How To: DIY Impossible Light Bulb, Plus 6 More Ways to Repurpose Burned Out Bulbs

DIY Impossible Light Bulb, Plus 6 More Ways to Repurpose Burned Out Bulbs

The next time a light bulb burns out in your house, don't throw it out. Believe it or not, burned out light bulbs aren't entirely useless. Besides creating an extra task on your to-do list, they can be hollowed out and used for a variety of different things from home decorations to miniature indoor gardens.

Interested in turning your own junk light bulbs into something creative and useful? First, a quick tutorial on how to safely hollow out a light bulb.

Now, here are some of the most innovative things you can do.


You can grow a variety of small plants in a light bulb, almost like a mini greenhouse. If you don't have a green thumb, just use it as a vase.

Images via James Hobson, LinuxH4x0r/Instructables, arte sano/Instructables, Readymade

Fish Tanks

You can use a regular size light bulb to make a home for a tiny fish, or bigger one for a mini aquarium. Or maybe a bunch of hanging ones.

Images by Sgt Waffles/Instructables, StarRedesigns/Etsy


A larger one also makes a great DIY terrarium for a small reptile.

Image via TheHipsterHome

Or without a reptile...

Image via Monica Bogliolo

Salt & Pepper Shakers

Poke holes in the cap from a soda bottle to make your own salt and pepper shakers; a 16 oz. bottle cap is the perfect size for a standard light bulb.

Image via Readymade

Or you can make a whole spice rack with cork stoppers...

Image via Inhabitat


This one may not be very far off from the original use, but you can make tons of cool lamps and light fixtures with light bulbs, like a simple DIY oil lamp.

Images by Magnelectrostatic/Instructables

Or, if you have more bulbs than you know what to do with...

Images via Bulbs Unlimited

Ship in a Bottle

Okay, so it's not a bottle, but close enough. You could also try something a little different like a submarine or tiny scuba divers if you're feeling creative. If you want to make your own, here's a ship in a light bulb tutorial. What other "impossible light bulb" scenarios can you come up with?

Images via msolek/Instructables, White's Nautical Antiques

Concrete Wall Hooks

Tired of using the same old hooks for hanging your coats and hats? Try pouring some concrete in the old bulbs and turn them into sturdy wall hooks.

Images by whamodyne/Instructables

As you can see, the possibilities for old light bulbs are nearly endless. Do you have any other ideas? If you've done a similar project, show us how you did it!

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I would have felt more comfortable if the guy in the video wore gloves but still great ideas

Only real problem with using a light bulb for these things is that a light bulb will break easily; and also most light bulbs are not transparent. Kudos nonetheless, as these craft tips are quite nifty!

If you pour regular table salt into the bulb, and swirl it around it will remove all of the white frost instantaneously! Obviously it won't work on the ones with the much more difficult, grey colored frost, but will on 95% of most standard light bulbs. I will not explain how I came to know this, lol

hmmm closet t#&@*$r? jk I came to this same piece of knowledge for reasons kept hush hush myself

Ok s how do you get a hole in the lightbulb and also how do you get the insides out?

Did you watch the video??

This is a great idea for my girls and myself to do for a project. I love stuff that is very differnt that no body has in there home

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