light bulb terrarium

At some point during my internet perambulations last year, I came across this site detailing how to hollow out light bulbs and build terrariums in them. It must have been when I was first researching regular terrariums. I bookmarked it, bought 3 light bulbs, and kind of forgot about it.

Flash forward to this weekend, where the forecasted high is 100 fucking degrees and I’m desperately trying to think of something to do that doesn’t involve leaving the house, when my eye happens to fall on those light bulbs, just gathering dust in the closet.

Hollowing out the bulbs was actually easier than I thought. Peel off the metal tab, break everything below the metal, stick in a flathead screwdriver and break all the interior parts, pull out with needlenosed pliers. Stick some silicone bumpers on, pour in some white sand (already had that from my other terrarium projects), and stick in some plants.

“Stick in some plants” was where I hit a snag. I have lots of tillandsia (air plants), but none of them would fit through the neck of the bulb. So I decided use moss and lichen. Which unfortunately did involve going into the yard, but at least I stayed in the shade. I had made a moss terrarium a while back but wasn’t happy with it, and decided to use the mason jar for a little cactus.


mini terr 2, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.

I found all this in the yard. We have huge oak trees, and where there’s old oaks, there’s plenty of moss and lichen. There’s 2 different kinds of moss–I just scooped it out of the ground with a butter knife–3 different kinds of lichen (including some on a piece of bark), some acorns, and a glittery button shaped like a leaf, because it’s fun to have one non-organic element in a terrarium. I just shoved everything through the neck, then used a chopstick to poke it all into place.


mini terr 1, originally uploaded by pinstripe_bindi.


I have 2 more bulbs–right now one contains some sprigs I pulled off of one of Mom’s plants, but obviously that’ll die eventually. I’ll probably do all 3 of them with moss and lichen. There’s all kinds of interesting tiny stuff in the yard, if you just look closely.


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