Reuse Lightbulbs for Festive Christmas Decor

You can decorate your home for the holidays with old lightbulbs. Don't throw them out, reuse them for decor!
Reuse Lightbulbs for Festive Christmas Decor

Last update: 12 December, 2019

Recycling and reusing should be on everyone’s mind. Anything can have a second life; it’s only a matter of creativity. So today, we want to share an idea with you – reuse your lightbulbs to deck the halls.

You don’t have to pull out the same old Christmas decorations every year. Instead, reusing the materials you already have at home can be a great way to decorate and save money at the same time.

Lightbulbs can be a material for decor crafts. You can swap their original function for a decorative one that creates Christmas spirit.

Christmas lightbulb ornaments

Colorful Christmas ornaments are the classic decor for trees. And they’re used as decor for trees all around the world. But you have another very economical option that will give your tree a little originality:

reuse lightbulbs ornaments
  • Gather old, burned-out lightbulbs that you don’t plan on using anymore. You can use any size; in fact, the more variety the better.
  • Give the bulbs a layer of white paint to make them opaque.
  • If you want to cover the metal tip, add on a little fabric hat.
  • Once the paint is completely dry, paint the lightbulbs as Christmas characters. Examples could be Santa Claus, snowmen, elves, reindeer, penguins, etc. You can use oil, acrylic or any other resistant paint.
  • Or, cover the lightbulbs in glitter to make them shine bright and festively.
  • To finish, just attach a piece of string to each side of the bulb and hang it on your tree.

Be creative and put your own spin on your Christmas tree.

Make a snow globe

Snow globes are Christmastime classics. They’re common finds in toy and home decor stores. But you can make them yourself– and it’s easy:

  • Use a large lightbulb. Make sure it has plenty of space on the inside as smaller bulbs won’t work for the project. Sphere bulbs work the best.
  • Empty your lightbulb. Unscrew the tip and make sure the opening is big enough to fit your decorations through.
  • Next, apply some glue to the bottom of the bulb and place your items: a Christmas tree, Santa Claus, a little house, snowman, etc.
  • Once the glue is dry, make sure the figurines are securely in place. Then, add some glitter, it can be white or in any color of your choice. When you move the lightbulb, the glitter will float around your little scene.


You’ll need a big lightbulb for our next project, too. This time, we’ll make a terrarium.

  • You can set up your bulb vertically or horizontally. If you set it up horizontally, you’ll have more space for your little garden.
  • Unscrew the tip and empty out your bulb. Now, fill it with a little dirt and on top, a little layer of grass or cotton to make it look like snow.
  • Next, add a little figurine of Santa Claus and his sleigh, a snowman, the Three Kings, a mini nativity scene or any other Christmas-themed idea.
reuse lightbulbs terrarium

Decorating the outside of your lightbulbs

If your lightbulbs still work, you can still decorate their outsides:

  • Wrap them with colorful string to make a unique bulb that offers nice, dim lighting.
  • Paint the surface white and add glitter on top.
  • Paint the bulb in any color you want. When it lights up, it’ll fill your room with light and color.

Wrapping up, your lightbulbs can have a second life. Don’t throw them away after they burn out!

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All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Asenzo, Matilde; Menzel, Nora: Reciclado de muebles y objetos, Albatros, 2003.