here is a small terrarium i built as a decoration for my room. it has sort of a steampunk theme, and is perfect for those who would like some nature indoors.
Step 1: Getting Supplies
In this project, I did not exactly have all the parts I would have liked, so i did improvise.
tools you will need:
- Very sharp knife
- adjustable wrench
- needle-nose pliers
- gloves (ones that can protect from shards of glass)
- soldering iron
- hot glue gun
- bolt cutters
- sand paper (300-400 grit)
material you will need:
- incandescent light bulb
- small metal container with removable lid
- three quarter inch copper tubing (can be found in old refrigerators, and some microwaves. you can purchase them at most hardware stores as well. I used a coil of copper wire instead.)
- garden hose nozzle (this is optional, it is just used for attaching the bulb to the body)
- small rocks and pebbles
- small plants such as moss, bean sprouts, or forget-me-nots (you can also add small insects, just choose ones that will not eat your plants!)
optional: (for if you want your light bulb to still produce light)
- 9 volt battery
- 9 volt battery plug
- 33.1 %5 resistor (it has a color code of orange, orange, brown, gold)
- small led (I used yellow, but you can use any color you wish)
- heat shrink tubing or other insulator
Step 2: Lightbulb Dissasembly
The first thing you should do is unscrew the lightbulb from its socket if it is in one. failure to do so may result in electrocution or serious burns while disassembling the lightbulb. One thing I recommend is to wear gloves, since you are working with thin glass that could easily break and cause injuries. You will want to remove the metal part that is directly on the bottom of the lightbulb. this can be done with pliers. after this is done you should remove the dark colored resin on the bottom of the bulb. Be careful with this because it can also cut you like glass. After this is removed, you should take out the filament and remove the metal piece at the bottom of the light bulb as shown in picture two. Wash the glass part of the bulb to remove any shards.
Step 3: Metal Container Preperation
You can do anything you want with this, I just heated the container with a blowtorch to remove paint and then pounded out the design with a hammer, then used sandpaper to finish it. Like i said, you can do anything with it.
Step 4: Optional (if You Want Your Lightbulb to Produce Light)
If you choose to follow this step, you will need a soldering iron.
- solder the positive battery plug lead to the switch, then solder the resistor to the other side of the switch.
- solder a long wire to the negative battery plug lead.
- solder a long wire to the free end of the resistor.
- solder the anode end of the LED to the positive wire
- solder the cathode end of the LED to the negative wire.
- test all connections
- push the switch through the small hole in the lid, and the LED and long wires through the large hole.
Step 5: Bending the Bulb's Neck
Using a blowtorch, heat up the copper tubing and bend it to your desired shape. Just note that there will be a lightbulb on the end that will be filled with dirt and plants.
once this is done, push the wires with the led (if you chose to add this) through the tubing, and glue it in the big hole on the lid.
Step 6: Filling Your Bulb
now that the bulk is done, grab some tweezers and head outside!
you can fill your bulb with whatever you like, i have found that moss does very well in these because water does not drain out. choose plants that do well in MOIST enviroments
fill the bottom with small rocks or sand, put fine dirt on top. depending how big your lighbulb is, your plants may vary from big to small. put your plants in the bulb, and hold them in place with tweezers, then put some more dirt on top, and pack it down with a small stick. add rocks or other decoration.
Step 7: Final Assembly
- put the lid on top of the container
- put the metal part back on the bulb
- put some sort of plug on the bulb
- glue the bulb to the neck
- make sure there is a small hole in the metal part of the bulb in case you need to add water, but keep in mind that it cannot drain.
as you can see from the images, i added some more to go with the theme of my room. feel free to do whatever you want outside of the instructions.