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5 Cool Ways To Repurpose Old Glass Insulators From Telephone Poles & Power Poles

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By Joshua

Craft Ideas Using Glass Insulators

Remember when telephone poles had colorful glass insulators at the top of their cross arms?

Repurposing old glass insulators is becoming quite popular. People are now collecting these antique relics from old power poles and telephone poles and then using them in crafts. Here are 5 unique craft ideas using glass insulators.

These days, most utility poles have either silicone or ceramic insulators.

Many people are having fun upcycling the obsolete glass insulators — as communications and power companies continue to update the aging power lines.

Old glass insulators (which are bell shaped and used to suspend phone lines and power lines from supporting poles) have been a popular item to collect for ages — especially among those who grew up seeing the vivid green, blue, yellow, white, and purple glass insulators on utility poles.

Even though I’m too young to have recalled the era when glass insulators were used to support telephone and electric wires, taking photos of power poles has been one of my many hobbies for years now.

So, when I saw a couple of green H.G. Company glass insulators on eBay with a patent date of May 2, 1893… the utility pole nerd I am, I just couldn’t pass up the chance of displaying them in my home!

As it turns out, I’m not alone in repurposing glass insulators. In fact, collecting and finding uses for old glass insulators is apparently a major hobby! There are entire websites dedicated solely to glass insulators. (That site alone has more than 3,000 active collectors!)

In the course of learning more about old glass insulators and ways to repurpose them, I’ve found that there are many that ways people are bringing new life to these relics of a bygone era in communications.

Here are 5 ways you can repurpose old glass insulators:

#1 – Use glass insulators as paperweights.

Probably the easiest way to repurpose glass insulators is to simply place them on top of leaflets, magazines, or other documents that you keep on your desk, coffee table, or office cubicle. Not only do they do the job, but you may just get somebody to point at your glass paperweight and inquire, “What is that?” Needless to say, glass insulators make interesting conversation pieces!

#2 – Use old glass insulators as candle holders.

Suspended upside down inside a small wire basket, old glass insulators make charming tea light candle holders. What’s more, the colorful, translucent hues of the glass create a warm glow — enhancing the coziness of your home, as a small flame dances within the insulator.

#3 – Use glass insulators as mini pendant light shades.

If you drill a small hole through the rounded top of your glass insulator and then “snake” the end of an LED wire light through the hole (so a single bulb on the wire just pops through to the inside of the hollowed-out part of the insulator), you can make pendant lights. Glue the bulb and the wire to the insulator and then hang the fixture from the ceiling of your game room, kitchen, office — or any other place that needs some vintage flair. (You could also use a mini pendant light kit instead of using the LED lights.)

#4 – Use old glass insulators as metal stake covers.

Whether you’re marking the corners for the foundation of a new home or plotting where you’ll be planting some trees or shrubs… pounding metal stakes into the ground is an important part of translating architectural blueprints — so you can physically indicate where parts of the plan will unfold on your property. Glass insulators are perfect for covering the tips of the metal rods, protecting people and animals from getting hurt on the sharp ends of the protruding stakes.

#5 – Use glass insulators as bird feeders.

All you need is an old glass insulator, a long piece of string or cord to hang it, and some bird seed. It doesn’t get any easier than that! You can even kick things up a notch by hanging several different glass insulators of various sizes and colors throughout your home’s landscape. Spending time outdoors becomes a lot more interesting when you begin to notice all of the bird activity taking place around these colorful glass containers.

The Bottom Line…

Perhaps these are some ideas you’ll want to try in your own home!

You’ll probably even think of some other ways to repurpose glass insulators that will be unique to you and show your personality and individual lifestyle.

One thing is for certain… finding uses for old glass insulators can be a lot of fun. It’s a great hobby for anyone who loves getting crafty with vintage items.

By the way, Etsy is a great source to find glass insulators of all shapes, sizes, and colors.

And Pinterest has DIY glass insulator projects galore to choose from.