glitter old fashioned Christmas light bulb ornament DIY

These German glass glitter Christmas light bulb ornaments were super easy to make, and I love the vintage punch they evoke. I am so happy to share how to make these today.

I found these old fashioned colored lights bulbs in a little antique shop in Florence, Oregon when we picked up Sebastian from college last month.  You can read more about this quaint town from our trip over the summer here{bon voyage to Oregon}.  

The sweet gentleman who owned the shoppe sold me the entire bag for $1 !!! I was so happy to find these, since I had had the idea to make these glitter ornaments for awhile, but I could never find the old fashion light bulbs to create them.

how to make German glass glitter old-fashioned Christmas light bulb ornaments

I am not kidding when I say these are super easy to make. With just a handful of materials you can get these done in an afternoon.

  • Old-fashioned Christmas light bulbs
  • Painters tape
  • Silver spray paint {or your color of choice}
  • German glass glitter
  • Spray Adhesive

The most difficult task for this project {besides locating the old-fashioned bulbs}, is drilling the holes in the base. Mr. M actually hammered them through for me, which was a huge help.

Glitter old fashioned christmas light bulbs4

Then follow these simple steps.

  • Spray paint the bulbs, covering the thread contacts with painter’s tape. {This step helps prevent the colors from bleeding and peeking through the glitter}.
  • Once the paint is dry, spray the bulbs with spray adhesive and sprinkle glitter all around to cover the bulbs. Repeat this process about three time until bulbs are fully saturated.
  • Viola! Decorate with your new vintage inspired ornaments.

decorating with the German glass glitter old-fashioned Christmas light bulb ornaments

I hung some of the ornaments on the nature inspired flocked tree on the front porch to add some glitz & glam, but still with that vintage undertone I love so much.  For the ornaments I threaded string I had in my craft stash through the holes Mr. M put through the contact bases.  

Glitter old fashioned christmas light bulbs6

Since I had so many, I also filled a pewter bowl, which I placed on the French chest in the foyer.

Glitter old fashioned christmas light bulbs7

other glass glitter Christmas projects

I love using German glass glitter for holiday projects.  Here are a few other ideas and projects crafted using German glass glitter. Simply by adding the glitter to these dollar tree items you have a unique and vintage inspired holiday decor.

salt & pepper snow globe shakers

You can see all the details on how to make your own cute snowy, bottle brush salt & pepper shakers by following the link to original post {Christmas crafting}.

Christmas crafting

These S&P shakers can be used as ornaments, or table top decor, or as vignette accents or anything you want them to be. I used them in the centerpiece for this fun farmhouse truck | woodie Christmas tablescape project.

farmhouse truck | woodie Christmass tablescape

glitter snow flakes

These plastic snowflakes got a great facelift with a sprinkling of glitter. I love how the patina of the German glass glitter ages through the years.

Glitter old fashioned christmas light bulbs1

I also used them in a tables cape as a place setting topper. They are the perfect detail for a wintry table design. I actually have a post coming with holiday place setting magic.

winter tablescape

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tips for Christmas glass glitter projects

Although I choose to use silver in all my projects, you can use whatever glitter color you prefer, which matches your home and decor. The process is the same. Also, you do not have to use German glass glitter but regular crafting glitter instead, since German glass glitter is harder to find and more expensive. This is the glitter I use. Always use a tray during these projects so you can capture all the unused glitter, and put it back in the jar for later use.

Keep in mind that although the glitter is pricey, I used plastic snow flakes and S&P shakers from the Dollar Tree, which offsets each other. Also, the last time I was there, I saw some old fashioned bulb reproductions. Just saying. I hope this inspires some creativity this holiday season!

“Do small things with great love.”

Mother Teresa

sharing @ between naps on the porch


  1. Love that pretty glitter! Also love vintage bulbs — I collect them from thrift stores. Never thought to turn them into ornaments! Love it. Thanks for sharing at Vintage Charm. xo Kathleen

  2. OMG another gorgeous idea!! Love it. Contemporary yet retro if that makes any sense? Featuring when my party opens tonight! Happy New Year my friend.

  3. Thanks Kathleen. I love German glass glitter it gets better with patina year after year. Love joining Vintage Charm every week! XO- MJ

  4. Thanks so much Carol. You are the best! And, yes, it makes total sense. lol. XO- MJ

  5. Naush Samama says:

    Maryjo, I love your bulb ornament idea. Looks stunning !
    Thank you very much for sharing with us at Meraki Link Party.

  6. Thanks so much Naush! I am glad you like the ornament. XO- MJ

  7. These are fun. I will definitely try some, I do recall making reindeer heads out of bulbs years ago and the driling was the issue! . Thanks for the creativity! and Happy Holidays! Sandi

  8. Rachel says:

    These are STUNNING!!! How amazing to get that whole bag for $1!! I never knew that German glitter was a thing but I love it!! Thanks so much for sharing at Home Imagined!

  9. Kathy A says:

    I have been saving the blown out bulbs from my kitchen chandelier. NOW I know what to do with them. Thank you!

  10. This is such a creative and resourceful idea. What I love – is that you can use these ornaments for years to come and you will always remember making them. The silver glitter is beautiful. Thank you for sharing your post on the Home Imagined Link Party.

  11. Julie says:

    These are so sweet, what a beautiful upcycle. I love how glittery you managed to get them.

  12. CoCo says:

    These are so gorgeous, MaryJo! I would have never in a million years thought to do this – gah it’s so creative. I can’t believe they were that inexpensive either. What a great way to save these lights. My grandparents had these lights so it was such a treat to see them upcycled this way. Just pinned and will share next Wednesday on my From th eFront porch post. They’re fabulous! Hugs, CoCo

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