Country Night Lights with Silicone Bulbs

Primitive country night lights with silicone dipped bulbs are easy and fun to make, and are great things to sell at craft shows or give as gifts!!! πŸ™‚ Here’s how I do it!

Supplies:

  • Mainstay (Walmart Brand) Clear Silicone
  • Calking gun
  • Rubber gloves
  • Cheap night lights and/or extra 4 watt bulbs from the dollar store
  • Cinnamon
  • String or wire – to hang up bulbs to dry
  • Small disposable cup
  • Popsicle stick or wooden dowel – to stir in cinnamon
  • Homespun fabric
  • Rusty stars and/or hearts

To start, buy some cheap night lights at the dollar store, and remove the cheesy plastic covers. Unscrew the bulbs and set aside, as you’ll be dipping them shorly! It takes some time to get down the technique, so get some extra bulbs to experiment with if you are just starting. Additional 4-watt bulbs can also be bought at the dollar store, usually 4 for $1. You want to get CLEAR silicone, which can be found at Walmart or any home supply store. I find the Walmart brand “Mainstay” works the best. You can add some cinnamon to the silicone for color (when it’s lit, it’s a much warmer look, also it camouflages any imperfections in the silicone), or leave clear if you wish.

Using the calking gun, squirt the silicone into a shallow bowl or cup – like an old cream cheese or sour cream container. Something disposable. Mix the cinnamon in at this point, if you wish. Gripping the base of the bulb, dip it down into the silicone, while slowly turning it to get the whole bulb covered up to the edge of the base. Then dip it down in and pull it out in a quick motion, to create the long tip, or “flame.” This takes some practice!

WORK QUICKLY! The silicone cures quickly once exposed to air, and will become harder and harder to work with!

Hang up by the base to cure. I use a small piece of string tied to the base and hang it from a clothesline. Once the silicone bulbs have set (after at least 24 hours), screw back into the night light. Tie some homespun fabric around the neck of the night light and either knot or tie in a bow. Finish by adding a rusty star, or heart.

So FREAKIN cute, aren’t they??

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67 Comments (+add yours?)

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  4. Nicole
    Nov 18, 2011 @ 19:29:57

    I love your night lights… I just tried to make a few for mine however I cant get them to have the long tail… Is there any other tips you can share. Yours look amazing.
    Thanks

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Nov 20, 2011 @ 18:16:13

      Hi Nicole, thanks for your comment! πŸ™‚ The long tail is tough and definitely took a little practice. I can say for sure that time is a factor…you have you work QUICK because the silicone starts to cure immediately and the longer it sits (even 20 mins) the tails get harder to make. The first few usually have the best tails. I dip the bulbs and pull them out quickly and straight up. Keep trying and you’ll get it!!! Thanks for checkin out my blog and good luck with your bulbs! πŸ™‚ ~Maggie

      Reply

  5. funkytimeart
    Dec 02, 2011 @ 08:05:17

    Thank you for sharing this craft, love it!

    Reply

  6. Heather
    Dec 07, 2011 @ 19:17:07

    I so desperate to try these and I used the white caulk and mixed with coffee πŸ™‚ They look good but I couldn’t get the little “hook” either. It seems like it is really thick do you suggest anything to thin it out? Or just leave it as it is? I never thought of the wooden spoons either!!! Those are adorable!!!! LOVE your site!!!

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Dec 07, 2011 @ 22:11:48

      Thanks so much Heather!!! Yes the bulbs are fun, but quite a challenge to get right. I don’t have any suggestions about thinning it – I find the brand makes a difference and I use the mainstay brand from Walmart which seems to work best. It’s most pliable and thin when you first squirt it out of the tube, and after a few minutes of being in contact with the air it starts getting more difficult to work with. Just keep experimenting and try to work quickly, because the first few bulbs always seemed to come out best! Good luck! Thanks again for your nice comments….it’s people like you that motivate me and make me wanna keep on blogging!!!! πŸ™‚ ~Maggie

      Reply

    • Pagan Raven
      Sep 24, 2014 @ 00:16:25

      I’ve found that if you keep the silicone warm, it “thins” enough to keep it dip-able.
      Set your container of mixed silicone sitting in another container of hot tap water between dips. Then mix quickly again, dip and wall-ah!

      Reply

  7. Cindi Poulson
    Dec 12, 2011 @ 10:36:25

    I love this idea! So creative! I can’t wait to try it. I’m guessing, the lights don’t work after you do this right??? I’m somewhat of a redneck so don’t laugh! lol

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Dec 12, 2011 @ 11:59:10

      Thanks Cindy! I’m a fellow redneck…no worries! lol! Yes they DO work! The silicone is heat/bulb safe and they work just fine! It’s such a cool way to jazz up boring old bulbs!!! Good luck πŸ™‚ ~MAggie

      Reply

      • Cindi Poulson
        Dec 12, 2011 @ 22:57:14

        Thanks Maggie! I can’t wait to go get the silicone and whip some of these up for stocking stuffers! You have really helped my “redneck crafting brain cells” work again!

  8. Livengood and Primitive
    Feb 24, 2012 @ 09:15:18

    Love this idea! Yay! I can do it myself now! Thanks so much for sharing! You’re a life saver!
    http://livengoodandprimitive.wordpress.com/

    Reply

  9. Kristen Maccione
    May 02, 2012 @ 11:43:55

    Do you paint the plastic base at all or are the ones that you buy black?

    Reply

  10. Renee Walsh
    Aug 12, 2012 @ 11:19:49

    Renee Walsh,
    Hi Maggie. First let me say I LOVE your site! So many great ideas and very creative.
    I’m trying (operative word “trying” lol) to make the silicone bulbs. I’m not succeding to well. I have used ALOT of silicone. First how much silicone do you put in say like a cottage cheese container (large or small contianer?). My bulbs seem to come out lumpy and I’m not getting the nice “flame”. Been to walmart and and they don’t seem to carry their brand (mainstay). I’m working the silicone as quickly as I can. I twirl it like you said and then quickly dip it for the flame.. Any suggestions on what I’m doing wrong? I’d appreciate your feed back. I really want to make these as gifts and I’m getting aggravated….lol!
    Thank you in advance! Renee

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Aug 13, 2012 @ 08:46:24

      Hi Renee! I am sorry you’re having a tough time with the bulbs!:( I have to admit that I had a hard time too at the beginning, but you definitely get better the more you do it!! After reading the steps you have been taking, I honestly can’t think of much that I do different! Lately I’ve been using a smaller container like a yogurt container because you can use the same amount of silicone (as you would with a cottage cheese container) but fill it up and make it “deeper” to dip the bulbs…does that make any sense? lol. I fill up the yogurt container almost all the way up. Not sure what the lumpyness is coming from…I would suggest trying other brands of silicone. Keep trying different brands until you find one that works…I swear that the brand of the silicone makes a HUGE difference. When I dip them I make sure they are covered and then quickly pull them out to get the flame – sometimes it takes a few dips to get the flame right. Hmmm…can’t think of anything else other than just keep on trying…you’ll probably waste a lot of silicone before you get it right…I know I did!!! Good luck!!! πŸ™‚ Maggie

      Reply

  11. amanda
    Sep 03, 2012 @ 11:04:17

    I was really excited to try this, but I used them with my welcome lights.. I was afraid that they were getting too hot.. i just used the plain clear silicone. Is it a fire hazard if they get too warm?

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Sep 06, 2012 @ 09:24:53

      Hi Amanda, sorry for the delayed response! I don’t think they would be a fire hazard…I remember researching that before I started doing those bulbs and as long as it’s a fairly low wattage, I don’t think it would get hot enough to burn anything or start a fire. I am not positive about that, so be careful. I have only done silicone dipping on bulbs that were 4 watts and under which have been fine. Thanks for stoppin by my blog! Have a good weekend!
      Maggie

      Reply

  12. ROnda hamersley
    Sep 12, 2012 @ 14:23:53

    Love your sight…great ideas! Do you have any tips on pricing items for a craft booth? Do you have a rule of thumb?

