Upcycled Christmas Tree Lights

I am an avid recycler and try to be a good role model for my children when it comes to conserving and recycling.  So, when we were recently decorating our Christmas tree, we were testing our lights and inevitably, many needed replacing.  I gazed at the pile of colored bulbs on our counter, not wanting to just throw them away.  Then a great idea struck me. 

I have always loved to tie ornaments or other small trinkets to presents.  I will usually buy a package of small bulbs strictly for this purpose.  But looking at these old bulbs, I decided to play with the idea of using them instead.  I am very excited about the results! 

To make them sparkle (and to get the kids involved with this project), I had them coat each bulb heavily with a glue stick.  (The bulbs I had are the C7 old-fashioned bulbs, but the C9's should work equally as well) Then, I gently rolled them in small cups of glitter.  I found, through experimentation, that matching bulb to glitter color worked best, in case there were microscopic areas that were missed by glitter. So, I chose green on green, red on red, and used white with silver.  To let them dry, I used a cookie cooling rack and set them upright in the holes.  I did not use a craft sealant of any kind on these, but they are a little delicate and I think it would be a good idea.

Once dry, have your hot glue gun ready and ribbon of your choice (I used 1/4 inch wide single face satin).  First, cut off a strand and glue the ends on opposites side of the end of the bulb (see photo below).  Let dry for a minute and cut another strand to tie a bow across the end of the bulb.

And you're done!  Enjoy!

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