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Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Upcycling Lightbulbs for Christmas!

Good afternoon everyone-as you know I am a huge fan of upcycling and I was told about an upcycling competition that was a little bit different from what I had tried before so I thought I would give it a go-got to love a challenge! 
I have tried to do you a step by step for inspiration-I didnt want to get paint on my lovely camera so I did my best taking step by step pics-dont worry it will all be clearly explained!
As you can see in my first photo I took two old lightbulbs and cleaned them with a bit of kitchen towel and then got out the gesso to make a good base for the acrylic paint I wanted to use-the glass will obviously struggle to take the paint otherwise due to the shiny texture. Gesso creates a lovely matt starting point and is easy to paint on glass. Before you paint you need to wear an apron (yes I learnt that lesson to my detriment with a nice acrylic paint decoration of my favourite jumper oops!) and find a surface to hold your bulb while it dries so I used my old glass tea coaster. Any flat surface that is out of harms way is fine. You only need one coat of gesso, and hold the bulb by the bottom as you paint then carefully place it on your drying surface. Leave to dry for an hour or so. 
Choose your acrylic paint and I used quite a large, flat brush as you can see. I chose metallic effect acrylic paints as this gives more of a glamorous christmas look! Yet again hold the bulb by the bottom and eave your bulb to dry in the same manner as before for at least half an hour/hour for each coat. I would paint another coat when I could see the paint had dried enough to not be sticky. It took me four coats to cover the bulb, then I left to really dry safely overnight somewhere safe where it wouldnt get knocked over!
I chose to decorate my baubles with gems, dew drops, pearls, die cut glitter borders and snowflakes, and glitter ribbon to match the die cuts. I used Quick dry glue to attach the die cuts as this means when you press your snowflakes or decorations to the curve of the bulb you dont have to sit there for hours trying to hold it down to stick! I used adhesive gems and pearls to make life easier and once I had placed my snowflakes I randomly attached these as I liked. On the top of the bulb I ran double sided tape around it, then cut a length of ribbon and stuck this to create a hanging piece to the double sided tape. I then disguised the top with a length of filigree die cut and placed gems around the bits that were left visible.

And the finished baubles-I really hope you think it was worth the effort-they are now sitting on my christmas tree sparkling in the light! :-)

Thank you for looking and for all your lovely comments! :-)


  1. WoW!! They are awesome Elaine.. :) Great up cycle project..

  2. These are so pretty, well done. i was asked to take part but would have no idea where to start but yours are fab

  3. Oh great work there. Am a great fan of recycling too!

  4. Wow this is a brilliant idea will have to try this next year too late now but think they would go down well at craft fairs. Love Alison xx

  5. WOW these absolutely stunning! A fabulous idea too and I bet they will look stunning on your tree.

    Linda xxx

  6. What a fantastic idea Elaine they look stunning xx

  7. What a fantastic idea...I will certainly be trying this for next year.

  8. These are awesome, I never would of thought about making ornaments out of light bulbs.


Thank you for your lovely comments, I really appreciate them all :-) Elaine-xxx-

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