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Sep 13, 2012 @ 10:19:59

      Thank you Ronda! Pricing has always been tough…I guess my rule of thumb is I’d rather price a little cheaper and sell a lot, than price higher and only sell a few. Obviously you want to cover your costs and profit as much as you can, but sometimes you have to have think…”Would I pay that???” I also like to ask my friends and family what they would pay for a item and get a feel for the price range. It’s definitely hard but sometimes its just trial and error! Hope that helps…! Thanks for reading my blog!! πŸ™‚ Maggie

      Reply

    • nananay01
      Oct 11, 2012 @ 13:27:28

      Hi Maggie would you mind sending me “your email address again? I would like to send some pics and would appreciate your opinion and what you think of pricing….

      Sent from my Samsung Epicβ„’ 4G

      “Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night” wrote:

      Reply

  13. Terri Schofield
    Oct 27, 2012 @ 13:21:01

    I have to say you have inspired me and rekindled my passion for crafting! Looking forward to trying the bulbs. I sold out of all my purchased bulbs, at my last show. Your recipe will lower my prices and they are so much cuter than my resale bulbs. Thank you for sharing!

    Reply

  14. Jacquie
    Oct 31, 2012 @ 14:27:55

    Just finished making a few of these for the first time and they didn’t turn out too bad. I think the trick to a long flame is not using much cinnamon and a good twisting and turning effect with a quick pull out. Well, it worked for me πŸ™‚ Thanks so much for sharing :)))

    Reply

  15. Heidi
    Nov 15, 2012 @ 02:24:50

    I love making these bulbs, but am now really interested in making the bulbs I am seeing pop up on selling blogs and in stores. They say hand dipped on them, so I am believing that is true. Anyway I was wondering if you could help me figure out how to make a carrot nose with the long curly q. Then looks lilke the eyes and nose are hot glued on. If you want to look at one, I bought it at a store and the package says Vickie Jean’s Creations, Inc. http://www.vickiejeanscreations.com. I thought maybe dipping a toothpick in it and the trimming it, but the one I have has nothing hard inside. I have no other ideas. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
    Heidi

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Nov 19, 2012 @ 13:33:04

      Hello Heidi, hmmm….that’s a tough one! I think it would just take a lot of experimenting to get those “noses” just right. Some things I would probably try are the tooth pick thing (like you suggested) except get as long of a “tail” as you can, and them trip it right above where the toothpick ends, so it’s just silicone (with no tip of toothpick inside). Or put some silicone in a plastic ziplock bag and cut off the corner (like you would do as a make-shift frosting bag for cake decorating) and squirt out little dots onto foil or wax paper, and pull the bag in a quick, upward motion to create the “tail” or curly-cue…and then once they dry, just hot glue them onto the bulb? Does that make sense?? I might have to give these a try sometime because now I am curious about them, and love the pics from the vickie jean’s website! Best of luck and let me know if you figure out something that works!!!! maggie

      Reply

  16. Valeri
    Jan 03, 2013 @ 13:44:52

    LOVE your site & thanks for the tut’s. Tried this & my bulbs are hanging to cure as I write! Couple of questions: 1) I could not find the Mainstay product…bought “clear silicone sealant”…no name brand @ WM. I was not prepared for the strong vinegar type scent…is this normal? I added cinnamon oil & coffee to my bulbs. Will this vinegar scent subside & the cinnamon take over eventually? 2) Can’t make the long tails yet. Is there a difference in “sealant” & “caulking”? Should I go to a home store to look for “clear caulk?” Thanks SO MUCH!
    valeri

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Jan 06, 2013 @ 18:17:42

      Hi Valeri – thanks so much! Sorry for the delayed response. The mainstay brand IS the Walmart brand, I think. It’s the cheapest and most generic looking one they have. lol. Yes, the strong vinegar scent is normal! That’s why it’s probably a good idea to do it in a ventilated area if possible. The vinegar smell will go away but I have found that, even though it is mixed in, they don’t really smell like cinnamon either. They don’t seem to smell at all. I use the cinnamon more for the primitive look. I don’t know the difference between sealant and caulking, but I use the clear caulking. I hope this helps and sorry again for taking so long to get back to you!!! Thanks so much for reading my blog! Keep on experimenting and crafting!! πŸ™‚ Maggie

      Reply

  17. Lisa
    Jan 10, 2013 @ 15:53:04

    I was just at Walmart…..dying to try these as well!! They did not have MAINSTAY there at our local one either 😦 Hope the one I purchase works. Great blog

