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Make a Terrarium...Today!

Filed Under: Crafts, Crafts & Celebrations

Why throw money away on a store-bought terrarium when you can make a beautiful, decorative one in a few hours?

Terrariums make for beautiful tabletop decor. A container-based mini eco-system or garden, some terrariums contain just plants while others are home to animals, like lizards. Purchasing a terrarium can be expensive, and you can just as easily make your very own terrarium. I thought it would be fun if I gathered some instructions for you to make your own terrarium or give one as a gift this holiday season!

To complete this project you will need:

- Glass mason jar with lid, fish bowl, or any other type of glass container
- Potting soil
- Activated charcoal (sometimes called terrarium charcoal)
- Small stones, sand, pebbles, or pieces of glass (try checking out pet stores for these items)
- Spaghnum moss
- Chopsticks or bamboo skewers
- Greenery, or miniature plants
- Decorations (cake toppers, shells, or large stones)

Check out the instructions after the jump!

Here's how to do it:

1. Make sure your glass container is clean and dry.

2. Place some stones or pebbles in the bottom of the glass jar, at least 1 inch in height. This layer helps with drainage and water circulation.

3. Add a thin layer of the charcoal. The charcoal layer will help filter water and absorb odors. You definitely don't want a stinky terrarium!

4. The next layer is the moss -- lay down about an inch. If you don't like the look of moss, this step can be skipped.

5. Add a layer of potting soil on top of the moss. The amount of potting soil you will use depends on the size of your terrarium. You should use about enough soil to cover 1/4 of the container. If you are having trouble moving things around, use the bamboo skewers or chopsticks. That's what they're for!

6. Add your plants! Choose whatever varieties of plants you like from succulents to ferns. Just remember that some will do better than others, and they grow fast! Some might quickly outgrow the terrarium and need to be replanted elsewhere.

7. Decorate! If you want to add decorations to your terrarium, such as cake toppers or little figurines, do so at this stage. I would recommend waiting a week or so for the plants to get used to the new habitat before introducing and decor.

make a terrarium

You can add small plants and other decorations like shells and rocks to your terrarium. Photo: Yogita Mehra, Flickr

Be sure not to water your terrarium too often or it will pool and rot your plants. Add just enough water so that the soil is moist to the touch. Using a spray bottle to spritz your terrarium is a great way to avoid overwatering.

In addition, place the terrarium where it can get some sunlight so that your plants get the necessary nutrients to thrive. Other than that, you can just sit back and admire your handiwork!

For more DIY, check out this post on Martha Stewart's best crafts -- ever!


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