I had a bunch of vintage light bulbs displayed in a jar in my shop. I have sold quite a few from that jar this year, but now I am left with the bulbs that don’t have very much of their original paint. I was inspired to use up some of my bulbs by a DIY I saw on Pinterest. Theirs was a little different, they probably used new light bulbs that were all different colors and I think that particular DIY used some glitter paint too.
Tools & Materials
- Hot Glue Gun & Glue
- Spray Paint
- Surface of Your Choice to Glue Bulbs On – crate
Let’s Get Started
As I mentioned, many of my light bulbs no longer had their paint. To paint them, I poked some holes in a shallow cardboard box to hold the bulbs for spray painting. If you are using newer bulbs, you can skip this step! I chose to paint all of my bulbs red for this project.
Next I needed something to glue my bulbs to. I had several ideas including; an old picture frame, an old chippy whiteboard, and a shallow wooden crate. If you watch my live video, you can hear my decision process if you are interested. In the end, I went for the shallow wooden crate. I chose this because if it was hung on the wall, the crate makes the perfect little ledge to display more small items on.
Next, I had to consider how I wanted to layout my light bulbs. If you do this project, I would definitely recommend laying out your bulbs before gluing to get an idea for spacing and the size of the tree you want to create.
Another consideration is the bottoms of the bulbs. I had some that were silver and some that were gold. I chose to swap out all the bulbs with silver bottoms for bulbs with gold bottoms. If you like a mix-matched look, then go for it! You could even spray paint the bottoms to match if you wanted.
After laying out my tree and deciding on spacing, it was time to glue. I used hot glue because hot glue sets up quickly. The one downfall to hot glue is that if you are storing items in a place where the temperature is not controlled, anything you have glued could pop off. It is easy to re-glue, but if you don’t want to deal with that, E6000 glue is great. The downfall with E6000 glue is that it doesn’t set up as quickly as hot glue does.
The project that inspired me from Pinterest used a little nutcracker as the tree trunk. I tested out some different things I had around – a porcelain Santa, a wood Santa, small ornament, but I didn’t love any of them so I went for a green light bulb from my collection.
The Finished Tree
If you want to dress up your tree further, you could use pipe cleaners to create a little garland on the tree. You could also add things under the tree to create a vignette since this narrow crate is like a shadow box. I love how this tree of vintage bulbs turned out!
For another unique tree DIY, check out my Framed Vintage Jewelry Christmas Tree DIY!
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2 thoughts on “Create a Simple DIY Christmas Decoration with Vintage Light Bulbs”
That looks sooooo cool. I want to try for Xmas 2023…
Yes! That gives you plenty of time to find some bulbs!