diy project: valentine lightbulb


i know a lot of people find valentine’s day to be a commercialized, over-hyped, pressure-cooker of a holiday (um, take it easy with the chocolate aisles, drug stores). in my mind though, valentine’s day is great because such little things can make huge statements on this romantic day. pretty much any act of kindness carries with it a bigger message of love: a note on the counter, an extra long hug, a favorite food in the fridge, etc. so with the “little gifts” concept in mind, i bring you this valentine’s day light bulb. a subtle love note tucked inside a pretty glass bulb, this can hopefully be displayed year round, and have longer lasting power than a dozen roses (not that i’m knocking roses). the other awesome part of this project is that once you’ve hollowed out a light bulb, the possibilities are endless for future projects: mini terrarium? check. handmade snow globe? check.. go crazy!

also, if the wire sculpture is a bit intimidating to you, put a small message or little drawing on a tiny scrap of paper and attach it to are strand of wire, then suspend that in the bulb…instant success! remember, cute is king on st. valentine’s day… have fun! -kate

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

materials:

1. red thin gauge wire (available at craft stores)
2. light bulb (any standard incandescent bulb with a regular size base will do..no fluorescent or halogen bulbs)
3. pliers
4. screwdriver
5. safety goggles
6. scrap piece of wood or wood cube (craft stores usually sell wood for crafts and would have a small square or chunky piece that would work)
7. 2 pins
8. paper and pen (or type written message)
9. wire cutters
10. hammer and nail (optional- if you are using soft balsa or craft wood these are not necessary)
11. hot glue gun

cost:

wire: $2
wood scrap or cube: $2
tools, paper: on hand

time:

1 hour

instructions:

1. prepare a surface on a work table for hollowing out the bulb. make sure the area is large because little chunks might jump off the base when you crack the glass.

2. follow these instructions on how to hollow out the light bulb from teamdroid.com. these are easy to follow instructions that also give good tips on safety and procedure.

3. when you have your bulb ready, clean the outside carefully and put it to the side somewhere where it is protected from breaking.

4. cut a ten inch piece of wire to make a heart “filament”. fold the wire in half to create a sharp crease, then unfold. about an inch from the crease, take both loose wire ends and loop both wires around to create the heart halves. then pull both wires back down, overlapping the center of the crease and extending beyond the heart shape. you may want to tweak the heart halves a little to get heart shape that you like. your heart should be about 1/2″ wide so it will fit through the base of the bulb pretty easily.

5. if you want two or more heart filaments in your bulb, repeat step 5 one or more times.

6. take your filaments to your bulb and hold them up to see how long the stems need to be to have the heart filaments positioned in roughly the center of the bulb. use your pliers to cut the extra wire off the ends. also test that they fit int o your bulb without having to smush them or distort the shapes. if that is the case, make them smaller.

7. if your wood is soft, you should be able to poke the wire filaments down into the top of the wood and they will stay in position. if you are using a firmer wood, use a hammer and nail to create a small guide hole. then remove the nail and push the wire down into the hole. you may want to secure these with glue as well.

8. now fit your glass bulb over the filaments and glue the bulb down to the wood at the base.

9. use the pins to attach your love note or message to the front of the piece of wood.

YOU’RE DONE!!

  1. Sarah says:

    I would really love an easy guide on how to make this light bulb light up. I’m not used to working with wires. Can anyone assist?

  2. Mariana says:

    I really loved this idea! But please, tell me, how did you attach the message to the front of the piece of wood? the pins poke the wood? I really need some help! Thank you :)

    1. Grace Bonney says:

      hi mariana

      that’s step 9 in the post, use pins to attach the message to the front :)

      grace

  3. SHAWN says:

    Help how do i get the black bulb size off of the top of the bulb?

  4. Martina says:

    I did it! I also put a real light inside the bulb! I like it so much!! Thank you!!!

  5. Trisha says:

    Why cant you use halogen bulbs? The TeamDroid website directions on hollowing it out says do not use fluorescent bulbs but your directions say don’t use either..

  6. Paul says:

    My wife and I were both inspired by this project to create our own versions this year for each other: http://goo.gl/P1Mcv and http://goo.gl/2BfIv Really great idea!

  7. Paige says:

    How many inches was the wood block you used?

  8. Shawna says:

    I love this idea, and I made it and it came out awesome…but I ran into a problem…the light bulb started getting condensation in it…how do I get rid of it?!? :(

  9. Tim says:

    to the condensation problem, you need air flow, so if you can, take the bulb off the wood and put some wooden spacers in between the bulb and the block so that you have a couple of small gaps so that air can get into the bulb.
    or drill/nail a couple of holes through the whole block of wood going into the bottom of the bulb. im only guessing as i have not got one of these creations.

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