Light Bulb Centerpiece

Mary Ann Goldberg
by Mary Ann Goldberg
7 Materials
4 Hours
We were challenged to make something using light bulbs. I brought out our tote and in it were all different styles and shapes, from small night lights to large spot lights. After trying to come up with a theme or idea to use them with, I rummaged my craft drawers and totes and brought out different possibilities - from cushion foam to jars to fabric to all kinds of hard foam (think Styrofoam forms of spheres, hearts, round balls, trees.) I had saved enough forms over the years that ideas were popping in and out of my brain and then I knew what direction I wanted to go.
I started with two flat circular forms and spray painted them, one a metallic silver and one metallic gold. I didn't like the way the gold turned out - it just looked odd and dull, but it will be mostly covered up. The silver, on the other hand, is beautiful. The ring looks like textured and sparkly stone. Step 1 completed.
The rings were then connected with bamboo skewers. My aim was pretty good, with the four skewers meeting in the center. Step 2 completed.

In order to insert the light bulbs I used a 5/8 hex shank drill bit and it created the holes in the Styrofoam in seconds. It is messy, though, so I suggest you work on it outside on a rug or mat for easy clean up. Step 3 check.
I envisioned having a center piece in the centerpiece (get it?), so the skewers were withdrawn a little in order to insert another foam form in the shape of a rectangle. This creates the space to insert a center bulb. Step 4 check.
A mistake I made was drilling on the outside of the ring thinking I'd insert bulbs on the outside rim in addition to those on top. Not to be. I think that made it look more like a Frankenstein object. In order to camouflage the error I spray painted the smallest Styrofoam balls an aqua color, cut them in half and attached them around the outside of the form. The change ended up really enhancing the ring. Bonus! Step 4 done.
The final step was to add greens and flowers in the center to fill in. I have a stash of these things from wreath making so no worries! I arranged items until I liked what took shape, and viola - item complete.

Because the light bulbs vary so much in size and shape, the centerpiece collection came out much better than I thought it would. Some the bulbs are really unique - such as the one that looks like a fan in the last photo, and the white spot light, shown below.

Thinking outside of the box is a success! And all components were on hand - I didn't have to buy anything!
Suggested materials:
  • Assorted bulbs
  • Styrofoam form, 16" diameter
  • Styrofoam form, 8" diameter
See all materials
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