10 Amazing Ways To Reuse Lightbulbs And Give Them A Second Life

by Jess Catcher
Jess grew up in Oklahoma before moving to New York to become a writer. She has a cat named Agnes.

We’ve all had that frustrating moment when we go to turn on a light only to discover the bulb has died out.

If we’re lucky, it doesn’t happen at night and leave us scrambling in the dark to replace it.

But before you toss the glass into the trash, you should take a look at the amazing ways to reuse lightbulbs folks have come up with over the years. Thankfully, they shared some super creative projects online that are all totally easy to do on your own, too!

I had seen a few of these before and even made some to brighten up my home, but I definitely would have never thought of #4 as a way to reuse lightbulbs if I hadn’t stumbled upon it today!

I’m totally going to try making them tonight.

Of course, it’s important to be careful while working with the delicate glass. You should take the proper safety precautions by wearing gloves and goggles before attempting any of the projects below.

Did we miss an awesome way to reuse lightbulbs that you’ve found in the past? Let us know in the comments, and be sure to SHARE with your friends!

1. Paper Clip Holder

Ways to reuse light bulbs: paper clip holder

This incredibly simple idea from Shake the Future has you just hollowing out the non-functioning bulb, rinsing it with water to make sure all the pieces of glass are gone, and then filling with your paper clips.

Admit it, this is way more adorable than the same old magnetic rectangle.

2. Concrete Coat Rack

Ways to reuse light bulbs: coat rack

Instructables user CleanseYourPallet used the bulbs as molds and carefully pour concrete into them, then inserted screws at the bottom as they dried. Once they were fully set, he cracked and removed the bulbs, then finished up by attaching them to reclaimed wood.

3. LED Lightbulb

Ways to reuse light bulbs: LED light

If you still want light from the bulb, you can follow the advice of the folks over at Make It Happen and wrap some LEDs around a straw, then place them inside a small test tube and insert that into the bulb.

After sealing with hot glue, attach to an adapter and hang where you’d like!

4. Salt and Pepper Shakers

Ways to reuse light bulbs: salt and pepper shakers

Instructables user reed9driver put his own spin on this creative idea by using scrap wire for the handles and automotive button caps for the lids. Others have done similar projects using black tape and soda bottle lids.

5. Lock Illusion

5. Lock Illusion

Fake out your friends with this clever project from Shake The Future that cleverly makes it look like you were able to fit a lock (or other slightly larger object) inside the petite bulb by cutting it in half with nichrome wire and then resealing it.

6. Small Planter

Ways to reuse light bulbs: planter

Instructables user advaym filled an empty bulb up with water to make a delightful money tree planter, using sand paper to even out the jagged edges of the metal cap before placing the leafy greens inside.

7. Bumblebee Ornament

Ways to reuse light bulbs: bee ornamet

This super cute project by Instructables user kittyjones93 would look great on a Christmas tree or as adorable decor in a kids’ room! All you need is acrylic paint and a steady hand to create the stripes, then sheer ribbon for the wings.

8. Snow Globes

Ways to reuse light bulbs: snow globes

This is a fun twist on the mason-jar versions I’ve seen around Pinterest. Instructables user ChrysN filled hers with holiday favorites, but you can make this any time of the year with whatever mini-figurines you’d like.

9. Wine Opener

Ways to reuse light bulbs: wine opener

Similar to the concrete coat hanger, the folks at Shake the Future used Insta-Mold to fill up their bulb, carefully refilling as it melted. They then added the screw from a cheap handheld opener before it was completely set.

I don’t know about you, but this looks much more comfortable to me than struggling with the old-school T-shaped versions.

10. Tiny Terrarium

Ways to reuse light bulbs: terrarium

How perfect would this look on your office desk, or any area needing a little earthy boost? After blogger Slivki Show emptied the bulb, he walked right outside to find the perfect materials and carefully inserted them using a piece of rolled up paper for the sand, rocks, and soil, and tweezers to place all the plants where he liked.

Just be sure to add a splash of water so it doesn’t dry out, and then seal with an acorn or maybe some twigs.

Did we miss something you’ve done with your old bulbs? Let us know below, and be sure to SHARE with your friends!