Introduction: Hanging Lightbulb Terrarium (using Clay)

Here is clay succulent/cactus garden that you don't have to water! And it is small so it doesn't take up a lot of room!

We are putting it in a plastic light bulb ornament so you can also hang them from wherever. Another idea is to make a few then make a mobile or just hang near eachother!

I got my light bulb ornament from Michaels craft store and its great because it opens in half aka you don't have to make the contents to fit through the neck of the lightbulb... you can make them larger!

I made a little mistake with mine and will explain how to avoid the mistake but also show you how I fixed mine so if you happen to do the same thing I have you covered!

These would make great gifts for your non green thumbed friends or people with small living spaces but who still love plants!

Hope you enjoy this instructable!


Step 1: Gather Materials

you will need the following:

-Clay (shades of green, brown (I used 2 shades of brown and mixed together), and gray for rocks. Optional color is a color for flower for the cactus but I ended up skipping the flower

-clay tools

-jute twine to hang the lightbulb (or another kind of string)

-cake pan lined with foil

-oven and oven mitt (not pictured)

-surface to put the pan after it has been in the oven ie stove top or trivet

-scissors (not pictured)

-surface to work on (protected with paper of some sort is good since we will be putting clay on it)

Step 2: Open Light Bulb Ornament

The ornaments from Michaels open vertically from the middle. The top of them does not screw off. In order to open it you gently slightly turn the top while wiggling out one half of the ornament. Eventually one half will slide out of the silver band top. The silver top will remail on one side of the ornament.

Step 3: Make the Dirt/ground for Your Terrarium

For the ground, I took 2 colors of brown (brown and bronze) and mixed them together and then formed a ball.

Next, I flattened the ball and made sure it would fit in the ornament (push the clay down to touch the bottom of the ornament so it will look better when its finished. My mistake was not checking this later after the plants were added and the ground didnt touch the bottom of the ornament and the cactus needed to move in order to fit into the ornament. Keep this in mind.

Step 4: Create Succulent Leaf

-make a ball of green in shade of your choice

-pinch off a piece of it and form a leaf shape as shown in the pictures above

-flatten leaf slightly while keeping its shape

Step 5: Create Succulent

-Place the leaf you just made onto the ground and push the part that will be in the middle of the plant down with a rounded end clay tool. This helps the leaf stick to the ground and helps keep the succulent shape overall later.

-Create another leaf and keep creating and placing the leaves down. When you finish the bottom leaves, continue with the process but make the leaves smaller and smaller as you go up levels. At the end stick a leaf straight up in the center. You are done with your succulent!

you can make another small succlent if you want or go to the next step where I show you how to make a cactus!


-pick out the green you want to use for your cactus

-roll a decent sized piece into a long log (you want them to be as wide as how you want the cacti

-combine 2 of longer logs as seen in picture to create first cactus "arm"

-use a sharp-ish tool to erase the seams of the clay

-add the other cactus "arm" with the same method

Step 7: Attach Cactus

-score cactus (use sharp clay tool to draw lines on bottom of cactus) and place down on the ground

-check to make sure it will fit in the lightbulb (not pictured)

-make any necessary adjustments to your plants

Step 8: Preheat Oven

Preheat oven to temperature specified on your clay packages.

All of my clay was 30 minutes at 275 degrees for every 1/4 inch of clay

Step 9: Make the Rocks

-Take some of your gray clay and roll it into a ball

-pinch off pieces of it in varying sizes

-roll the pinched off pieces to create circles and slightly flatten so they look like stones

Step 10: Place the Rocks

-take the rocks you just made and place them randomly around on the ground of your future light bulb terrarium

Step 11: Bake Clay

-Place your clay piece with the clay plants onto the foil that is on top of the pan

-place the pan into the oven. I baked mine for 25 minutes even though it should have been baked for 30 or more minutes. It just needs to get somewhat hard.. no one is going to be touching it in the light bulb ornament! -take out of oven carefully with oven mitt and set on heat safe surface to cool down completely

Step 12: Fix Mistakes If Applicable

-My ground didn't fit well enough to touch the bottom of the ornament. In order to fix this place a disc of brown clay into the bottom of the ornament and make sure it touches the bottom of it. Next, place some rocks down (they don't have to be baked) and lastly place your baked clay piece on top and push down a little.

-place the other side of the ornament into the silver band. My silver band came off so I had to put both halves together then put silver band over both halves.

Step 13: Cut and Attach String

this step isn't pictured

-Cut a piece of jute (bigger is better when in doubt because you can always make the string shorter but not longer) and thread it through ornament hole. Tie ends in knot.

Step 14: If You Are Gifting This...

you can wrap the jute around the neck and tie in a bow. (wrapping it some makes the bow smaller and more cute). My piece of jute was REALLY LONG so your bow would look better than mine.


BOOM! You are done with this light bulb terrarium! Hang it up and repeat after me... OOOOOH AHHHHH!


this also looks great just sitting on a table! You do not need to hang it if you do not want to!

hope you enjoyed it! please vote for it if you did!


Indoor Gardening Contest 2015

Participated in the
Indoor Gardening Contest 2015

Homemade Gifts Contest 2015

Participated in the
Homemade Gifts Contest 2015