Light Bulb Penguin Ornament craft

As promised, I will be sharing the different light bulb ornaments I have made. This penguin, along with the angel, is one of my favorites. I made him in December of 2000 and he’s still hanging in there. Just hung him on my tree yesterday in fact! This is probably one of the easiest ones to make, just involves some simple painting and a few small embellishments. But isn’t he just darling with only a little fuss?? :)

Light Bulb Penguin

[printable version]

You will need

burnt out light bulb
rubbing alcohol
acrylic paint in white and black
gold cord or ribbon
orange toothpick
shiny gold ribbon
gold chenille twist tie
finger from a child’s glove
white iridescent pom pom
Fiberfil cotton batting
hot glue
black marker

What you do

Wipe bulb down with rubbing alcohol, this will help the paint adhere to the bulb. Let dry. Paint entire light bulb with black acrylic paint except for an hour glass shape in the front. When the black paint is completely dry, paint the hour glass shape white and let dry. Apply a second coat. If finish appears streaked, you can use a large paint brush or a sponge to blot on a “stucco” look. It is not necessary to paint the socket. Allow bulb to dry completely.

While bulb is drying, prepare hat and mittens but cutting off a finger from a child’s glove. Use the longest finger on the glove, cut a small section for the mittens. The mittens are simply small triangular shapes. To make the hat, put a small amount of Fiberfil into the glove finger and roll up end for a brim. Glue pom pom to the top. You can bend the hat to one side by bending it down and gluing in place.

Fashion a bow tie from 1/2″ or 3/4″ wide shiny gold ribbon (about 3″-4″ in length). To do this, lay the ribbon, shiny side down, onto your work surface. Fold both ends into the center, doubling up the ribbon. If this gives you the length that you want for your bowtie, then glue those ends down to hold in place. Take a piece of shiny chenille twist tie and manipulate it around the center of the ribbon, scrunching the ribbon together, thus creating your bowtie. Hint: these ribbons and twist ties are found on many premade ornaments, some with angels others with flowers.

When bulb is completely dry, pull hat over socket and glue in place. Glue bowtie in the front at the neckline and glue mittens at the edge of the white where the hourglass shape widens. Using black marker, dot eyes onto face and five tuxedo buttons down the front of the bulb. Carefully cut 1/4 of the toothpick off at the pointed end, glue in place for beak.

With a fairly generous amount of hot glue, fasten a loop fashioned from gold ribbon or cord to the back of the bulb. Hang!

ANOTHER CRAFTY IDEA >>  Styrofoam Cup Leprechaun Hats


  1. KKL Primitives says

    Amanda, I just love this!!!! Very creative – thanks for sharing how to make the penguin and angel bulb ornies!!


  2. Gloria says

    Let’s just hope all the old style light bulbs don’t disappear before we can snatch them up for crafts! Looking for good ideas on how to use the new twisted ones.

  3. Sherry says

    I’ve made the light bulb snowman several times over the years. Had the penguin in my mind but haven’t done one. Never thought about an angel or turkey. Thanks for those. Might even try a Santa this year. They are very cute and so fun to make. People I have made them for love them.

  4. Lue Anne Robbins says

    I would appreciated getting just the instructions, and not waste paper and ink on others opinions. If it appeals to me, I don’t care what others think.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *