DIY Lightbulb Topiaries + Placecards
As promised, bride Becky from this morning’s wedding is with us to share how to make her lightbulb arrangements! These beauties would be the perfect statement piece at the entrance to a ceremony, reception, or even attention-grabbing centerpieces. In case you love these fixtures but are short on time, Becky has four remaining lightbulb arrangements available in Recycle Your Wedding!
From the bride, Becky: These arrangements turned out to be a wonderful alternative to flowers, and if you have time, you can collect lightbulbs from family, friends and co-workers. This is not a one-day project, it might take a couple of weekends to accomplish. Despite the effort, they will turn out beautifully and a new way to make your wedding or event spectacular.
For this project, you will need:
-3 sizes of clear light bulbs: 11 small lightbulbs, 34 standard size bulbs, and 6 globe/oversized bulbs
- Floral Sticks and Wire
- Spray paint
- Old sheet, towel, or drop cloth
- Chicken wire: Using chicken wire propped up between two ends (we used saw horses) we spray painted our bulbs and allowed them to dry. Otherwise, the bulbs will always touch on surface or another and dry with marks or indentations.
-I KEA FNISS Wastepaper basket: We selected black, and you will need 2 per arrangement. You could use any type of material that can be drilled through.
- Nuts, Bolts, and Washers: You will need 2 washers, and 1 nut and 1 bolt for each arrangement.
- Floral Foam: We used almost 5 brick sized pieces of foam in each arrangement.
- Tulle : We purchased our tulle from Michael’s Crafts on a roll. 3 rolls covered our 6 arrangements.
- Power drill
1. Lay out all of your floral sticks on the drop cloth. Use your black spray paint to coat so that no green areas can be seen. You might wear gloves as moving the sticks to paint all sides can be very messy. Let these dry overnight.
2. Invite over a bunch of friends or your family and attach your bulbs to the floral sticks, using the floral wire. Begin by wrapping the wire around the socket of the bulb, and then around the stick, and back around the bulb. It should be secure before proceeding. I wore a glove after several stabs from the wire! This is probably the most time consuming step.
3. Set up your chicken wire and secure in an area that you are not worried about paint staining walls, etc… Outside is the best place for this step. Decide which of your bulbs you want to paint for the project. Pull aside the numbers mentioned above to paint for each arrangement. You can do them one arrangement at a time or all at once. Spray paint usually dries quickly, but we left these outside (it was a dry evening) overnight.
4. Drill holes into the bottom of your trash cans. 1 washer goes on the inside of each trash can, and you will need to run the bolt through one side and the nut on the other to connect the pieces. This is really a two person job.
5. Prepare your floral foam. Due to the humidity of my home state (Florida) and how breakable these arrangements are, we did not assemble ours until the week of the wedding. However, you could get your foam ready in advance and place it in sealable bags. Taking note of the picture, you maybe be required to shave down some of the foam to ensure a proper fit and that you have all of the areas covered.
6. Arranging your light bulbs. This is a lot like floral arranging. Start with a row of regular sized bulbs along the rim of the trash can. These should be even all the way around. From there you will build height by adding bulbs in the sizes noted above. You may be required to break some of the floral sticks to achieve the height you want when placing each bulb and that’s okay.
7. Use a left over floral stick or other skinny item to push pieces of tulle down into the arrangement to hide the floral foam. The basic idea is to hide all of the green floral foam. You do not have to push it all the way down to meet the foam, but rather allow it to rest near the rim of the trash cans.
After Step Seven take a look at all of your arrangements and make sure they are consistent in appearance and you are ready! Four of my arrangements are still for sale in the classifieds section of this website, and includes everything mentioned above.
photos above by Kallima Photography
- plastic cups (similar ones here)
- spray paint in silver and gold
Make a small hole on the bottom of the cups where the lightbulbs will be placed. Spray paint cups. While those are drying, spray paint a portion of the lightbulbs in gold. Hand write or hire a calligrapher to write your guests’ names on the lightbulbs and voila, a little piece of art placed at each setting.