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Jan 28, 2013 @ 13:22:17

      Sorry for the delayed response Lisa ~ did the other brand work? I have found it’s all experimenting…I have found some work just fine and others stink, and I don’t know what the difference is that makes one better than another. Hope they came out okay!! Thanks for visiting! Maggie

      Reply

  18. Susie
    Jan 21, 2013 @ 15:45:40

    I’ve done this for years…I also catch the after Christmas sales and buy the C7 bulbs in different colors! Use the clear silicone and you can decorate for any season or holiday! Red, white(clear), and blue for the fourth,,,orange for the fall or red and green for Christmas….endless ideas!!

    Reply

  19. Sarah Funk
    Jan 29, 2013 @ 17:28:15

    I adore your blog! You make so many unique and fun decorative items. I am totally inspired by your creativity! I would love to chat more privately about some questions that I have. I truly would love to have some help with some of the ideas that I have. Please email if you get the chance, Thanks!

    Reply

  20. Jessica Martin
    May 13, 2013 @ 19:21:32

    Great idea! Where do you find the rustic stars?

    Reply

  21. Linda Cifelli
    Aug 15, 2013 @ 13:21:16

    This is my first visit to your blog and love the bulb idea! Can’t wait to try it! I look forward to MANY VISITS to tap your brain. Thanks so much!!!

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Aug 16, 2013 @ 16:37:54

      Thank for your for nice comment Linda! Those bulbs are probably my favorite project ever and I have been dying to make more. It’s on my crafting to-do list for this summer. Good luck with them if you give them a whirl! πŸ™‚ ~maggie

      Reply

  22. emma
    Aug 21, 2013 @ 22:42:06

    I found your site last night so I stayed up till 2 am going over all your crafts, I can’t thank you enough I use to do crafts then lost interest but because of you and you showing us how it’s done I’m so ready to start again. By the way I love the pictures of Paco =). Thanks so much again!

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Aug 23, 2013 @ 13:39:19

      Thank you Emma! I know exactly what you mean and I go through lulls too….times where I get “crafters block” and lose motivation. I often go online to get ideas as well. Thanks for your nice comments and I hope you have fun giving some of these projects a go. πŸ™‚ Maggie

      Reply

  23. Edie
    Aug 31, 2013 @ 16:53:15

    How do I get the silicone to not bubble when I’m mixing in oil paint?

    Reply

  24. Sarah
    Oct 28, 2013 @ 09:02:43

    Where are the stars from? Love these!

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Nov 03, 2013 @ 07:15:10

      I got my stars from rustytin.com but I just checked and it looks like they are closing their business, so you may not be able to get supplies from them. I have also ordered them from craft outlet stores, in bulk (just google it)…I want to say factorydirectcraft.com is where I got my last batch. Hope this helps!

      Reply

  25. Kelli
    Nov 16, 2013 @ 21:31:44

    What craft store do you buy the decoart texture fierro? I really want to try the grubby candles & tea lights.

    Reply

  26. Lori
    Jan 29, 2014 @ 10:51:58

    I love this idea it is very cute and cheap to make!! I have a question about the handspun ribbon. where do you get yours at?

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Feb 01, 2014 @ 08:43:21

      Thanks Lori! I get all my homespun fabrics at Joann Fabrics craft store. When I find one I like I usually buy a yard of it and then it lasts forever since I am using tiny strips here and there! They have a great homespun selection. Hope that helps! ~maggie

      Reply

  27. Jennifer
    Mar 03, 2014 @ 04:05:55

    I can’t wait to try making these! I’m doing my first craft show with my SIL, soon, and wondered how much you charge for these lights and bulbs? I don’t want to over or undercharge, lol.

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Mar 09, 2014 @ 08:46:36

      Hi Jennifer, I usually charge $3.50 or $4 for mine and they always seem to fly off the the shelf! I tend to price things on the cheap side so you have to take into consideration the venue you’ll be at. Good luck – they are tons of fun to make. Infact I haven’t made them in a long time and really need to do another batch! πŸ™‚

      Reply

  28. Pagan Raven
    Sep 21, 2014 @ 00:05:42

    I keep searching the net and can’t find anything to answer my question, so maybe you can – since you’ve made these.
    I’ve seen normal light bulbs (60 watt) at some stores that were decorated with silicone. One in particular was made to look like stained glass. (just don’t know if it was a special type of silicone or normal like this caulking/sealant.)

