I like DIY projects, especially in the winter when my usual outdoor activities are limited by the weather. Here at the Five headquarters, we decided to have a craft session last week and made light bulb terrariums! Not only is this project super fun, but it’s also a great way to repurpose burned out light bulbs that you’d otherwise just throw away.
Let’s start crafting!
You’ll see that we lived dangerously and didn’t wear safety glasses while clearing out our bulbs. In hindsight, they’d be a good idea.
STEP 1: Remove the small, thin copper circle at the metal end of the light bulb. To do this, use your fingernail to turn up one edge of the circle then pull it off with pliers.
STEP 2: By completing step one, the dark glass under the copper circle should have cracked. Break the rest of this black/purple glass and use a small screwdriver to pry out any loose pieces. Pliers for pulling out the rest.
STEP 3: Use pliers to break out the vertical glass tube in the center of the light bulb. Next, break the inner glass area using a screwdriver being careful not to hit the outer glass. I find it’s easiest to jab the bottom of the tube to initially break it, then gently tap away at the sides of the glass to remove the rest. Finally, use pliers to pull out the wire with the filament and rest of the insides of the light bulb.
STEP 4: Empty your light bulb of any debris then use a funnel to pour about 1/2 teaspoon of salt inside. Use your thumb to cover the hole then shake and swirl the light bulb. The salt will remove the white coating on the inside of the glass. The paint around the metal at the top can be stubborn, so don’t be afraid to (carefully) get aggressive with your shaking!
STEP 7: Make a base for your light bulb using a hot glue gun. I like to do this by putting three little dots of glue on the bottom of the bulb.
STEP 8: Use a funnel to layer dirt and other goodies inside your bulb. We used dirt, rocks, sand, broken shells and aquarium rocks. Make sure that your top layer is dirt though, so the moss can reach it easily.
STEP 9: Add your moss. Do it in small pieces and use a skewer to arrange it until it’s just right.
STEP 10: Add your figurine! We bought these fun animals from a local toy shop but you can add any small object that you find. As a trick to get your figurine to stay in place, you can put a pin through it before you insert the little guy into the bulb then use the skewers to stick it into the moss! Sneaky, huh?