How to Make Hand-Dipped Silicone Bulbs

Written by alex smith
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How to Make Hand-Dipped Silicone Bulbs
Hand dip your small light bulbs in silicone. (light bulb image by sheldon gardner from

Silicone-dipped light bulbs are popular ways of decorating homes. These bulbs are available to purchase at many stores (as well as online), but they can cost more than you might want to spend. A much less-expensive alternative is to make your own, using 100 per cent silicone caulking from your local hardware store. With a very small amount of work you can create dozens of dipped bulbs. You can use them around your house or give them away as gifts.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Clothesline
  • Newspaper
  • Stiff wire
  • Wire cutter
  • Old butter tub
  • 100 per cent silicone caulking
  • Microwave oven
  • Mixing stick
  • Oil paint (optional)
  • Scented oil (optional)
  • Small light bulbs

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  1. 1

    Stretch a clothesline over several pieces of newspaper.

  2. 2

    Cut several pieces of stiff wire. They should each be about 10 inches long.

  3. 3

    Fill an old butter tub with 100 per cent silicone caulking. It can be clear or opaque, but opaque silicone will let much less light through. Squeeze the silicone from the tube slowly to help prevent air bubbles.

  4. 4

    Microwave the silicone on high for 60 seconds to help soften it, and then stir it slowly with a craft stick to evenly distribute the heat.

  5. 5

    Mix in 1 or 2 drops of oil paint to tint the silicone, or 1 or 2 drops of scented oil to give it fragrance. This step is not required, but doing this can add an extra festive touch to your silicone bulb.

  6. 6

    Dip the light bulb into the silicone, gripping it by the metal threads. You only want silicone on the glass. Don't dip it so far that you coat the metal.

  7. 7

    Pull the light bulb out of the silicone. Experiment with different angles, twists and shakes to get interesting patterns of silicone on the bulb. If there is a flaw that you are unhappy with, rub it with an ice cube until it smooths out.

  8. 8

    Wrap a piece of wire around the threads, and then twist the other end into a hook. Hang the bulb on the clothesline to dry. This will typically take 24 hours.

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