Father’s Day DIY Gift Idea: Light Bulb Fishbowl

Father's Day DIY Gift Idea: Light Bulb Fishbowl


Hi there folks! Father’s Day is coming up on June 16th! If you’re lucky enough to have a Father/Father-figure/Father-of-your-children around to celebrate with you this might be a nice present. I’ve been thinking about my dad and remembering all the great times we had together before he passed away. He was definitely a fish person! I think he may have been a fish in a previous life with how much he loved the ocean, boats, and everything fish! We had several fishtanks in our home while I was growing up, but let’s face it – fishtanks are hard to keep up! I know there are several fish that are perfectly happy in small bowls – I just wasn’t sure which would be happy. I went and talked to the nice lady at the pet store and I recommend you do the same before picking out your new pet!

So, let me introduce you to Ichabod! I named him Ichabod because it sounds like “ichthyology”! šŸ˜€

I used instructions from another blogger on how to hollow out a light bulb. I will just add that it makes for easier clean-up if you work over some damp paper towels. The damp paper towels catch everything well and then you just have to fold them up to clean your work space.

I cleaned the interior out and put it through several rinses to make it free of residue for my little friend here.

I very carefully buffed the opening so he wouldn’t get hurt on his way in his new home.

Put him in gently with a teaspoon!

He’s so tiny, he could even swim in the spoon a little!

I’m setting aside special water for him so I can change his water frequently and keep it aerated.

BONUS! – Light bulbs cast light really well and the little rays of sunlight that stream through cast an Ichabod-shaped shadow on my wall!

He seems really happy “hanging out” suspended over my desk.

However, there is a separate larger bowl ready for him if he doesn’t continue to do well in there.

I hope to have time to post better instructions later.

The best part is that this project is really cheap!

Burnt-Out Light Bulb: a single light bulb is somewhere around 50-90 cents to begin with, and if you’ve already got one burnt-out that’s best!

Natural Jute Twine: you can get a roll of about 100 feet for less than $2.00, but you’ll only be needing about 20 feet – the roll I got was $1.39 at the hardware store. I used 5 pieces of twine at about 4 feet each to macrame around the outside.

Small Fishy Of Your Choice: Ichabod was a cool 13 cents + tax.

Fish Food: whoa now big spender! This is what kind of blows me away about this project. I wasn’t going to skimp on the food because I want him to have all the vitamins and nutrients he needs to be happy and healthy. I already had the twine and burnt-out light bulb, but even if I had purchased them for this project I still would have spent less than $2.50 on the whole mini-tank AND the fish! A small canister of fish food (that will probably last me a long time because he can barely eat one flake at a time) was $2.57 which puts the grand total cost of this project around $5.00 dollars. It costs more time than money. It took me a few hours to clean it out really good and put it all together.

P.S. Take the advice of the blogger with the light bulb instructions! I used eye protection and gloves and I’m glad I did because a rogue glass fragment bounced off my goggles! Be safe!

UPDATE (added June 13th, 2013): I’ve posted an update on Ichabod and some tips for keeping your new friend in the lightbulb bowl here.

14 thoughts on “Father’s Day DIY Gift Idea: Light Bulb Fishbowl

  1. Your Dad is looking down and is impressed, know that much..
    That is a great idea..

    Reminds me to mention this a few times in the next 12 days šŸ™‚

    Hugs x

    • šŸ™‚ Thank you! Yeah, Dad would have been totally overjoyed at this – lol. šŸ™‚ Yeah, it might be fun for your boys to get the tools out! If your lil’ girls make friendship bracelets they might have fun doing the macrame part. šŸ™‚ Do you like fish stuff? Like tanks/boating/etc? I hope you have a great Father’s Day! I bet your family is planning something special. šŸ™‚

      • Probably something horrendous..
        In-fact, have we had Fathers day in the UK?
        I know mothers day is a month earlier..
        I shall demand gifts anyway šŸ™‚

        And my Dad had his own boat, used to go Fishing the odd weekend, I couldn’t I was boat sick, or as they called me “Good Bait” šŸ™‚ lol

  2. Do fish know we watch them wander around their homes completely naked? They don’t seem to mind, which raises the question: Do they realize it or do they just not care? Are fish really hippies? My mind is awash with questions. Do they mind when we eat fishsticks where they can see us?

    • LOL! I know he can see me because he comes to the front and says “hi” when I come over with the food. Since fish eat other fish they probably only care to ask “can I have a bite of that”?

      • Well, I think he comes to you because he knows that you are quite amaIng.

        Do you think fish would like their fishsticks with tartar sauce? Maybe fries?

      • I eat fishsticks usually while wandering around the kitchen. Oh, and there’s usually something from the beer family. And there’s yellow mustard for dipping them in. Then there’s paper plates (the whole, I don’t like washing any extra dishes, thing).

        If you tell me you eat them while standing on your head in the swinging hammock, you will have my undying admiration.

      • I’m not a fishstick person – lol. I will eat fried cod, or tilapia, or salmon, but regular ol’ fishsticks aren’t my style. English style fish n’ chips – that sounds amazing! Don’t it? I’ll probably be posting my BBQed salmon soon. Though, I’m not much of a yellow mustard person – I might try honey mustard, but more likely homemade tartar. šŸ™‚

  3. Pingback: Upcycled Milk Jug Watering Can: “Stained Glass” Lorax | Rachie Adventures

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