Do you love a challenging DIY project as much as we do? Don’t be intimidated by this DIY Light Bulb Terrarium project; you don’t need a green thumb to make it!

Working in such a small space and with natural elements is really gratifying and a great opportunity to get your creative juices flowing. And it’s fun to break things!

These DIY light bulb gardens are also thoughtful gifts that can be customized with seasonal items – think little pumpkins or X-Mas trees! – or with natural elements like air plants that reflect your surroundings. This project literally only took us under an hour— although shopping for all of the elements could bring the total project time up to about two hours!

There are endless possibilities when it comes to your DIY Garden Light Bulb project. Consider our how-to below as a guide only, as there are a lot of choices when it comes to the miniature decorations that can fit inside the terrarium. Themes are totally up to you! Whether you decide to add water to an underwater terrarium or colored water for a flower vase is all a matter of YOUR preference.

Scroll down for directions to make your own, and to see the three ideas we decided to run with for our gardens!


DIY Light Bulb Gardens


  • Light bulbs
  • Protective glasses
  • Protective gloves
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Flathead screwdriver
  • Chopsticks
  • Your fillers: rocks/pebbles, moss, plants, sand and/or miniature decorations for the season

Crafter’s Tip

  • When shopping for greenery, look for air plants. Preserved moss usually can be found at craft and garden stores.


  1. Remove the metal tip from the bottom of the bulb using the pliers.
  2. Hold one of the sides with your pliers and pry off the edge of the metal tip. The thin metal will bend easily.
  3. Next, remove the black glass, using the needle nose pliers to get into the hole. (A tiny screwdriver works, too.)
  4. Once the glass is cracked away, carefully use a screwdriver to break the inner glass tube, using the leverage from the screwdriver. Be sure to wear your gloves and protective glasses!
  5. Pull out the remaining wires and break off any glass still showing.

Now that you’ve prepped your light bulbs, fill them with whatever you want! Here are the fun and fancy variations we chose to do— and instructions for how we did them, so you can make them too!

Creative Ways & Options to Transform Light Bulbs into a Garden Bulb

  1. Light Bulb Terrarium

    Choose your base. Here we used a piece of wood and hot glue to keep it steady. Using a paper funnel, we added sand to the bottom of the bulb. (This method is also how we added the small pebbles.) Add the preserved moss and the air plants, small end first. Use the chopsticks to arrange the elements using a few small movements. Add tiny toys!

  2. Underwater Terrarium

    Follow the above steps for the Light Bulb Terrarium, then just add water! Add some sea shells, too, or a tiny ship. Note that the only other difference is the base. If you choose a stone like we did, use a glue gun to adhere the bulb.

  3. Light Bulb Vase 

    All you need to do here? Just add food coloring and water! All you’ll need after that is one single flower and a galvanized steel wire. The steel wire is the base in this project. It works as a perfect holder! 

Did a “light bulb” go off for you while watching and reading these instructions? Will you try this? What other themes and decorations would you want in your little gardens?