You know how some companies, like Apple, tend to over package even the tiniest gizmos? And then you’re left with this package that could withstand a zombie apocalypse? And there’s NO recycle logo anywhere on any of the plastics so you’re basically stuck with keeping it or harboring the guilt of schlepping it off to landfill? I hate that.
Because I didn’t want to throw away a perfectly good box (and I’m a bit of a hoarder), I’ve been hanging onto this little plastic lucite box that my magic mouse came in, hoping to find a use for it. But it was difficult. The little lucite box was too shallow to hold pencils or even a goodly amount of paper clips. Anything within it would be seen since the box is clear so it would look messy no matter what. And the lid doesn’t lock in place making it a poor travel container for my briefcase.
Oh what to do?
Well, it took me a while but I finally made a terrarium out of it! Yep! And I kept the white insert that originally held the mouse in place inside the box and it now acts as a plastic mulch on the soil, both functional and lends a clean and modern appearance.
Here are the materials and steps I used. It’s really not difficult, just tedious more than anything else. If you have large fingers, you may want to use some tweezers and a tiny spoon.
- 1 Magic Mouse lucite packaging box with white insert from Apple, remove the mouse yo!
- 1/2 teaspoon teeny tiny activated charcoal
- 2-3 tablespoons terrarium soil mix
- 1 tiny Baby’s Tears plant (Soleirolia soleirolii) or a section of moss (just make sure whatever you use is under 1 inch tall, preferable 3/4 inch) UPDATE: baby’s tears is growing too fast, you should try for something that will stay short.
- Wash the lucite box and white insert with hot soapy water but be careful not to scratch the box. It will scratch easily, as you can see in my photo.
- Dry with a lint-free cloth.
- Pre-dampen your soil mix and rinse the charcoal to remove dust (charcoal dust will make this look dingy and dirty and you’ll have to start over, I’ve done this twice now).
- Set the lid aside and insert the white liner into the lower portion of the box. You’ll be working with the white liner in place because, trust me, there’s no way to insert it after planting because the soil and charcoal will be in the way. And in order for the lid to fit, the insert must be seated all the way down.
- Carefully scatter the charcoal in the hole of the white insert and push some of it under the lip.
- Now gently push the damp soil under the lip of the white insert while holding the insert down firmly. As you’re pressing, the insert may want to pop up, that’s why you’re holding it down.
- Leave room for the root mass of your plant in the hole of the liner. I almost didn’t have any soil in this area because the plant I used had a lot of roots, even after I trimmed away most of them.
- Dampen the root mass/soil attached to the plant and using tweezers or tiny fingers, place it gently in the hole of the white liner.
- Trim excess tendrils from the plant so it’s neat and compact. Then wipe the white liner with tissue or Q-tips to remove specs of dirt for an especially Apple-clean appearance.
- Replace lid and position in non-direct sun. I keep mine on my desk near a window.
Keep in mind, this is a sealed terrarium so choose a plant that will survive. I’m not sure yet how long the Baby’s Tears will last and I’m positive I’ll have to pop the lid to trim it up as it grows. I like to think that Steve Jobs would approve of this reuse of Apple packaging. And that he’d like the zen-like appearance of a simple single green plant with white plastic mulch. Now if only I could find a tiny critter to put inside but it’s hard to locate micro-miniature snakes, bugs and spiders.
March 10, 2012 at 6:11 pm
March 10, 2012 at 7:43 pm
Thanks!! It only took me a year and 3 months to think of it ;-P
March 11, 2012 at 8:59 am
I’m with you 100% All the plastic packaging on everything today drives me #*&@%$ nuts – even more so from a company famous for its design and clean lines. Why do we have to be able to see through packaging anyway? Does it drive sales to the illiterate? I remember buying cereal for the prize without being able to see through the box; I took Quisp’s word for it that both the cereal and the prize were going to be good. They were, and Quisp got my vote to beat Quake in the cereal wars. In much the same way, for several years Apple has had my vote to beat other computers in their highly competitive marketplace. I have to admit though that their product packaging (and the latest OS) has been a thorn in my side.
March 18, 2012 at 9:43 am
Hi! I saw that you liked the terrariums! me too!
I wanted to invite you to visit my website http://www.VerdeJade.com
Jade Green Terrariums
The nature in your hands!
April 30, 2012 at 12:11 pm
Love this. Would it be ok if I “pin it” this?
April 30, 2012 at 7:26 pm
Thank you so much for asking. Not many folks would. I did start my own Pinterest account but have been waiting for them to work out the legal bugs in their TOC before pasting my things. But since this image contains a copyright mark, you can go ahead I think. Their TOC only becomes an issue if the creator of something you pin wants to enforce their copyright on an image. But since you asked first, YES! No problem. Thanks again for being so thoughtful.
April 30, 2012 at 9:47 pm
Thanks. I was aware of all the legal issues going on which is why I have started asking. Thanks for letting me pin it. I really like this.
May 1, 2012 at 11:13 pm
Yeah I really hope they get that straightened out. It seems like a great tool and I’d love for some of our clients to be able to use it.
May 13, 2012 at 10:11 pm
Just wanted to let you know that your apple mouse terrarium is very popular. It has been repinned at least 20 times over this weekend. Thanks for letting me share.
May 14, 2012 at 12:39 am
Wow! Thanks for the update! I hope folks read the note I added where I mentioned that the baby tears outgrows the terrarium very quickly. I’m going to have to replant it with just moss to keep it short.
May 3, 2012 at 10:22 am
Well, Julia, I have to say that you’ve outdone yourself with this one. Incredible! :)
September 8, 2012 at 11:19 am
I was so excited when I read your post and still had my little magic mouse box, just sitting there, empty. I can’t wait to plant something in it. Bloody brilliant!
September 8, 2012 at 12:53 pm
Karen, Be forewarned, the baby’s tears grows too fast as I found out very quickly. Better to stick with a lush moss or something that stays short. Good luck!