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How to Build a Terrarium
in 8 simple steps

Terrarium in a lightbulb?

Absolutely! We’re going to go through the steps to create your very own little terrarium. "Building a terrarium inside of a lightbulb is interesting because of the inherent challenge of working in such a small space as well as how the simple, industrial beauty of a light bulb complements the intricacy of natural elements."

Meet the makers


  • Vianey Cecilio,
    Photographer

  • Eric Liang,
    Designer

  • Ben Cato,
    Developer

step 1

You’ll need a few tools to make a tiny terrarium but nothing complicated to get started. As you can see, you'll also need to gather moss, charcoal, soil, plant of your choice, water, and of course, a lightbulb. Oh, and don't forget the tweezers!

Step 2

First, remove the metal tip from the bottom of the bulb. Using pliers, carefully nudge the sides of the metal tip from the black glass part. When enough of the sides are raised to get a good grip on them, hold one of the sides with your pliers and yank out the metal tip. You will feel a couple little wires snap when you do this.

step 3

Next, twist the tweezers around to smash the containing tube. It takes some force to do this; be careful, but also don’t be afraid of the bulb itself breaking. It probably won’t. Hold tight to the bulb while you do this. If there are any last bits of glass around the interior edge, break these off with the tweezers. Dispose of any broken glass immediately.

Step 4

The hard part is now over! Now you'll need to put a decent base of grounded charcoal into your soon-to-be terrarium. You may use your tweezers or a folded piece of paper as a funnel to do this. Once you are finished with this step, you'll have a nice substrate for the foundation.

step 5

Now, let's get a good layer of soil in your bulb. Put in a little bit at a time using your trusty tweezers. If it's easier for you, just use a folded piece of paper again and pour it in. You'll want to put a thick layer of soil for your terrarium to flourish. Plants love soil.

step 6

Time for some greenery! Cut off a small bit of sheet moss and put it in the bulb. Carefully insert it through the opening and avoid tearing. Try folding it to push it through. Just take your time and position it using your tweezers. There's no need for hurry here.

step 7

Ah, yes. The plant. No terrarium is complete without plant life! Using your tweezers, carefully place your happy little friend. It might take some poking to get everything in the right place; be patient and experiment with different types of arrangements if you'd like.

step 8

Finally, you'll want to provide a little moisture by adding some water. Find a straw to add some droplets to your new microenvironment. Now all that's left to do is sit back and admire your shiny, new terrarium. Good job! Enjoy.