Monday, September 13, 2010

Light Bulb Terrariums


· Light bulbs

· Small magnets

· Large washers

· Soil and seeds

· Water and sunlight


· Newspaper

· Leather gloves

· Safety glasses

· Slot screwdriver

· Mallet

· Needle nose pliers

· Salt and water

I found a few instructions on how to make different kinds of light bulb terrariums, but none of the instructions were very detailed and the process was kind of intimidating.

First, the setup: I think it was best to do this outside with a newspaper to catch all the glass shards. Don’t forget safety; wear your leather gloves and safety glasses to protect your hands and eyes.

Carefully hold the light bulb above the newspaper with the screwdriver poised as a chisel against the glass support at the bottom of the bulb and use the mallet to break it into pieces without breaking the glass bulb.

After the support is broken take out the electronic parts but don’t shake the bulb, this results in broken glass and a ruined project. Make sure to pull all the wires out and break out the inner glass support, again without breaking the bulb.

Use the salt to get all the little pieces out of the bulbs but pouring in a little bit into the bulb and shaking it up. Then pour some water in to get rid of the white powder that diffuses the light and obstructs your view to the inside of the bulb.

With the light bulb all cleaned out and dry slide the little magnet inside and pour a little soil in on top. Next, put a few seeds in (I used about five) and gently shake to get the seeds to bury themselves. Gently pour some water in, but be careful not to overwater.

Set the bulb on the washer, the magnet will stabilize it. Then set the whole thing in a safe place in the sunlight and let it grow!


The light bulb terrarium works best if the light bulb is stationed on it's side or glass side down. Plants don't like to grow in the closed space of a light bulb glass side up.

Also, if using a high powered magnet and washer to keep the terrarium steady do not pull them apart and let them snap back together. This causes the glass to shatter over the various times it is allowed to snap together. Leave them together or do not use the magnets at all.

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