Those old lights were beautiful, especially the snowball lights. My mother-in-law was a huge fan of Christmas and we kept the snowball bulbs from her old strings of lights and even used them interspersed among the regular lights until we switched to mini lights. Now we use LED - and they're pretty, don't get me wrong - but just not the same as the warm glow of the incandescents.
So I've had these snowball bulbs sitting loose in a box for years trying to figure out what to do with them so we can still enjoy them even if they can't be used as lights. With all the wire and beads that have been flying around here lately, the answer was obvious and I wish I'd thought of it sooner.
After a brief search for a needle-nose pliers, I was off. Can't remember the gauge of the wire, but it should be easy enough to bend and twist without breaking and should be able to hold a hook shape securely. I twisted the wire around the threads of each bulb a few times, then twisted it into a tight coil near the threads to secure. All that's left is to string beads on the wire! You could use a crimp bead at the end to keep the beads in place, but I just twisted the wire into a tight spiral and that should keep the beads on just fine. Leave enough free wire at the end to make a hook and you're good to go!
I love these so much! I wrapped the hook end of the wire around the cafe curtain rod over my sink and now we can enjoy seeing these bulbs every time we're in the kitchen. It's terribly hard for me to get a good glittery picture of these so you'll have to trust me...they look great. The colors glow through the frosty outside and the beads glitter. I think this was the perfect treatment for these old light bulbs. We have a new decoration and something special from my husband's childhood is restored for our kids.