3 Light Bulb Ornaments

Unexpected ornaments: use old light bulbs to create new decorations this year using these three creative ideas.

By: Rae Friis

One of the best things about crafting is the ability to create something cute and whimsical out of an ordinary, everyday item. Our light bulb ornaments are a perfect example. They bring a handmade touch to your holiday décor and also make fantastic hostess gifts.

1. Reindeer Ornament

Regular indoor light bulbs
Light-brown craft paint
Brown pipe cleaners
1 1/2-inch wide ribbon or scrap of fabric
10-inch thin ribbon
Hot glue gun
Black and red paint or permanent markers
Jingle bells (optional)
Red foam ball (optional)


  1. Paint the glass part of the light bulb with brown paint and let dry
  2. Meanwhile, make the antlers by cutting one pipe cleaner in half and another into smaller pieces (about eight 2-inch pieces)
  3. Wrap three or four of the smaller pieces around the larger pipe cleaner to make the points on your antlers
  4. Hot glue one to each side of the metal part of the light bulb
  5. Next, cover the metal and base of the antlers with ribbon or fabric and glue in place
  6. Thread a jingle bell or two onto the thin piece of ribbon and tie in a knot to create a loop
  7. Glue to the top of the ornament so it’s ready to hang on a tree and then finish by giving your reindeer a cute face using markers, paint or a red foam ball for the nose

2. Penguin Ornament

Regular indoor opaque light bulb
Black, white, yellow and red craft paint
Orange and blush colored craft paint or permanent markers
10-inch piece of ribbon or string
Hot glue gun


  1. Start with an opaque bulb or paint the clear glass white until covered (that might take a few coats)
  2. Add the black “tuxedo” penguins are so famous for using the black paint to add a beak, black paint for eyes and red for rosy cheeks
  3. Create a loop from the ribbon or string and glue to the top of the bulb
  4. Wait for it to dry before hanging

3. Snowman Ornament

Regular indoor opaque light bulb
Adhesive spray
Dry stick from outside
10-inch piece of ribbon or string
Hot glue gun
Black and orange craft paint


  1. Start with an opaque bulb or paint the clear glass white until covered (this could take more than one coat)
  2. Once dry, spray with adhesive and cover with glitter
  3. Break the stick into two pieces just the right size for your snowman’s arms and hot glue on either side of the bulb (metal side pointing up!)
  4. Next, make a loop from your ribbon and hot glue to the top
  5. Using the point of a toothpick, paint dots for the eyes, mouth, buttons and carrot nose

Tip: Go green! Use compact fluorescent light bulbs for ornaments too. Simply cover them with green craft paint and wrap holiday garland around them to create cute holiday trees.

Tell us what other household items you’ve repurposed for ornaments below!

Rae is a graphic designer and the creative director of Armommy.com. She spends her days working from home — usually with any one of her four lovely (and rambunctious) kids hanging on her side. She enjoys creating everyday adventures with her munchkins using ordinary things and making them extraordinary. Oh, and she also really loves clothes, chocolate, her husband, and her cell phone (in no particular order).


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