Picture of Desktop Terrarium with Night Light
Almost every Steampunker has the same problem, to finance all the big projects in your head you must sit many hours on your desk to earn the money.
Often the office is dismal and grey. This is quietly no place for an awesome mind.
Now I invent this Desktop Terrarium who allows you to put your own exotic habitat on your desk. You can study rare plants in a perfect eye catcher setting.
And if you some weeks not in, no problem my habitat needs only a few drops of water every four month.

All you need is
- One old defect bulb (clear or matt)
- One solar power Garden LED light
- Small wooden board
- Brass or Copper tube
- Brass or Copper tin (wall clock)
- sundry brass parts
- Switch
- AAA Battery + holder

Also don't miss to visit my website with more great projects under Steampunk-Design.

Step 1: Prepare the bulb

In the first step I prepare the bulb.

Attention! Please use gloves and a safety goggles…
The bulbs are very thin and there is a high risk that they broke during work.
Try to work in front of a vacuum cleaner because this will avoid that small cullet spread over the area you work in.

In the middle of the socket is a small metal plate you can lift it and pull out with a small knife.
If you remove the plate you will find a small hole in the black glass seal.
Stick a small screwdriver in this hole and break the glass. Now you can also remove it.
Now you see a small glass tube which holds the filament.
With a small plier you can also break the tube and remove all.
After this you make the hole round and enlarge it a little bit.
The glass breaks not complete because it can only brake until the glued socket.
Now you can clean the bulb with water.
You see on my pictures that I use a matt bulb. The matt colour is only a fine powder that can easily wash away with water.

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PLC551 year ago
Hi, I thought this was so cool, I just had to have a go. Took a while to find some worthwhile bits and pieces but it's finally all together and working, just have to add the little garden. This one uses two LED's off a double A battery, that's how the solar light came. Thanks heaps for taking the time to share your Ible, I found it very interesting and look forward to trying a few more of your projects!
CraigRJess PLC555 months ago

Really nice! Love the shiny copper too.

Where did you get the brass parts on each end of the copper and how does it stop the copper from pulling out? Did you have to flare the ends of the copper?

Hi Craig, sorry not to have gotten back to you but I formatted and lost all my stuff (no hard copies, live and learn), anyway, I hunted around markets, second hand stores, garage sales and even a car parts shop (for a brass welsh plug to fit the cell into), took a good while to get enough bits and pieces to start it. the tube ends are all flared with plumbing fittings so they dont move or come out, welsh plug is flared and soldered.

Hey no problem.... **it happens. :~)

Ok, you used a flaring tool for the ends of the copper pipe, and a Welsh plug - which part is that? Terminology may be different here.

How are you securing it into the light bulb?

Well, here in Aust, a welsh plug is a replaceable plug (in this case, the biggest one available) for the water jacket of a car engine.

The bulb attaches to a hose connector with a thread on one end, I crushed down the rim of the metal end of the bulb and got the connector to screw in, the tube is flared so it cant come out. Heres a few pictures, thought it might help.

connector.JPGfittings.JPGwelsh plugs1.JPGwelsh plugs2.JPG

Ok, I got you now. Makes sense. Thanks for that :~) Will have to try one for myself.

I bought that Suzuki in the avatar from up in Melbourne and used it in Tassie for a bit then sold it b4 heading home.

Nice bike! Bet it was great riding around Tassie on that!

Yeah, have a shot at one, I really enjoyed getting mine together, a bit frustrating sometimes, going to markets etc and finding nothing I could use, but now and then I'd come across heaps of good stuff. I have even had several decent offers on it, I dont think I could part with it tho.

PLC55 PLC551 month ago

I'm in Australia btw.

I lived in Tassie for a year :~)

Even saw Chopper Reid walk by the coffee shop in Hobart my pal and I were sitting at. He said, "there goes Chopper Reid" and I said, "who the HELL is Chopper Reid?" LOL Me not knowing his history, watched him walking down the street.

I'v never been to Tassie, and I live in Melbourne, its cold enough here!

This used to be Choppers old stomping ground, he moved to Tasmania when he got out of jail for a quieter life, he passed away from cancer a while back.

Ya, thats what I read from his book and the Eric Bana movie: Chopper. Eric was awesome in that movie!

Bojangles in Melbourne right?

Bojangles (nightclub) is gone now I believe, it was in St kilda near the old sea baths.

Well done!!!


sparko1182 years ago
hay thanks for the inspiration for this project it was fun to make
here mine
\o/ Nice... Now you are proud on yourself, right?
HrdWodFlor2 years ago
I really like this! Just a note for those who cant get fine grained sand, you can use salt or fill the tubing with water, seal the ends and freeze it before you bend it. I know that some companies that make French horns use the frozen water method to put the bends into the horn.
I am curious, what Diameter pipe is this? I can't quite tell by the picture.
nmvb2 years ago
Made one as a Christmas gift for my dad. Turned out great. I used a 30 watt bulb which gives a lot more room for plants. Great ible.
spylock2 years ago
That is one of the coolest things Ive ever seen,and Ive seen alot,Im old.
aclayson3 years ago
just finished building looks awesome
Nice to hear... let us see some pictures...
I am interested in!

ilpug3 years ago
This is really awesome. I would do the same thing, but with a bigger bulb, and keep it in a window to avoid having to use solar to light it.
David973 years ago
This looks like a bong.
ilpug David973 years ago
Will it be too much to have two AAA batteries powering the LED or is that too much?
it depends on the led...
if it is a 3 volt led then that is perfect...
VadimS3 years ago
I recommend using ruff service bulbs, thicker glass.
rbessa3 years ago
I hope you don't mind, but i refered to your lightbulb hollowing process explanation here in my instructable.


luk664 years ago
Perhaps I've overlooked something obvious, but I have to ask: How do you water the plants. Or more concisely how do you attach the bulb (terrarium portion) to the copper pipe. It has to be removable to water the plants doesnt it?
Admiral Aaron Ravensdale (author)  luk664 years ago
You will see on step 2 picture six a brass connecting nut. with the same diameter of the removed glass sealing...
here yoou can unscrew the bulb
Thanks, great ible.
rmartin15 luk664 years ago
The neat thing about terrariums is that you shouldn't have to water them very often maybe twice a month depending on it location. It should be pretty much self sustaining :)
jalbaum4 years ago
Would you sell or consign them to a store in Hancock, NY?
It's also possible to send somthing into the USA.
I have just checked the shipping cost 19€ (27$) for a insured parcel.

For further informations and offered parts visit my website
http://steampunk-design.de/ and there the warehouse.

If you are still interested send me a mail via the telegram function on the website...
Where is the telegram function?

Ill jump on your site.
I send you am PM with my direct mail adress...
splazem4 years ago
tjesse4 years ago
Some gold leaf on the base of the bulb might add to the effect. But that would only be improving something that is just fine how it is! Well done.
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