DIY terrarium

I’ve been obsessing over the Design*Sponge blog lately after I got Grace Bonney’s book, so when I saw a terrarium in the book I had to make it. Like now. Grace had already blogged about how to get a terrarium started here with the help of Tassy who works at Sprout Home in Brooklyn, NY. I have a black thumb when it comes to doing anything creative with plants or dirt, and if I do anything with glitter I paint not only myself but everything surrounding me within a 10 foot radius. This craft actually wasn’t too bad, though! Not too messy, lucky me 🙂

All you need to make your own indoor terrarium, which is basically like a miniature indoor garden that you rarely have to water, is a clear bowl or vase with a smaller opening than it’s widest width, charcoal, potting soil, rocks, and plants. And voila- you will look 10 times smarter and cooler to all your friends.

I got this bowl at Pier 1 today and it worked out great because it has a base that lifts it off the surface. I think it makes it look a little fancier. Also, it has an angled opening.  And it was only $20, which I love. I think total this project cost me about $30.

For the rocks (which are supposed to be about an inch in height), I used some natural rocks that my grandma gave me. When that ran out, I used colored marbles that were laying around the house. It really doesn’t matter what kind of rocks you use because you won’t see them anyway and they provide a “false” drainage system.

Next, the thin layer of charcoal and 2-3 inch layer of potting soil (any kind is fine, I used whatever kind of organic potting soil my grandma gave me) will cover up your pretty bed of natural rocks, marble, and sea glass and make it look disgusting.

BUT, here comes the fun (and relatively, the hardest) part. I had problems with this because I used plants that had been in the rain when I bought them. Learn from my mistakes and don’t do this. If the plants are wet then wait until they are dry to put them into the terrarium because the potting soil will cover the plants and the walls of the vase. It will take you an hour to clean it off and make it look somewhat presentable. Trust me on this. I’m trying to help you.

For my plants I chose succulents and ivy. Really, you can use whatever plants you want, just make sure that they won’t get too big and that they need about the same amount of light and water. I also got some moss from Hobby Lobby for about $3 since they have a 40% off coupon here.

So, after lots of cleaning dirt off individual leaves (yes, I did that) and the sides of the glass, this is my finished project:

All in all, besides the obsessive cleaning of leaves, this project probably only took me about 30 minutes. It’s super easy if you do it right. What do y’all think? Have any of y’all ever made a terrarium? How did it turn out?


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