space. If you’re using it as an oil lamp, that is. Go old-school with the directions from Instructables. (It’s recommended that you use paraffin-based lamp oil for this project. And please be mindful around the open flame!) Prefer to have someone else MacGyver for you? There are beautiful examples for sale from RecycledLightCompany on etsy.

light bulb hot air balloons

I’m a big fan of affordable kids’ room decor, and I think these hot air balloon sculptures from Rook No. 17 would be darling in a nursery. (Hung up high, out of baby’s reach, of course.) You almost can’t tell they’re light bulbs at all. I could also see using these as Christmas tree ornaments. Speaking of which…

light bulb snowman ornament

Just looking at these easy and super-cute light bulb snowman ornaments puts me in the holiday spirit (despite the fact that we still have Thanksgiving to go)! Grab some glitter and get ready to deck the halls with Kelsey Bang‘s DIY advice.

Which light bulb craft do you think was the most genius idea? And are there any common household items you’d like to see transformed in this column? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!


DIY, Handmade

39 Responses

  1. mary says:

    Local food banks can fit 2 -3 rolls of toilet paper in them to give to their clients, but they may not have thought of it, so you'll have to give the creative idea when dropping off.

  2. Ann Marie says:

    Little bits of soap are good for marking clothes when hemming them,marks come out in the wash.

    Mint tins are good for straight pins and safety pins or buttons

  3. Sherry says:

    I use old pill bottles for storing broken sewing machine needles !

  4. Judy G says:

    I use empty pill bottles to hold change in my purse. I hate digging around for it when I need some. Plus if I have an excess of quarters one bottle holds $9.50!

  5. Clara says:

    All my small knitting and sewing notions are kept in pill bottles:: needles, markers, pins, stitch holders.

  6. Judie says:

    Those newspaper bags are great for keeping dust off of seldom worn clothing in your closet. Slit one side, leaving the end alone. Find the center of one edge and cut a small hole in the intact edge to slip over the hanger. Smooth over the shoulders of your clothes. You can tape or staple the edge closed if you want, but you don't need to.

  7. Pat says:

    The old crystal light containers hold candle tarts, crochect hooks and kringle cans also can hold candle tarts and knitting needles.

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  11. Sandi says:

    Take them apart and apply to a man's vest in a collage style. Adorn with old jewelry. You have wearable art!

  12. bobbin says:

    Used dryer sheets make great dusters around sewing machines or cutting tables.

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Briana MowreyBriana is a writer and senior editor for HGTV.com. Her self-described design style is "mid-century modern magpie." She lives in a Brooklyn apartment with her husband, their spoiled dachshund, Chauncey,...


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