    I have a chandelier type light that uses those tall candelabra bulbs with a small night light size screw in base, shaped like a flame – and they are 40 watts.
    I want to try this with a bulb – but am almost afraid to.
    Pure silicone is supposed to be heat safe and that’s what I bought.
    But I am wondering if adding the cinnamon in hampers the heat safe just a bit.
    Do you think I should try – and get back to you on the results – IF I survive a fire?? ~.^

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Sep 24, 2014 @ 09:05:23

      Hi, sorry for the way delayed reply! I don’t think the cinnamon should make it unsafe. I have made them a lot and have never had any problem with them over heating, nor have they ever felt too hot to the touch. You could always do a “test” bulb, just one, and leave it on for a while to see how it goes. I think since the silicone is 99% of whats on there, and it’s heat safe, that you will be perfectly fine. It’s always good to be cautious though. Hope this helps..and good luck! I hope they come out great!

      Reply

      • Pagan Raven
        Sep 24, 2014 @ 20:53:36

        Well, I’ll give it a go and see what happens. I do think these would look great in a prim looking chandelier! I tried everything, searched every where to find out the surface temp. of a 40 watt candle type bulb and just could NOT find it. (although I found plenty on lumens and such…blah. )
        Will let you know how it goes, or doesn’t. =)
        Thank you again for taking time out on this!

  29. Beth
    Oct 06, 2014 @ 18:56:58

    I have tried and tried these ugh..maybe you need to do a video!! pretty please lol
    I think I emailed you awhile back about what program you made the bag toppers in..very cute!

    Reply

  30. lisa
    Nov 10, 2014 @ 01:31:05

    may I ask how much you sell the nightlights for ? I LOVE THEM

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Nov 10, 2014 @ 14:03:57

      Thanks Lisa. I haven’t sold them in quite a long time but when I did they were $3.50-$4.00 each. They always flew off the shelf, faster than I could keep up with. They probably could have even gone for $5 but I don’t like stuff to sit around. Hope that helps! πŸ™‚ Maggie

      Reply

  31. Debbie Virgin
    Dec 28, 2014 @ 20:54:08

    At what point do you tie the string onto the bulb so you can hang it to dry? I really want to try making these and am so impressed with all of your creativity! Thank you for sharing with us!

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Dec 31, 2014 @ 13:14:16

      Thank you Debbie! I actually tied the strings on first, so that when you go to hang them up you are not messing around with a wet, gooey bulb. You can dip it then hang it up immediately. Hope that helps and have fun if you decide to give them a try! πŸ™‚ Oh and Happy New Year! ~Maggie

      Reply

  32. Debbie Virgin
    Dec 31, 2014 @ 20:58:28

    Happy New Year to you too! Thanks for getting back with me so fast! Can’t wait to try these!

    Reply

  33. Brittany
    Sep 21, 2015 @ 18:18:42

    Just made these. It was actually easier than I thought. The long tip is definitely a challenge. I am curious what size the rusty hearts and stars are the you use??

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Sep 24, 2015 @ 15:49:20

      Hi Brittany! I am so glad you made them! They are so fun and you’re right, pretty easy. It’s just getting used to working with the silicone and not making too much of a mess..haha. The rusty hearts and stars are 1 and 1/4 inch tall. I got them in bulk from factory direct craft. Thanks for commenting and hope you had fun making them!

      Reply

  34. Samantha Sanderson
    Sep 27, 2016 @ 15:21:11

    I was just wondering if you wanted different colors, what would you recommend using to color the silicone?

    Reply

    • Eyeballs By Day, Crafts By Night
      Feb 05, 2017 @ 11:17:42

      Hi Samantha, sorry for the delayed reply. I never did try different colors, so I can’t really say. I have seen all kinds of colored silicone bulbs but I never knew they used. Sorry I can’t be of more help! Maybe you can by pre-made silicone in different colors? If you find out, lemme know! Thanks!! Maggie

      Reply

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