Tillandsia Air Plant Terrarium made out of an old Lightbulb

Giving New Life to Old Things With Air Plants

by Jamie Beck

I have a confession to make. I have trouble getting rid of things. No we’re not talking an A&E Hoarders episode here. I have no trouble getting rid of trash and I do make myself clean out my closets for Goodwill every few months. I’m talking more about decorative things. Trinkets, dishes, neat little boxes, vases, cool bottles. I am a sucker for a cool little item that I convince myself, at some point, I will find a place for. And over the years I have amassed quite a collection of these things. Some have sentimental value. While it’s hard for me to give them up, it’s even harder to find a good place to display most of it. How many “cool bottles” can one actually display without looking like a recycling center?

And then, a light bulb moment: air plants! There are SO many cool things I can do with these little funky plants but the best part of experimenting with air plants in my home décor is that they are inspiring me to dig out some of my under-utilized items and find new, fresh ways to display them. Here are a few things you might be able to re-purpose as air plant displays.  

1.  Recycled glass bottles and jars: you know that “cool jar” or “interesting wine bottle” you probably have stashed at the back of one of your cabinets because you just couldn’t bear to throw it in the bin and went through all that trouble removing the label? If it’s a jar, it would probably make a great little air plant terrarium, either for one larger plant like the Brachycaulos x Abdita, or for a few smaller plants (check out our air plant starter kit for a good mix of versatile little guys).



Tillandsia Air Plants Displayed on an Old Bottle



2.  hose little trinket boxes your mom/aunt/friend got you on their trip to somewhere cool you wanted to go but instead got a little box. You know the ones…not big enough to hold much, pretty, but where the heck will you find a place to display it? Try nestling a pretty little Ionantha Guatemala air plant  in it and watch how quickly it makes for a cool accent to your dresser top! 

3. Childhood memories: Maybe you have a cute little bunny rabbit dish that mom had in your nursery and passed on to you and you’ve been waiting to have your own kiddos to take it out of the “fragile” box at the back of your closet. Why wait? Try arranging a few air plants in it with a bit of sand and watch how that juvenile but sentimental piece transforms into a fun, whimsical little addition to your coffee table.


Tillandsia Air Plants Displayed in a Glass Bowl


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