Modern Light Bulb Planters with Copper Accents

Last week at the Edmonton Home + Garden Show, I competed in the Ultimate Upcycle Challenge: Planted.  I was pitted against some of Edmonton’s most respected media, designers and craftspeople to create planters out of household items from ReStore Edmonton.  Each design was auctioned off to the highest bidder and all proceeds went to support Habitat for Humanity in Edmonton!

I turned some over-sized light bulbs into modern hanging planters, complete with paint dipped accents and copper hardware.  My inspiration for these planters came from Pinterest, where I’ve come across light bulb terrariums a number of times.  I’ve always been intrigued by the idea of light bulbs as planters and I figured this challenge was the perfect opportunity to experiment…

The exact planters I made require the following supplies:

  • 4 oversized light bulbs
  • 1 nail set and hammer
  • 1 pair needle nose pliers
  • 1 can white spray paint
  • 4 copper plumbing coupling joiners
  • 1 tube fast setting epoxy
  • 1 roll fishing line

Assembly process…

  1. Put on safety glasses and gloves and carefully use the nail set and hammer to break the black glass tip of the bulb.
  2. Use the pliers to pull off the small soldered electrical foot disk and pry out any remaining black glass.
  3. Use the nail set and hammer to break the next layer of glass inside the bulb carefully and pull out the filament with the pliers.
  4. Smooth out the edge of glass on the inside and pry open the screw head to make a slightly wider opening.
  5. Rinse the bulb to be sure they are free from glass particles.
  6. Fill a small Tupperware container with warm water and spray a thin layer of spray paint on the surface of the water.
  7. Immediately dip the bulb in the paint and remove to create a water-color paint dipped effect on the bulb; allow to dry and repeat the process until the desired effect is achieved.
  8. Once the bulb is dry, tie the desired length of fishing line in a loop around the screw head to create the “invisible” hanging line.
  9. Apply a small amount of epoxy around the base of the screw head, thread the fishing line through the copper joiner and set in place on the bulb (be sure the copper tube completely hides the screw head).
  10. Hang and allow to dry completely overnight.
  11. Once dry, fill with a small amount of water, add plants or flowers, hang and enjoy!

These planters can be used as a vase for fresh cut flowers or you can fill them with rooting plants for something more permanent.  I think I’m going to make a few more to hang in my kitchen and grow a variety of fresh herbs!

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