What To Do with Old Light Bulbs – Don’t Throw Out

Every house has them: old light bulbs that are destined for the trash.

But with so many creative uses for old light bulbs, you might have missed this one! Light bulbs may not be something most people think to do anything with, but they can actually be really handy! If you’ve been scratching your head over what to do with old light bulbs, this guide may just be what you need.

From crafty light bulb gifts to straightforward recycling, there’s a DIY project out there for every skill level.

So, allow your creative juices to flow and give these creative uses for old light bulbs a try!

What to do with old light bulbs

When your light bulb eventually burns out, don’t just toss it! You could be making a useful craft project with that old bulb.

If you’re looking for some great ways to reuse old light bulbs, look through this guide for lots of creative ideas! We’ve come up with 15 great uses for old light bulbs that you can try at home.

Make hanging flower pots

There is nothing as beautiful as the sight of colorful flowers on a summer day.

If your garden is a little bit lacking in the color department, why not spruce it up with a hanging flower pot?

You can make one using an old light bulb! Take several bulbs and remove the filaments before you add some water and flowers.

Hang these on your front porch, in a window or near your garden.

You can even make your very own hanging light bulb planter! Change the flowers as soon as they begin to die and you’ll be able to enjoy these all summer long.

Oil lamp

Oil lamps were very common in areas where firewood was scarce or expensive.

They were also used in parts of the world that didn’t have electricity.

Oil lamps are a great way to add some ambiance and coziness to your home.

You can easily make your own with old light bulbs, some oil and a wick.

Cut a small hole in the top and then place your wick inside.

Now light the wicks and place the lamp in an area where you want it to be.

It’s best to check the temperature of your oil before lighting so that you don’t start a fire.

You can also add some cinnamon sticks or even peppermint leaves for a nice scent.

An old light bulb makes a great oil lamp because the glass is thick and sturdy enough to withstand the heat of the flame.

Add several light bulbs together and make one large lamp to light up your entire room.

Place this one in the kitchen or living room for a nice fire-like glow.

Make a tiny ecosystem

You can make a miniature ecosystem with an old light bulb! This is a great project for small children to take on, because it’s small and simple.

Place several different plants and small rocks in your light bulb, add some water and then place the bulb in a suitable area.

Carefully remove the filament using some tools and then replace the top part.

Place your new miniature ecosystem somewhere sunny to bloom! You’ll be able to watch it all summer long.

If you want, make use of any other old bulbs to make several small ecosystems for your friends and family.

Create a tiny terrarium

People love terrariums because they’re beautiful and they’re a great way to decorate the house.

If you have some old light bulbs lying around, why not use them to create one?

You’ll have to make a small opening on the side or at the top as well as remove the filament, but don’t worry.

With some common household tools, it should come off pretty easily! To attach your plants, use rocks or even small stones.

You can also place a small piece of moss inside as decoration.

Hang the mini terrarium somewhere that gets some sunlight, such as a window or near your garden.

Make your friends jealous by showing off your great new creation!

Spice containers

It’s not uncommon for homes to have a variety of spices on hand.

Spices can be expensive though, and that’s why many people choose to make their own blends.

You can use old light bulbs to hold these homemade spices! Even if you’re used to buying them at the store, you’ll still need somewhere to put them.

Once they’re ready, you can store them inside a light bulb.

These small containers are much easier to store and organize than paper bags and bottles, especially if you have several different kinds.

You can use tiny labels or even paint the tops to make an attractive container for your spices.

Mini vase

Are you finding it difficult to find a small vase to put your flowers in?

You’ll be surprised by how many unique ways you can use old light bulbs! You can create a vase out of an old light bulb by removing the filament.

Place it upside down on a flat surface and add a little water.

After that, you can put your flowers in it to enjoy! Use two or more bulbs together and hang these as decoration.

You can also place one on a bedside table to hold a single flower and bring some color into your home.

No need to spend money on new vases when there are unwanted bulbs lying around.

It will be the perfect solution!

Christmas decoration

Are your Christmas decorations a little lacking this year?

Don’t worry; you can easily recycle some old light bulbs to make brand new ones! All you need is some paint and a small brush.

You can even let the kids help out by using markers or stickers to make unique designs.

Once you’ve painted them, place these around the house or in your garden to add some color and style.

