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How-To Make Jeff Koons-esque Bulb Sculptures

August 16, 2010

I’ve held onto an unopened box of Christmas bulbs for the past three years. Each year, I promise myself that I’m going to open them up and usher in yuletide cheer by stringing them throughout the apartment, or that I will most definitely purchase a Christmas tree for the sole purpose of decorating it with them. Of course, each year rolls by and they remain unopened.

While it is still months away from Christmas, my ongoing effort to de-clutter forced me to confront these bulbs head on. The final options: either they would be used now or donated. Instead of the latter, I decided to make a few cool table-top sculptures for my room. This is a really easy project that can be completed in less than an hour. One can also easily undo the sculpture and separate the bulbs when the holiday season rolls around.

I found that it was easier to do this project if I detached the metal prong (the part that hooks onto the tree) from the bulb. Most bulbs (especially the cheap ones) have these separated.

Once separated, I then used a size 4.00 mm crochet hook and a bit of butcher’s twine (found at meat markets and some bodegas), and crocheted a maximum of ten of the metal pieces together using a slip stitch. This step is simple:

  1. Create a slip knot on your hook, then insert the hook into the metal ring.
  2. Yarn over, then pull the twine (or yarn) through both the metal ring and loop on your hook.
  3. Insert the hook into the next metal ring, then repeat step 2.

Once finished, cut and tie off your twine, leaving about 6 inches at the end. Then, reattach the bulbs to the metal prongs. This step took a bit of time, since the metal pieces are so closely packed together. To finish, I just formed a knot using the remaining two ends of the butchers twine, then cut off the excess portions.


I made three of these mini-sculptures with the set I had. They make a great addition to my dresser :)

They remind me of the exciting stainless steel balloon sculptures of artist Jeff Koons, such as this one:

"Tulips" by Jeff Koons.

Try them out for yourself! What are some other crafty ways to use holiday bulbs before (or after) the holiday season? I’d love to know :)

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 16, 2010 10:38 am

    I like this idea! I don’t have any right now but I will be keeping my eyes open for them at the thrift store when the holidays start rolling around! Thanks for sharing!

    • David M. permalink*
      August 16, 2010 11:36 am

      You’re very welcome, Carol! Thrift-store hunting for bulbs is a great idea. I’m sure you’ll find very uniques ones there!

      – David

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