Uniquely Etched Light Bulbs in 6 Easy Steps

All good super hero stories have a sequel. Right?! Well, a few weeks ago I took on one of creative bucket list items – wiring a lamp from scratch. Here’s the STORY. This week I made my second grain scoop industrial lamp (MUCH faster the second time) and I couldn’t help but think it was missing something.

DIY Industrial Grain Scoop Light Fixture

I loved the mix of galvanized steel and copper but the light bulb was a little harsh (even using only 15 watts). Then I thought, how cool it would be to put a pattern on the exposed light bulb! I put on my creative super socks (why not?) and figured out how to glass etch a light bulb. Let me tell you, it is so stinkin’ easy; like 10 minutes and KaPow! Really cool light bulbs.

Dandelion Etched Light Bulb


                         I love love love how etching the glass softens the light. Your can still see bits of the cool filament inside the bulb but it is not so glared.

Here’s what you need and how to do it… so easy!!






A clear light bulb (15 Watt Candelabra Bulb)

Creative super socks With Cape OR Lace Ups

Haagan Dazs ice cream bar (YES, you need this!)

Craft vinyl like Silhouette OR Cricut OR shaped stickers like these OR Frog Tape

Glass etching cream (Armour Etch Cream)

Scissors and tweezers are helpful

Glass cleaner and paper towels





STEP ONE: Put your creative super socks on – I dare you not to feel creatively empowered with them on. Now, wash & dry your light bulb with glass cleaner.

STEP TWO: Use your Silhouette or Cricut Die Cut Machine to cut out your vinyl shapes (flowers, leaves, swirls…), OR draw your design on the vinyl with a fine tip Sharpie and hand cut it, OR cut thin strips of Frog Tape, OR select your shaped stickers (again, flowers, leaves, letters, numbers…). IF your are using stickers, make sure the actual cut out part is detailed enough. To test, peel the sticker up and flip it over so you aren’t looking at the artwork. If it looks like a blob and not a flower, tree or whatever, it’s not detailed enough. 

STEP THREE: Eat your ice cream bar. Really. Eat it. You need the Popsicle stick from it. Sure you could use a paint brush or another kind of stick but how often do you have a completely justified reason for eating an ice cream bar while wearing creative super power socks!? JUST DO IT!

STEP FOUR: Put your stickers or vinyl shapes onto your light bulb. Rub them down gently with your cleaned Popsicle stick, concentrating on the edges.

STEP FIVE: Use your Popsicle stick (see what a crucial tool it is) to spread an even layer of Armour Etch over the entire glass section of your light bulb.

STEP SIX: Wait 60 seconds and rinse off the cream with warm water. Be careful to hold the screw-in part of your light bulb up so that the water runs away from it, not towards it. Pull your vinyl or stickers off. Give the bulb a final rinse and wipe any left over bits of the cream off with a damp paper towel. Make sure there is no etching cream on the plug-in part of the light bulb and that it is thoroughly dry before you plug it in.

Now, just screw it in and turn it on!


DIY Light Bulb Etching Supplies

light bulb etching cream just 60 seconds

DIY Etched Light Bulbs

 I seriously can’t believe how easy this is! I was worried that the etching might compromise the glass but I had one of them on for about 4 or 5 hours the other night and there was no problem.

I think I need to make some bigger light bulbs next – after all, there are three ice cream bars to a box, just sayin’. Have fun!


  1. Tania | 4th Oct 17

    Shut up!!! What a great idea!!


    • JoElle | 10th Oct 17

      LOL! Thank you Tania!

  2. Vikki | 4th Oct 17

    I’ve never seen this anywhere, but what a great idea!!! Hmmm…..must be the socks. Keep those great ideas coming!

    • JoElle | 10th Oct 17

      Thank you Vikki. Etching the light bulb really helped to soften the glare. (Gotta love them socks!)

  3. Maria | 4th Oct 17

    What a Cool Idea!!!
    I etched some wine bottle many years ago to make detergent decanters that were pretty enough to leave on the counter, but the light bulb idea is so very Cool!
    Love it! Now to fine what else can be etched 🙂

    • JoElle | 10th Oct 17

      Thanks Maria! In the past, I’ve etched a mirror, ornaments and glass plates. All worked really well. I like your wine bottles idea – very fun.

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