Introduction: Desktop Spherical Moss Terrarium

Hello, I had seen a few videos with moss terrariums and thought that would look good here at home. At the same time I had the idea to put the mini garden in a ball and use it as a desk or bedside lamp.
And this is the result and I hope you like it.

So off to the garage and into the forest to get some material.

By the way, I have now a few of them and they look great by night.

Step 1: The Base Idea in 3D and the Cad Files

As always, I draw my idea in Sketchup8. It's not the most up-to-date software, but it's free and I get along with it.

Once I was happy with my design, I drew the whole thing in QCAD and then, for the next step, imported it into Inkscape to convert the DXF file into an SVG file.

You can download the file here for free.

Step 2: List of Materials

The wood I use here is 4mm craft plywood +-$5
The sphere is an acrylic half-shell sphere with a diameter of 14cm. 4$

You also need three white light-emitting diodes of 5mm and three resistors of 150 Ohm -220 Ohm. I had some LED's with a flat head, but you can also use the standard ones. $1

For the USB power supply I use an old USB cable that had a wobble and was perfect for this project. (Thank God, I never throw anything away). This fabric cable also looks very good and is very flexible. Online, 2M USB cables, in a pack of 3, cost between $3 and $7.

Dirt, stones and moss from the forest are free of charge

Step 3: Woodworking

The woodwork was easy for me, as I own a laser cutter. The woodworking can also be done with a fret saw, a scroll saw or a cutter.

The whole thing is built up in layers like an onion. Let's start with the base. First the three parts with the big round hole are glued together with wood glue. Then the two pieces with the rectangular hole are glued to the piece of wood without holes. Now glue the two parts together and let everything dry.

Drill a 4mm hole in the back of the base for the cable.

The neck with the LEDs gets a little more complicated.
I have numbered the parts in the photo so that it will be easy to explain the sequence.

First glue parts 1 and 2 with wood glue and let them dry. Now glue part 3 to the previously glued part and let it dry. Now cut out the marked stabilization points with a cutter or a rotary tool. For part 4 do exactly the same as for part 3. Now you can glue parts 5 and 6 and you are done.

The more accurately and precisely you glue the parts together, the less work you have to do afterwards when sanding.

Step 4: Preparation of the Sphere

First we need to get rid of the eyelets on the half-shells. With the rotary tool, I cut them off and then grind the rest away.

I have painted one half of the acrylic ball also. I took the half that goes over the counterpart, so you do not see the edge. this step is optional. You can also use the ball without coloring.

But if you want to paint the ball, you need to sand it, possibly also prime it and spray 2-3 layers of paint and varnish.

After sanding, I glued a ring of wood or acrylic on the lower part, so that the round garden, can not roll out so easily.

At this step, you must then already decide whether you want the terrarium in the +-45 degree angle or horizontally.. The ring is then glued with the help of hot glue or epoxy glue. It can also be omitted, but I think, with this ring, it's more stable.

Step 5: Wood Painting

Now that I have sanded the wood, the whole thing will be painted black with acrylic spray paint. To make it look cooler, I lightly dabbed silver acrylic paint over the edges with a brush. This gives the whole thing a slightly metallic touch.

Do not forget to color the LED holder as well

The second one, I painted it white, but you can use any color you like.

One more coat of clear varnish, and the painting work is done.

Step 6: Let There Be Light, and the Assembly of the Holder

First, glue the three light-emitting diodes into the holder.

Connect and solder the three short legs of the LED's together. This is the negative pole.

Then solder on, the three resistors and the wires and cover with heat shrink tubing, as shown in the picture

Then insert a cable or wire from below into the lamp neck, so that it comes out at the top of the opening for the light diodes. This can now be used as a pull wire to pull in the two wires of the three LEDs so that they come out at the bottom.

Before the lamp module is glued in, it's tested again with a 5V power supply.

After I cut off the microusb connector from the USB cable, the cable is stripped and put through the hole in the base. A cable tie is used as strain relief.

Now solder the wires from the LED's with the wires from the USB cable. Pay attention to the correct polarity. Use heat shrink tubing for insulation.
The excess length is then distributed in the socket. The lamp neck can now be fixed with hot glue.

The holder is now complete.

Step 7: The Moss Garden

For the moss garden itself, a trip to the forest is in order.

There I have found several types of moss. I also packed some small pebbles from the stream. Some soil and dried leaves are also taken along. Then I collected some decoration, such as beautiful stones and tree bark.

Now we can start.

I washed the pebbles and decorative stones first.
The lower part of the sphere is now filled with pebbles, leaving about 15mm of space to the edge. The collected soil and the dried leaves are mixed together to make an excellent growing medium. Place a suitable piece of fly wire on top of the pebbles to create a barrier between the pebbles and the soil. Now the growing medium can be filled in. Leave a few millimetres of space to the edge. Then you can start with the decoration and the moss. Put the stones and tree bark first, and then put the moss around and press it down a little. Add a few branches and the whole thing looks like a little wild garden.

Spray the moss lightly with a water sprayer. Do not use too much water. Less is better.

Even if the moss has already turned a little brown, it is no problem. It recovers very quickly when it gets wet.

Close with the lid, and the small biosphere is ready,

Step 8: The Final Result

Here are some of my small plant terrariums.

I made one without colouring the bottom part. To hide the edge of the ball, I stuck some copper tape around it.

Of course, they can also be embellished with crystals or small figures, but everyone will have their own taste.

I hope you enjoyed this "Instructable". I personally like this hermetosphere, plant terrarium, ecosphere or whatever you call it, very much. I have a few in the house and one at work.

Just a few more tips:
Never expose the plant terrarium to direct sunlight. Moss is not a fan of this.

Open the globe every few months and, depending on the type of moss, cut it back a little if necessary and spray on some fresh water or rainwater on the moss.

The whole thing is pretty low maintenance, because all my mini gardens are still alive :)

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