DIY – Lightbulb Aquarium

I’m back with another DIY post! This one has been on my radar for a while. I first saw this post on Pinterest a while back. It was to make a Marimo moss ball aquarium. What really grabbed me was the fact that they were in lightbulbs!

These easy Marimo moss ball DIY light bulb aquariums make a great home for tiny Japanese Marimo moss balls and are super cute as homemade Christmas gifts!

On further investigation, I realized that the creator had found lightbulb shaped jars to use. I couldn’t find any, so I bought some clear bulbs instead. I then found out that New Zealand won’t allow in marimo moss things, because our eco system is pretty delicate. Customs is very strict on any fruits, veges, or plants, so I had to rethink. I decided on making a lightbulb aquarium with fake plants instead.

Removing all the lightbulb components was fairly tricky, but I did it in the end. I did break one lightbulb because I got impatient and tried to shake the last wire out and it cracked it. So be patient, and look up how to do it online. It’s doable.

Here’s what I used to make my Lightbulb Aquariums.

  • Empty clear lightbulbs
  • Needle nose pliers
  • Tweezers
  • Sand decor (Blue)
  • Fake aquarium plants (in small sizes preferably)
  • Water

diy lightbulb aquarium 01

I funnelled in some blue sand. I stopped when I figured it covered the base pretty well. Then I just cut up the fake plants and used tweezers to drop them in.

diy lightbulb aquarium 02

When I was happy with what I had inside, I slowly added some water.

diy lightbulb aquarium 03

diy lightbulb aquarium 04

Ta-da! I really like how these came out. The water makes the plants look a bit more magnified, and since it’s all in a lightbulb, it just looks cool. Aesthetic, that’s all I want lol.

diy lightbulb aquarium 05

Getting them to stand on their own is tricky, as it’s rounded on the bottom. I used some blu tac to get them to stay up, but I’ll think of a more permanent solution down the line.

diy lightbulb aquarium 06

diy lightbulb aquarium 07

All in all, I really love how this little DIY project wound up. Not bad for an afternoon of messing around with random objects! I ended up making two, and I still have leftover plants to make a third one down the line.

Have you done a DIY with lightbulbs before?


Hello internet! My name is Angela. I write daily about my travels, life, thoughts, and ramblings. I live down in New Zealand with my lovely husband, Rory. Thanks for stopping by!
  1. This is such a cool idea and they look like they turned out amazing! 😍 They remind me of those ship in a bottle things. Definitely saving this post to try out myself, thank you for sharing! ❤

    1. It was so much fun to play with and i love how it came out! I wish I could add a timy sunken ship, that would look amazing haha!
      Definitely give it a go yourself 😄

  2. They look great 🙂👍

    1. Thank you!

  3. That’s so cool!!

    1. Thanks! I really love how they came out in the end 😄

  4. This is without a doubt one of the cutest little DIY’s i have ever seen!! I am definitely going to give it a try <3

    1. Thank you! I hope you have as much fun as I did 😄

  5. These look absolutely incredible, Angela!! Great job! This definitely doesn’t look like an at-home DIY, it looks like something you would purchase! It’s super cute for sure. I love anything aquarium-themed. How fun!

    1. Thank you so much Courtney! I’m really happy with how they came out in the end 😄

  6. What a really cute idea!

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you like it 😄

  7. I had a Marimo ball back in the day! His name was Ferris (: haha this is super cute, my Moss would’ve been much happier in a light bulb I think

    1. I love that you named it haha! I love the lightbulb marimo moss idea and would love to try make it one day 😀

  8. Lovely and innovative. xx

    1. Thank you 😀

  9. Looks so picturesque! I did this kind of thing in a glass jar(as a school project) and it looked great! This is a very unique idea!

    1. Thank you! It’s definitely unique, and so much fun to make! 😀

  10. So cute and inventive, these look great!

    1. Thank you!

  11. THIS might be my favorite DIY you have done! I LOVE this! So flipping cute! and i LOVE how yours came out! Thanks for sharing sweets! <3

    1. Thank you so much Kate! I’m so happy with how it all came together 😀

  12. Super cuteee!!!

    1. Thank you Rossy! 😀

  13. These look incredible! The plants look realistic and they just look really cool x

    1. Thanks Dannii! I love how it looks 😄

  14. I love these! I don’t think I’ve seen this before but it looks so cute and seems to easy!

    1. Thanks Pamela! It is definitely an easy DIY and the end result is so cool!

  15. This is so creative Angela! Love it, great job 🙂

    1. Thanks Maha!

  16. These are pretty cool, Angela! You’re so creative.

    1. Thank you so much Diana!

      1. You’re welcome!

  17. This diy is soooo cool and I love how it turned out! I need to try this with my sister at some point she’s way more creative than me aha xx

    1. You should totally give it a go! It’s so much fun making them 🙂

  18. These are so cute!

    1. Thank you! 🙂

  19. Wow! These are adorable, such a good idea.

    1. Thank you! 🙂

  20. Love it! 🙂

    1. Thank You!

  21. So cute!! Do you find you have to change out the water??

    1. Since I’m not keeping any real fish in there, I don’t really worry about changing the water too much haha. I do top it up every couple of days though as it naturally evaporates 🙂

  22. […] DIY – Lightbulb Aquarium by The Life of Angela — This DIY turned out so cool! Has anyone else tried something like this? […]

  23. Wow Amazing!

  24. This looks so cool!! Wanted to try it for ages myself xx

    1. I’ve seen heaps of them on Pinterest, they always look so cool! Definitely give them a go 😄

  25. awe these look so cool! i’d love to try and make a tiny terrarium in a light bulb but i can’t find an empty one the right size

    1. Thank you! A terrarium lightbulb would be awesome! It would be hard to find a large lightbulb though, as most of them tend to be in the same small size.

  26. This is so sweet! I would vent the top and have a little minnow swimming in there. 😊🐠

    1. Thank you! I’m not sure if the little fish would have enough space in the little lightbulb, but it’s a cool idea 🙂

  27. Those are amazing!!! I will have to try that. I love how yours turned out. Do they leak? I have some Marimo moss balls so I think I will put them in there.

    1. Im glad you like them! I’ve had no issues with leaking so far 🙂 they’re a great piece of decor to have around 😄

  28. So beautiful and fun 🙂 A lovely way to recycle old bulbs too. How do they stay up without falling overt?

    1. Thank you, I’m glad you like it! At the moment, I’ve placed blu tac at the bottom of the bulb to help then stay up haha 😂

  29. Oh… I am gonna make it this week .

  30. This is the cutest idea!!! Love these <3 xo

    1. Thanks Carina 😀

  31. These are cute. Hobby Lobby in the US sells lightbulb jars but they might be plastic I haven’t looked at them closely but I might have to now.

    1. Definitely have a look! It’s definitely a lot easier to work with jars rather than with an actual lightbulb, as you have to remove all the individual components.

  32. These are so cute! Thank you for the idea, I’ll have to try this. Have you thought about hanging the lightbulbs instead of standing them up?

    1. I’m glad you like it! That’s a really interesting idea, having them hang up instead. I’ll look more into it 🙂

  33. Super clever you are! This would make adorable gifts. I could see this sitting in a desk. What a nice way to look up from your work and see this special gift!

    1. Thanks, I’m glad you like it!

  34. What a fabulous idea. Yours are so beautiful.

    1. Thank you!

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