Rustic Hanging Light Bulbs

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How To Use Old Lightbulbs

I came across these old light bulbs at a local craft fair and, for some reason, I couldn’t pass them up.  I had absolutely no idea what I would do with them, but they spoke to me, so they came home with me.  They obviously don’t function, but I still think they are pretty cool.  The largest bulb I have in my house is probably 60 watt, and one of these is 1000 watts!  I’ve yet to hear what these would have originally been used for, so if you know, please share in the comments below.

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Things you’ll need to make the Rustic Hanging Light Bulbs:

  1. Large light bulbs
  2. Rope
  3. Hot glue gun and glue sticks
  4. Board (or another item) for hanging.  My original plan was to hang these from old pulleys and I think that would be super cool. Of course, I couldn’t find the pulleys when I was looking for them, but if I do, I may make the change.
  5. Hook and eyebolt for hanging

The rope I used was a very stiff, smaller diameter rope that I found at Lowe’s.  First is glued a small piece to create the loop for hanging.

hanging light bulbs

Gluing the rope around the threads of the bulbs took the longest.  Since the rope was pretty stiff, I had to work slowly and add a little glue and hold the rope tight until it dried.  Then I’d add a little more and hold it again as  I worked my way around until the bulb threads were covered and then glued the end in place.

Again, I held that tight until it dried.  If I didn’t work slowly, the rope would pull away from the bulb as it dried.  The glue is so hot, so you have to be careful when doing this.  Don’t use too much glue or it will seep out and burn your hand.  Press slowly until you’re sure that no excess glue is seeping through.

The bulbs looked like this once the threads were completely covered.

hootshack hanging light bulbs

Now all you have to do is flick the light switch on the wall and they’ll turn on.  Just kidding… they don’t actually work and I could have picked a better place to take this picture.  lol .

Then, I repeated this process with all three light bulbs.  Once I was done, I had this mental picture of them hanging from old pulleys.  I tried to find them everywhere!  I had no luck so I used the old piece of wood to hang them for now.  I’m not going to stop looking for the pulleys though!

Hanging the Rustic Light Hanging Light Bulbs:

I wanted a different texture, so I untwisted the same rope so that I had two pieces to create the longer pieces that each bulb hangs from.  I’m not sure if I achieved anything all that different, but it looked a little more interesting to me. 

The rope pretty much sticks to itself, so I just wrapped the excess around the wood piece several times and secured the end with a not.  I hung each bulb at a separate length.  You’ll notice I used two chairs to support my work.  I had to be careful though, it wasn’t as secure as I’d hoped. Don’t let them slip off!

hanging light bulbs

The final piece of rope was looped in the center with equal length pieces hanging on each side.  This piece was about 3 feet long.  I looped the center and then evenly spaced the sides.

old light bulbsNext, I drilled a hole at either end of the wood pieces and fished the rope through the holes and secured each end with a knot.  I had to work with each knot a bit to get the entire assembly to hang evenly.  It didn’t really take that long to get things even.

Other than installing the eyebolt in the ceiling, I’m pretty much done.  I used a small “S” hook to loop into the eyebolt and then onto the loop in the rope.  If you put a screwdriver through the eyebolt, it gives you more leverage to screw the eyebolt in or to get the eyebolt turned to the right angle so your finished piece hangs the way you want.  Twisting the eyebolt in with your hand can be a little hard.

 hanging light bulbs

If you decide to make your own, PLEASE tag Hootshack on IG or Facebook.  I really love to see how others interpret my projects or how they make changes to make things look a little different.  Please give this post a share.  I love new followers!

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Until next time…



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  1. light bulbs came from outdoor street lights…the kind you see in neighborhoods or lighting city streets.

    1. That’s really cool to know. I always wondered what they were used for. Thanks for stopping by!

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