DIY // Guest post:Katy Postlethwaite // Lightbulb terrariums

 

First, you’ll need a few tools.
- Needle-nose pliers
- Scissors
- Long tweezers or chopsticks
- Flathead screwdriver
- fishing line
- sand
- moss
- rocks
…anything you want in your terrarium
- air plant (Tillandsia)
And of course, you need a light bulb! I used the globe kind, but you can use any size
or shape as long as it’s clear – no “soft white” bulbs, unless you want to clean ‘em
out.
Step 1. Remove the metal tip from the bulb with your pliers. This I found to be a lil’ tricky. Just pick away at the sides of the tip, until it lifts and you can peel it away.
Step 2. Remove the black glass. I found it easiest to stick your pliers in the middle and twist until the glass cracks. It’s pretty thick so it’ll take some force to break. To avoid a glassy mess on your floor, do this step (as well as step 3) overtop of a box/tub.
Step 3. Use the flathead screwdriver and break the interior tubes – try not to break the bulb itself when doing this. Also, if you’re not a risk taker like me, this would be a good time to put on some safety goggles as glass chards could potentially fly at your face.
Step 4. Pull out any remaining wires with the pliers. If there is any remaining glass around the edges, break these off with the screwdriver. The more you break off, the easier it will be to get your plants inside.
Step 5. Build your terrarium! You’ll want to put in your sand first. If you’re using sand from a beach, make sure you wash it thoroughly to get rid of any salt, and then let it dry completely. Using a funnel or a folded piece of cardboard put a couple of tablespoons of sand into the light bulb. Next, take some moss and put it in the bulb! This is where your long tweezers or chopsticks will come in handy because you can use them to position the moss. Finally, put the Tillandsia in the bulb, pushing the smaller end in first. To spice things up, add little toy figures! I’ve seen ones with toy alligators, little Bambi’s, or toy soldiers… Super cute! Any other found objects like rocks, sticks, marbles etc would also be fun.
Step 6. To hang, punch holes directly opposite one another in the base of the light bulb (I used a push-pin), and attach fishing line. 
Ta-da! Your own little lightbulb terrarium!
SOME TIPS:
-Use Tillandsia, otherwise known as air plants. They work really well for this type of environment because they have no roots, which means they take all the nutrients they need from the air and a small amount of water. You can buy these at a major garden centre.
- Use sand and/or small pebbles; water drains through them easily. If you use soil, when wet it will get moldy in a confined area. You don’t want this.
- Use preserved moss, such as sheet or reindeer moss, instead of living moss. Preserved moss isn’t living, but it will hold moisture; this moisture raises the humidity level in the terrarium, which makes the Tillandsia happy.
- Keep your terrarium in partial sunlight. Too much sunlight will dry out the plant.
- Water your Tillandsia! Don’t be fooled by the name ‘air plant’. It is still a living plant that will need a small amount of water. Water it either by removing and soaking it in water for 20 minutes once a week, or using a spray bottle a couple times a week. Make sure your terrarium is completely dry before giving it more
water.