How To Make A Light Bulb Vase

What do you do when a light bulb burns out? Take out the old bulb, put in a new one, and throw away the burnt out bulb, right? Wrong! You don’t have to throw them away; recycle your burnt out light bulbs and turn them into light bulb vases!

Recycle a burnt out light bulb into a light bulb vase!

When I got my new Dremel Micro 8050, I knew it was perfect for this project; it’s light and handheld, but still powerful enough to cut through the metal part of the bulb!

How To Make A Light Bulb Vase

Here’s what you I used for this light bulb vase: (affiliate links below)

  • Dremel Micro 8050 (available online from Amazon and HomeDepot for $89)
  • burnt out light bulb
  • spray paint
  • painter’s tape
  • safety glasses and a respirator (gloves optional, if they don’t interfere with your control of the tool)

How To Make A Light Bulb Vase

I used the #426 1-1/4″ fiberglass reinforced cut-off wheel that came with the Dremel Micro for this project, and it worked great!

A quick word of warning: Do not try to cut through glass with this cutting wheel! It is not designed to cut through glass and, with the speeds that this powerful little tool rotates at, the glass could shatter, which would be quite dangerous! Only cut through the aluminum or brass threads at the bottom of the light bulb.

Put on your eye protection and respirator (the Dremel Micro kicks up a lot of dust as it works!).

Turn your rotary tool on and slowly cut through the threads of the light bulb. JM helped with this part (not because I needed help, but because he wanted to play with the fun new tool too!). He gently cut through the threads in one place, then rotated the bulb and cut again until he had cut all the way around the threads.

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Once the threads are removed, pull out all the innards of the bulb. If the cut edge of the metal threads is sharp, you can use one of the sanding accessories to soften the edge.

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Dremel is calling the Micro 8050 the most “brilliantly powerful” and precise cordless rotary tool that they have ever produced, and after using it for this project, JM and I totally agree! It’s nice and small so it fits comfortably in my hand, but its small size doesn’t make it any less powerful. It cut through these light bulb threads in just a few seconds!

And even though it’s really powerful, it was easy to hold and direct in one hand. It’s like holding a giant pencil, so I have tons of control over what gets cut or ground and what doesn’t. And the little light at the tip makes it really easy to see what you’re doing!

Plus it’s compatible with all of the Dremel rotary tool accessories, so if the 18 accessories it comes with are ever not enough for you, you can just go get the accessory you need! That means you can cut, carve, engrave, sand, grind, sharpen, clean and polish pretty much anything with this tool, which is awesome!

Once your light bulb has been cut and sanded, carefully wash the light bulb, inside and out. It needs to be nice and clean so the spray paint sticks.

If you want to leave the threads unpainted, tape them off with some painter’s tape.

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Stick the open end of the light bulb over a dowel or a stick, and push the stick through a cardboard box to help stand up the light bulb so you can paint all sides of it.

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Hold the can of spray paint about 6″ away from the bulb and lightly spray, sweeping the can left to right across the bulb. Spray light coats until the bulb is covered.

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Once the paint is dry, remove the painter’s tape to expose the leftover threads. Fill your new light bulb vase with water, add flowers, and enjoy!

Recycle a burnt out light bulb into a light bulb vase!

I love this project because you can paint the vase in any color you want, so it’s perfect for any holiday or season!

And it was a really fun way to try out my new Dremel Micro!

Dremel wants to celebrate its fans’ brilliant projects, work and ideas! Now through October 12, share, tweet or post photos on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram that depict your brilliant ideas using the hashtag#MyBrilliantIdeaSweeps for the chance to win weekly prizes, including free tools and handmade gifts, or the grand prize: a custom-engraved Honda scooter and a Micro 8050. Visit for rules and to learn more.

Want to share this tutorial with your friends? Just click any of the share buttons off to the left to share with Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc.!

If you liked this project, check out these other simple projects using recycled materials!

Disclosure: I received compensation from Dremel in exchange for my honest discussion of their products. But the Dremel Micro 8050 they sent me is amazing! It really is powerful and precise and perfect for crafting, and all opinions in this post are 100% my own. I would never write a post about something I didn’t think was useful or interesting for you guys, and Practically Functional will only publish sponsored posts for companies or products I love and believe in! 🙂


I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.

Jessi Wohlwend

I believe that anyone can do crafts and DIY projects, regardless of skill or experience. I love sharing simple craft ideas, step by step DIY project tutorials, cleaning hacks, and other tips and tricks all with one goal in mind: giving you the tools you need to “do it yourself”, complete fun projects, and make awesome things!

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Reader Interactions

  1. Melanie says

    8 years ago

    Wow!! How different!!! I just love it and the possibilities for colors is endless! Very cute! =)

    Melanie | Toots & Dill

  2. MaryBeth at The Thrive Blog says

    9 years ago

    What a sweet little vase! Nice work!


  3. Michelle @ The Painted Hinge says

    9 years ago

    This is one more reason I need to get my own Dremel instead of having to fight my husband to use his! 🙂 And I’ve seen smaller light bulbs repurposed into vases, but they always had to be hung up because of the rounded bottoms. I love that these can stand on their own (in more than one way)! 🙂

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      I saw someone who made a light bulb vase out of a regular 60 watt rounded bulb, and then stood it up by placing the rounded bottom inside the center of a washer! Seemed like a smart way to stand up the round ones!

  4. Laura Beth says

    9 years ago

    Wow! I’m so impressed with that little gadget and YOUR work of course. A light bulb vase is such a creative idea :O)

  5. Courtenay @ The Creek Line House says

    9 years ago

    Yup. It’s official. That one’s going on my “must have” list. I can’t believe you were able to work that gently on that glass light bulb!

    • Jessi Wohlwend says

      9 years ago

      It really wasn’t that hard Courtenay! That Dremel tool is super powerful, but also really easy to control. I was worried at first because when I turned it on and turned it up to it’s highest speeds (which is what you need for cutting metal) it felt really really powerful. I was worried it would “jump” out of my hand, but it was SUPER smooth! There was a lot of noise when I touched the cutting wheel to the threads, but it didn’t jump or catch or anything like I was worried it would. Just a lot of noise and dust flying everywhere!

  6. Gwen says

    9 years ago

    That’s is totally brillz! I’d lurve to have a Dremel!!!

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