Tuesday, September 28, 2010




You will need:

Tube of 100 percent silicone clear caulking, gloves, mineral spirits, oil-based model paints, scented oil, isopropyl alcohol (if you want to keep using the same bulb for practice), a container to put the silicone in (use an empty yogurt cup with a lid), night light bulbs, or the night light size 5 watt bulbs or the small clear Christmas string bulbs, wire or heavy string for hanging bulbs. Good ventilation is REQUIRED for this project! Use the 100 percent silicone because the fumes are not nearly as bad as the silicone rubber caulking. The silicone rubber caulking give off really bad vinegar type fumes. Use the empty yogurt cup with a lid that way you can seal it and reuse the silicone. •
Add 2 or 3 drops of mineral spirits and stir well with a plastic spoon to thin the silicone a little. You can add a little more mineral spirits later if you find that the silicone is still too thick.
Add color by dipping a toothpick into the paint (oil-based model paint) to scoop out a few drops, and drip them into the silicone. Mix it well with a plastic spoon. Continue adding paint, a few drops at a time, until the shade deepens to your satisfaction. Stir well following each addition. Keep in mind that the color will lighten somewhat when you add fragrance. The color will not be as dark as it appears now when you turn on the lights.
Stir in 3 drops of the scented oil. Stir very well. The oil will make the silicone look slimy at first, but keep stirring until it's thoroughly blended in.
Cut a 12-inch length of wire or heavy string to hang each bulb with after they're dipped. Wire or tie one end to the metal socket of each bulb, and set these aside

Take the bulb you want to use and hold it beside the outside of the cup to use for a measurement. Make a mark on the cup for a fill reference. Hold the light bulb upside down against the cup and make a mark at the end of the electrical contact (whole length of the bulb including the metal part). You need to have enough silicone in the cup to completely cover the glass section of the light bulb. I like to have it a little deeper than that. Wrap a piece of wire around the threads of the bulb leaving a tail that you can use to hang it up to cure somewhere. Fill the cup with silicone to the mark. Don't stir. Tap the cup on the counter until it levels off. Filling and tapping to level off until you get to the mark. You can stir if you are careful but stirring too much or too vigorously will introduce air into the silicone and the coating on the light bulb will have bubbles in it. The dipping is just all about timing and technique. Dip the bulb slowly into the silicone and back out slowing even more when you get to the end of the bulb this will give you a nice long tip at the top of the bulb. The dipping motion is straight in and straight out. Twisting will give you ripples going around the diameter of the bulb, if you like that look, feel free to twist. Doesn't look right? No problem. Wipe as much of the silicone off with a paper towel (dispose of properly please) as you can, then wipe it with a paper towel moistened with isopropyl alcohol to remove any residue. As soon as the alcohol dries, dip it again. It's better to wear gloves if you plan to wipe off the light bulb. If you get dried soap on the light bulb the silicone won't stick. It's really not that hard, it's just a matter of having enough silicone in the cup to cover the bulb, and getting the dipping motion and timing right. It just takes practice. Keep in mind they are never going to look quite as good as the store bought ones, they use a special silicone made for dipping. But with practice you can get a pretty good looking one.

Hang the scented silicone bulb up to dry by its string or wire. A towel rack in your kitchen or bathroom is perfect for this. Allow it to dry and cure undisturbed for 3 to 4 hours

Why not make up strings of lights using Fall colors & scents. They really are beautiful strung on the mantel or amoung your fall displays.


LoveThePrimLook said...


Ahl Cooped Up said...

Sue, you are awesome!!
Thanks for the tutorial..

Unknown said...

How neat, I love this idea and I am going to try it soon! Thanks so much for sharing. Just became a follower.
Pattie @ On Hollyhock Farm

Janene said...

Another one or your posts to add to my favorites!
I just bought one today at a local prim shop...only one because they were selling for $4.00 each!!
I had originally intended to buy 5...but not at that price!
So this post came at the perfect time!
Now I am off to try my hand at making my own!
Thank you so much!

Diane B said...

what a awesome tutorial thank you sue.. I love your blog...

Diane B said...

I love your blog this is a wonderful well put together tutorial.. thanks sue

itsjill said...

Can you tell me if the fragrance oil is just for the smell or is necessary for the silicone to coat the bulb?