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Make a Miniature Castle and Dragon Diorama inside a light bulb


Here is the miniature diorama project you can make. It is a castle and dragon inside a lightbulb. It also has a tiny magnetic reed switch that activates a light on the top of the castle tower. You just put a magnet near the bulb and the tower lights up. I show you how to make this diorama and how to make the little reed switch. All it takes is some wire, 2 AAAA batteries and an LED.



A miniature diorama inside a lightbulb


Companion Video Tutorial on this Diorama - I also have two videos that show how to make this diorama and how to make the little magnetic reed switch.

This is a fun little project and you can do it just to make the castle and the dragon! You don't have to do the electrical work, its totally optional.

What you need to make this diorama

  • A Lightbulb - preferably a large unfrosted one - I will show you how to open it up and you can use a frosted bulb, the frosting is easily cleaned out
  • Some regular sheets of paper - Printer paper works fine for this. This is what you use to roll the castle structures, castle domes and the dragon
  • Some Paint - Any kind of hobby paint will be good
  • A bottle cork: This is optional and it is used as the base for the castle. You can use just about anything for the base of your castle including small pieces of wood.
  • Superglue
  • For the Lighting (optional) you need a small LED, some wire two batteries (AAAA) and a soldering pencil and solder. Soldering this project is desirable but not absolutely necessary. You can do this project without it. It just would be better with it.
  • Tools: Some long skinny implements come in handy, wooden barbeque skewers, coat hanger, long pieces of wire or long skinny dowels. These all will help you to reach inside and work on the diorama. A long pair of needle nose pliers are great too. But I will show you how to make a pair of long pliers out of wire.


Some Safety Considerations before you begin

This project is not for young children - clearing out the lightbulb can be dangerous and can cause serious cuts. And working with the bulb to make a diorama also poses a certain amount of risk in the glass breaking. When emptying out the contents of the bulb you absolutely have to wear safety glasses and safety gloves. This is very important.

Some Creative thoughts on making your own miniature diorama inside a lightbulb

I make a castle with a flying dragon in my diorama but you can make anything creative that you want to make. The only rule is that it, or the various pieces have to fit through the opening in the base of the bulb! Have fun with it and let your mind flow free. There is no telling what kind of miniature world you can create, and all inside a lightbulb! And there are many creative possibilities when it comes to special effects like lights, blinking lights and sound effects.

NextOkay, let's start building this diorama by emptying out a lightbulb

And you don't have to do a castle like I have done. You can do just about anything in your lightbulb. Here is a picture of a little scene with british soldiers. My thanks go to Matthew for the great job and for sharing it with us.

A lightbulb terrarium


A light bulb terrarium

Make a Light Bulb Terrarium

Fun little project inside a household lightbulb. I show you how to open up the bulb and we use some amazing little lichen inside including pixie cups.

Make a light bulb terrarium