I never throw away light bulbs. I always keep them in a container by my craft supplies, waiting for inspiration… like today. Well, last night really.
I was laying in bed, unable to sleep, pondering ideas in my head. I knew I wanted to make birds from a bunch of light bulbs, but it was the method I was mulling over.
I also considered how to embellish them, like when I made my light bulb angel.
I thought about maybe even using paper mache, knowing it would make the bulb strong. But then I’d still have to paint them and I wanted something different.
Then it hit me… decoupage and tissue paper! I have tons of tissue paper. I save it from every birthday and Christmas present, and recently went to a baby shower (remember my love blocks and baby frame?) where I really scored. :)
So today, I pulled out 7 bulbs from my stash and got busy. The basic idea is decoupaging tissue paper onto light bulbs, using feathers, fishing wire and modeling clay to finish them off.
Below is a step by step tutorial. While they aren’t exactly what I envisioned, I still think they came out lovely :) I originally thought of something a little more vintage looking, but when I tried the antiquing gel over the tissue paper coating it didn’t produce the look I wanted, so I wiped it off and went with the bright colors instead. Hope you like them!
Decoupage Light Bulb Birds
incandescent light bulbs
white spray paint
white craft glue
orange modeling clay (or mix red and yellow like I did)
cardboard egg carton (to use as a stand)
acrylic craft paint: white and black
Sharpie markers (I used colors to match my tissue paper for the eyelids)
Clear acrylic spray sealer or glaze
feathers, colors to match your tissue paper
hot glue gun
small silk flowers or leaves (optional)
Spray the bulbs with a coat of white spray paint. It doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s just to create a white base to decoupage onto so that the dark spots from the screw cap won’t be difficult to cover. Allow to dry.
While the paint is dry, roll small pieces of modeling clay between your fingers and create cone shapes.
Tear or cut tissue paper into squares. Mix equal amounts of white craft glue and water to make your decoupage mixture. Use a paintbrush to apply a little decoupage mixture onto the bulb, then pick up a square of tissue paper using the paintbrush (the wet bristles will stick to the tissue paper, picking it up) and gently place it on the wet bulb. Using a light touch, brush the tissue paper with decoupage.
Coat as much of the light bulb as you can, then let dry completely before turning the bulb over to do the other end.
Glue the clay beaks to the flat end of the screw caps.
Use the handle end of a paintbrush dipped in white paint to add the eyes.
Alternatively, you can use a Sharpie marker to draw on the eyes. Spray the bulbs with acrylic sealer and let dry.
Tie a long piece of fishing line around the bulb and hot glue in place. Glue feathers on as wings, tail and a little bit on top of the head.
Use toothpick to add the blacks of the eyes and let dry. Then use the other end of the toothpick to dot on a small bit of white to the black. You can also add eyelids using colored Sharpie markers. In some of the birds, insert small plastic leaves or silk flowers into the clay beak.
Hang or create a mobile!