decorate with bulbs and biscuits

December 19, 2011  in diy craft projects, homemade

bulbs as baubles

Why not turn old light bulbs into baubles? I bought these vintage light bulbs a while ago at a car boot sale. I had no particular use in mind, they just looked rather beautiful to me. Then whilst working on the floral bauble decorations, it occurred to me that they were similar – so why not try the bulbs as baubles? It’s a little bit bonkers but I like it. I simply used thin wire, wrapped and tied around the base, to create a loop to hang them from. The metal ring is a wreath frame used in floral displays, usually packed with moss or oasis; I love the simple bare bones of the exposed wire though.

vintage crystals

Some of the wire is wound round with a strip of Liberty print fabric (a similar idea to the covered coat hanger project in The Homemade Home), the rest left bare. For a little extra I added old chandelier droplets too. You can often pick these up loose at flea markets and boot sales. I kept the colours muted and used a scrap of fabric I already had and the bulbs hang in the centre as an alternative Christmas decoration.

bulb baubles

My friend Uli Schade, who took all of these photos, made the lebkuchen below to an old family recipe that she learned as a child. They’re a traditional German Christmas treat, a bit like gingerbread and make great edible decorations for your tree if they’re made with the recipe that bakes them hard rather than soft. You can buy similar baked decorations all over Northern Europe and they’re often decorated with brightly coloured icing (think of the gingerbread house  in Hansel and Gretel) though here Uli used edible gold leaf as a stylish alternative.


The lebkuchen are hung with strips of paper cut from old, unwanted books and hang on a ring made from some evergreen Jasmine that I cut from my front garden wall.


Uli bought this sweet little hand-carved wooden bird from a Christmas fair in Germany. It’s attached to a wooden clothes peg and the bird nods up and down when you squeeze the peg – utterly charming.

A few more decoration ideas to add a quirky, homemade flavour this Christmas.


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  1. elisa says:

    those are gorgeous bulbs, it’s hard to find beauties like that anymore! we love to decorate our tree with gingerbread, and every year it’s different, and nothing to store later. we’ve just received a proper cake icing kit and so we should have some extra fun decorating them, i love how the iced drawings reveal my children’s personalities. xx

  2. allesistgut says:

    I like the Lebkuchen and the bulbs are amazing.
    Have a beautiful week! 🙂

  3. The wreath with hanging bulbs is absolutely charming, thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Inge says:

    Wow, you’re such a creative person! I’m loving the light bulbs… Never thought of that before!! It looks fabulous!
    Love, Inge x

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Sania Pell freelance interior stylist London.

Sania Pell is a freelance interior stylist, art/creative director and consultant based in London. She is a Contributing Stylist at Elle Decoration magazine, with whom she has worked for over 20 years, and is well known for bringing a unique aspect to photographic shoots for national publications, leading international brands and retailers as well as style consultancy for architects and property developers. She is the author of best-selling book The Homemade Home and The Homemade Home for Children. A trained, former textile designer, Sania is also involved in many multi-disciplinary creative projects.

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