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Garden Art Sunflower from Repurposed Light Bulbs

Create a DIY Sunflower from Orange Light Bulbs

DIY flowers can be made out of so many different repurposed things, and this garden art sunflower is proof of that.

Thrifted lot ot orange Halloween light bulbs

I found a bag of what I’m assuming were Halloween light bulbs a couple of years ago at a thrift store.

The bag was just $2 and for that price I just couldn’t pass them up. When I got home and counted them, there were 50 fabulous fallish bright orange light bulbs.

I have no idea if the light bulbs work because I didn’t test any of them.

They were always going to be repurposed some day, so to me it didn’t matter whether they worked or not.

I put the light bulbs away with my small fall crafting stash to wait for the day when inspiration would strike.

And it finally did.

Items needed for Sunflower garden art

Thrifted lot ot orange Halloween light bulbs and silver plate

When the fall comes I always like to delve into that small stash and see what happens. While playing with the bulbs to see what I could do with them, I came up with a funky fall garden art sunflower.

If you don’t have orange light bulbs, you could easily spray paint Christmas ones orange.

The light bulbs I’m using are glass, but plastic LED ones could be used as well.

small silver plate tray for garden art flower project

To create my DIY sunflower I needed a small tray. My $1 thrifted tray is silver plate, but any metal tray will do.

This tray is about 5 1/2 inches across, and it has a lovely filigree cut out pattern in it.

close up of flat back edge of silver plate tray

When choosing a tray the only thing that really matters is that the cut out pattern doesn’t go all the way to the edge, and that the edge is flat.

You need a solid and flat edge for the light bulbs to be glued to.

Dry fitting the orange light bulbs around tray

dry fit of orange light bulbs around silver plate tray

Before putting my sunflower together I did a dry fit to see how many light bulbs I would need.

For the size of tray I’m using I needed 20 light bulbs.

Spray Painting the Silver Tray

silver plate tray spray painted with a gloss brown

So that my tray looks more like the middle of a sunflower I spray painted the top with two light coats of a lovely brown.

You don’t want to spray paint the bottom because that’s where the light bulbs will be glued to, and they’ll get better adherence that way.

supplies needed to make repurposed diy sunflower from orange Halloween light bulbs

Now, in addition to my 20 light bulbs and the tray, I used a 50 cent thrifted clear glass candle holder and some Marine GOOP adhesive to make the fall flower magic happen.

Marine GOOP is meant to be used on boats and it’s water and UV resistant. I use it often for outdoor projects.

gluing glass candleholder onto brown tray with Marine GOOP adhesive

I glued the clear glass candle holder upside down on the top of the tray to give it a dimensional look.

Then I left it for 24 hours to cure.

brown spray painted tray with glass candleholder glued on top

Here’s a side view.

Putting together the sunflower garden art

using wreath to hold orange light bulbs in place while gluing them onto back of silver tray

Even though the edge of the tray is flat, the tray itself does angle up a bit so I needed something to help me keep the light bulbs in place as I glued them down.

This easy DIY jute covered wreath form, that I use for all kinds of wreaths, fit the bill.

gluing orange light bulbs onto back of silver tray to create sunflower garden art

I glued each bulb onto the bottom of the tray one at a time until I was done.

The Marine GOOP does give you time to adjust any placement issues until you’re happy with the way they look.

Basically if you like the way your light bulbs look from the back, you’ll be happy with the front look too.

using painters tape to hold orange light bulbs in place after gluing onto silver tray

Once all the light bulbs were in place, I used 2 inch painter’s tape to hold them in place. Each piece of tape held two light bulbs, and stopped them from sliding down.

And I left it to cure for 24 hours.

Be careful when removing the tape. It can pull off bits of the orange paint from the bulbs. But if that happens it’s ok because it’s the back of the flower.

gluing flattened and bent stainless steel spoon to back of silver tray sunflower

Once the light bulbs were all securely glued in place I removed the wreath form and checked every single bulb to make sure.

If any of the bulbs were loose I would have removed them and glued them again, but they were all good.

After flattening and bending a stainless steel tablespoon, I glued it in place on the back of the tray.

A piece of painter’s tape held the tablespoon in place for 24 hours.

I didn’t glue the spoon on at the same time as the light bulbs because I wanted my sunflower to be able to sit flat so I could check out the front.

Supplies needed to create this garden art sunflower

  • Orange halloween light bulbs
  • small silver plate tray
  • small glass candleholder
  • brown spray paint
  • Marine GOOP adhesive
  • stainless steel tablespoon
  • pipe for a stem

Garden art sunflower from repurposed orange light bulbs

And here’s my finished garden art sunflower in my fall garden. It’s just under 10 inches across.

I love the way the glass candle holder looks. It allows you to see the brown color underneath, but it gives the sunflower more dimension and interest.

back of garden art sunflower from orange light bulbs

Here’s how the back looks with the spoon inside the pipe.

Garden art sunflower from repurposed orange light bulbs displayed on wooden lattice

If you’re worried about putting this in the garden because the bulbs are glass, you could hang it up instead.

Here’s mine on a wall of lattice on my back deck.

back of garden art sunflower displayed on wooden lattice

Here’s the spoon poking out the other side.

Repurposed orange light bulbs into DIY garden art sunflower

For a stem I’m using a piece of metal pipe leftover from a deck swing we took apart years ago, and I spray painted it green.

Repurposed orange light bulbs made into garden art sunflower

Whatever kind of pipe you use, it’s super important that it be pushed at least 10-12 inches into the ground.

You don’t want your flower toppling over.

DIY sunflower from repurposed orange light bulbs

My garden art sunflower really pops against the purplish ornamental grass and the blue Russian Sage.

If you enjoyed this fall flower project I think you’ll also love my DIY Repurposed Corn Fork Flowers.

I hope this project has inspired you to get out those old Halloween, or Christmas light bulbs, and add some funky flowers to your outdoor space.

It would be greatly appreciated if you would pin this project to your favorite Pinterest board, and also share it with your friends.

How to create a DIY garden art sunflower from repurposed orange light bulbs

Thanks so much for reading and until next time,

keep on keepin’ on!


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  1. Oh jeez, you never cease to amaze Tuula, this is beautiful!!


  2. Oh, girl! Every flower you make I like better than the last. But this one takes top honor!!! Very, very pretty! Ah ha!! I just remembered, I have a couple of small boxes of old vintage lights!! I’m on it! You always get my craft bones stirring! Pinned!!

  3. Amy Davis says:

    I agree. You come up with some great and lovely ideas and I like them. But this sunflower is my favorite! Well, I actually got many favorites of yours you make!

  4. Just when I think you can’t possibly beat the previous amazing flower garden art you do it again! Only you would look at a bunch of old light bulbs and think “hmmm, sunflower”. Pinned 🙂

  5. I love it and I Love Love flowers. Great project!!! Thank You Barb