I Put TikTok’s Plant Lamp Hack to the Test — Here’s How It Went

published Jul 20, 2023
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Credit: Lauren Kolyn

TikTok is a basically endless source of DIY inspiration, from creative projects that use surprising materials to ingenious tricks for saving time or money (or both!) on home projects. And sometimes, you’ll just find something that feels so simple and so brilliant that you can’t believe you didn’t think of it first.

That was how I felt about this plant lamp hack from TikTok user @plantswithkrystal, who used a plain glass lamp as a cloche for an adorable little terrarium and outfitted it with a grow light to create a tabletop plant paradise. I knew I had to try it.

All you’ll need to copy the look is a glass table lamp, a grow light, and a tiny plant to put underneath. How your lamp is constructed is crucial here, according to David Steckel, Thumbtack’s home expert and an experienced professional contractor. If you’re putting a plant beneath a glass dome, you’ll need to use a lamp that has electrical components outside of the glass base. Look for one where the cord is entirely outside of the lamp base. You’ll also need to make sure that the base of the lamp is open so you can place it on top of your selected plant.

Fortunately, the lamp from the original video meets all these criteria and is available for just $12 at Target. Steckel gave it his stamp of approval and offered some additional advice: “If there’s a way that you can put a hole in the glass or shim it up so there’s a tiny space between the bottom of the glass and the table surface, that will allow air to flow and decrease any condensation,” he said.

Rubber bumpers, like what you’d place on the back of a cabinet door, were the perfect solution to achieve that slight gap. Because they’re colorless, they’re pretty easy to ignore when you’re looking at the lamp.

With the slight gap created, my lamp declared safe, and an LED grow light placed in the socket, all that was left was adding in a small plant (plus a little gnome for flavor). This hack took mere minutes to pull together and the look is extremely charming — plus, with a close light source, my plant is super happy.

If you’re unable to find a lamp with the cord on the outside, it’s probably best to skip this hack, says Steckel. Another option: Fake the look instead. You can buy a mini faux plant that’s already potted, or use materials from the craft store to assemble your own faux terrarium (I recommend adding in a tiny gnome, for good measure). Unless someone gets super close, they probably won’t be able to tell the difference — and you’ll still have all the plant-happy cottagecore and maximalist vibes.