Moreover, you’ll save money on buying new decorations! Make sure that the bulbs aren’t damaged before you start painting.

Make mini snow globes

If you have little ones, snow globes are one of the most popular Christmas gifts to give.

Most of them are too expensive for ordinary people though.

But don’t worry! You can make your own out of old light bulbs using simple supplies and a few steps.

Fill the bulb with some small objects such as beads, glitter or small rocks.

Add some water, seal it and then place it in a tray with some snow.

Place this outside where it’s going to be cold throughout the winter and watch your little ones play with these.

As long as you don’t forget about them, they’ll last practically forever!

Salt and pepper shakers

Sometimes you just don’t have the money to buy new shakers.

If that’s the case, you can always recycle an old light bulb to make a new shaker.

All you need is some salt and pepper and you can make some unique ones! You can use different colors or even some of your other household supplies to decorate your new light bulb shaker.

Why should people spend money on these when they can be made at home?

Don’t let those old bulbs go to waste!

An easy gift idea

Gifting doesn’t have to be expensive.

If you want to give a gift but don’t want it to be tacky, there are many cheap and unique gift ideas that can be made out of old light bulbs.

You could paint the shades in different colors to match the person’s taste and then add some wrapping paper or other decorations.

People will appreciate your thoughtfulness even if you didn’t spend a lot of money.

Choose the gift you’ll want to include in the bulb.

It could be anything ranging from a small handful of candy to a fancy glove.

Just make sure the bulb is big enough to fit everything inside the shade.

Next, decorate it with ribbons, twine or small items.

You can also tape or glue things to the outside of the bulb before you put in the shade for a more interesting look.

Glitter ornament

We all love a good ornament in the holiday season but sometimes it’s quite difficult to find a good gift.

If you have old light bulbs lying around, you can use these as a great alternative.

These could be small ornaments for your home, trees or even your garden.

All you need is some glitter and some seed beads.

You can even use the original colored glass of the bulb.

Pour the glitter inside and then place some seed beads on top.

Glue a ribbon to the bottom and you have a beautiful ornament! Lastly, use strings or fish hooks to hang it somewhere on the exterior of your home.

You can also place these in the ground to make beautiful ornaments for your garden.

Make hot air balloons

If you have children at home, you probably have them doing a couple of creative and crafty activities.

If you need something a little more challenging, try making some hot air balloons out of old light bulbs! You can use this for fun on a lazy afternoon with the kids or to keep them occupied for a couple of hours.

Make sure your kid isn’t trying to put these in their mouth and don’t leave them unattended.

You’ll need some craft paper, glue, and a translucent nylon thread.

You can use gift wrap to decorate these as well.


The truth is not many people are into DIY projects.

It’s not that they are lazy but it’s just too much work for them.

If you are one of those people who just don’t have the creativity, you can always recycle old light and help keep the environment in order.

Nowadays, there are many recycling programs and centers in every state.

You can’t miss them.

You can just drop your used light bulbs at the nearest location for them to be recycled.

The old light bulbs are then melted and mixed with other metals to make new ones!

Some retailers will take burnt out bulbs off your hands as well if you ask.

The handling fee is minimal and they’ll dispose of them in a safe and environmentally-friendly manner.

The best way to avoid the waste is to only use what you need and dispose of the bulbs properly when they burn out.

Also, check with the municipal government in your area to see if there is any place you can take the light bulbs for recycling.

Final Thoughts

Old light bulbs are quite abundant and great for the environment.

These have been recycled to make new ones throughout history.

Most of the time, they can be reused in other ways as well but there are projects that are just not meant for it.

You can turn them into home decorations or use them in crafts as well as different projects that may be useful to everyone.

Once you take advantage of these, you won’t be wasting anything on unnecessary materials that are not meant for them.

It’s also a great way to keep the environment in proper order.


What can i do with leftover light bulbs?

You can make a couple of fun things to put on display in your home.

You could also use them for crafts or even a DIY project.

Learn how to turn this into something useful and beautiful that everyone will love.

If not, recycle them and turn them into something else!

What light bulbs can you not throw away?

Fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury and can only be recycled at certain facilities.

You are actually required to dispose of these in a special way.

These bulbs can’t be thrown in the garbage and you’ll have to take them to a facility to dispose of them.

It’s important that you dispose of your light bulbs properly so that they don’t end up contaminating the environment or our water system.