Upcycle light bulbs and glass bottles into “Oh, so adorable!” angels.  Your creative juices will take flight as you combine them with small ornaments, household items, scrap paper and more.  This is a really fun family activity to do this week that will have your kids thinking they are in heaven as they step away from their screens to get artsy making these one-of-a-kind pieces.   

You’ll earn your wings, too, if you do like I did for the angels featured here; they cost nothing because of reusing and repurposing items that I already had on hand or from Goodwill!

Supplies Needed:

1.      Old spotlight bulbs

2.      Small clear bottles, ideally with an angled edge

3.      Small Christmas ornaments, jingle bells

4.      Glue gun

5.      Scissors

6.      Colorful scrap/craft paper

7.      Things to accessorize like plastic jewels, beads, old jewelry, ribbon, etc.

Step 1:  Check your recycle bin.

What burnt out bulbs or empty bottles might you have in your collection of items to be recycled? 

The spotlight bulbs were perfect because of their shape and reflective silver covering. When turned upside down, they already looked like a dress shape, making them ideal for this simple, fun DIY project.  A bottle left over from an oil and vinegar set had a sloped side that also resembled a dress or robe.  

What do you have on hand to upcycle as your angel’s body?  If you have a clear glass item, you will want fill it with bright tissue paper or glitter or even small necklace beads to give it some color.

Step 2: Fly over to Goodwill!

Goodwill always has unique and unusual items and will certainly have parts to use for these repurposed pieces.  

Check the Seasonal Section for small, smooth ornaments and other festive things to add to this project.  Walking up and down the Housewares aisle, you will likely come across bottles to use or you’ll find ribbons to add festive color to them.  You might get lucky and find some colorful craft paper to use for the wings.  So many choices and such great prices!

Step 3: Don’t lose your head, rather, add one.

Being careful as you use your glue gun, secure a small, round ornament to the top opening of your bottle or to the part where the bulb screws in.  Also, I found a small, sleigh bell that when turned around, looks like it has eyes and a nose. 

What items do you have in your junk drawer or art supply bin that could be used as your angel’s head?  A large marble perhaps? A ping pong ball? A big wooden bead? 

Step 4: The Halo effect.

To make your piece look like an angel, it will need some sort of halo to top it off.  For the angels in this blog, I used a flat washer, part of a key ring and a large red button.  Add glue to the top of your angel’s head and carefully put your circular item, its halo, in place. 

Step 5: Every angel deserves their wings.

  • Using craft paper, old cards, an out-of-date calendar, wrapping paper or other paper products, cut a square then fold it in half. 
  • From the creased part outward, cut your wing shape with the top round part bigger than the lower rounded part. 
  • Unfold and hold it in position on your angel’s back.  You may need to trim away some of the paper to ensure it lays flat and isn’t too long or too big. 
  • Once you get it to the size that feels right, then add glue to the angel’s back and secure the wings. 
  • I added a bead of glue at the top part then positioned it and added another bead of glue to bottom part. 

Design Idea 1: Based on the color of your angel’s “head,” consider picking paper for wings that compliments it to give your piece a nice matching look. 

Design Idea 2: What else could be enlisted to serve as wings?  Two silk leaves from an arrangement were used given their shape and size.  What about cutting playing cards for wings? What about those paper doilies used around Valentine’s Day?  A paper muffin cup would be really fun too!

Step 6: Give ‘em some personality & pizzazz!

What cool and fun items do you have already to give your angels some charm and whimsy?  Red Mardi Gras beads were used around the “collar” and the “hem” of the angel with the red button halo and matching striped wings. 

The angel with the silk leaves as wings got parts of a flower-shaped hair clip that become part of its skirt along with a moss belt. 

One angel got a boost when it was added to a round piece of scrap wood. 

Another got a necklace made from a small bracelet and old earring.  

Design Idea 3:  If you have a person in mind that you are creating one of these angels for as a gift, consider the person’s favorite colors and make one that picks up those tones.  Cut out words from a magazine that reflect that person’s interests or name.  A good friend loves the word “Joy” so that could be cut from an old holiday card and added.  What about butterfly images or dog or cat faces?  Again, look at what you have on hand and, with fresh eyes, consider what it could be!

Happy Holidays and thanks to the amazing Goodwill team which cares so much about the people and community they serve.  I certainly have been blessed by their people who truly are angels in their own way! Many good wishes to you and yours!


Tim Kime

Artist, Motivational Speaker, Life Coach

Tim Kime is an artist, life coach, connector. He is President of Kime Leadership Associates offering executive coaching, meeting facilitating and motivational speaking. He is also Chief Creative Force of Transformation Junkies which upcycles furniture and other household items into functional works of art. He combined his two passions—unleashing the potential in people and transforming items with the launch of the Art of Possibilities Workshops. These workshops are part upcycling, part dreaming, part goal setting.