DIY Terrarium Tutorial
Terrariums have become the new “it” house plant. These beauties are popping up everywhere – in the background of brand ads, featured in wedding magazines, and even sold on sites like Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie. Naturally this newish trend piqued my interest and in true Journey Junkie nature, I went straight to the source on this one – Bottled Blooms Terrarium Shop.
“I want to create products for the plant loving person, who is down to earth, and the not so green thumb. My terrariums are low maintenance, aesthetically pleasing, and a great addition to anyone’s home.” – Wendy
Wendy is the soul behind Bottled Blooms with her home base here in St. Petersburg, FL. After meeting through mutual friends, it was obvious that our passions could be molded together to create a collaborative piece for YOU!
This DIY Terrarium Tutorial is a great way to ground yourself, get dirty, and create a living, breathing ecosystem. Pretty cool, huh? If the idea of doing all these steps is absurd, then simply shop online at Bottled Bloom’s shop.
I won’t judge you, there’s no shame in taking the fast lane!
»» Items Needed:
- Enclosed glass piece– meaning it has a top! I recommend choosing a piece that has a wide opening as it will be easier to get your hand inside and work with the plants, moss, stones, etc.
- Glass pieces can be found at craft stores, major retailers, thrift stores, and yard sales.
- If the piece doesn’t have a top and you’ve fallen in love with it, place a glass plate on top (preferably a cute one).
- Soil– regular potting soil is fine.
- Sphagnum Moss.
- Horticultural Charcoal– can only be found online or at aquarium stores.
- Rocks, pebbles, marbles, stones, or colored glass – can be purchased online, at craft stores, or even the Dollar Tree.
- Plants – anything in the fern category will be the easiest for a low maintenance terrarium. Plants can be purchased from a local gardener, a major retailer, or you can grow them yourself!
- Real moss or decorative moss.
- Figurines, crystals, shells, anything to help shape the environment you want to create.
»» Tools Needed:
- Long tweezers – super helpful tool to move items around.
- Long teaspoon – to get soil into those hard to reach places.
- Clippers – to divide/ trim plants.
- Cutips and cotton balls – to clean the inside glass of any debris.
- Water sprayer – to mist the plants.
- A dowel – to push the soil and roots down.
»» Step-by-Step Terrarium Tutorial
1. Clean the Glass –
Use warm water, a small amount of soap, rinse ALL of the soap out, and dry well.
2. Fill the bottom with Rocks, Pebbles, Marbles, or Sea glass –
This is the drainage layer that will collect water. Fill the bottom of the glass with a 1/2 – 2 in. of drainage materials depending on the size of your piece.
3. Charcoal Filtration Layer –
This is where the horticultural charcoal comes into play. I’m sure you were wondering why the hell this was on the list! The charcoal is key to the terrarium as it purifies the air and prevents mold from forming. Place a thin layer over top the drainage layer – enough to completely cover it.
4. Sphagnum Moss Layer –
The moss is another filtration/ protective layer to keep everything intact. It provides added moisture and blocks the soil from falling through to the bottom. The moss needs to be soaked for 15 – 20 minutes beforehand and then gently wrung out – this is because the moss is in a dormant resting phase, the pre-soak will liven it back up!
5. Soil Layer –
Time to get dirty friends! Use a measuring cup, funnel, or simply your hands to add a layer of soil. The amount of soil needed will depend on the plants root system – 2 to 3 in. is recommended to start. More soil can be added as the plants are placed in so don’t stress this part too much!
6. Add the Plants –
This is where your inner creativity can start to shine. Wendy did an amazing job of pairing plants together to create an appealing environment so kudos to her! For all the inexperienced not so green thumbs out there (like me), I recommend researching terrariums & plants beforehand to get an idea of your desired overall look & theme. This will save time when shopping and help to eliminate any confusion.
- Choose your plants by pairing together different colors, textures, heights, etc.
- If the plant is too large, divide the plant at the root base (this is where those clippers come in).
- Begin to place your plants inside the glass piece by digging small holes in the soil for the roots to rest in.
- Make sure plants are spaced out from one another and not too close to the glass.
- Fill in the area around plants with extra soil where it’s needed.
- Lightly spray the plants with a water spritzer.
- Helpful tools here: long tweezers, long teaspoon and clippers.
7. Decorate Your Terrarium –
And now the fun begins – decorating the terrarium adds personal flair and makes it your own! Wendy had a great selection of crystals, stones, figurines, and decorative moss. Here’s what we chose for mine:
- Crystals because who doesn’t love some sparkle.
- A Buddha figurine – duh!
- And some beautiful moss to liven up the greenery – who would’ve thought moss could be referred to as beautiful, LOL. If using real moss here, make sure to soak and gently ring out beforehand, as mentioned up above (15-20 minutes).
8. Clean Up Time –
Just like our mothers have always told us, we must clean up! Well obviously you should put everything back in its place and wipe up any dirt BUT I’m referring to cleaning the terrarium. The inside glass can collect dirt, debris, and water during this whole process – it’s totally normal. To make the sides clear and shiny, use either a damp paper towel, cotton ball, or cutip.
»» How to Care for Your Terrarium
- Place your baby in a location that gets indirect light – usually low to medium light is needed for fern type plants.
- Leave it alone if condensation is forming on the inside of the glass – this is a good sign!
- Water every 3 – 4 weeks with the water spritzer and don’t overdo it!
- Trim or remove any plants that either grow too long or start to die.
- Move it to a new location if the plants aren’t getting enough or possibly too much sunlight.
That’s a wrap friends! I had such a great afternoon creating a terrarium with Bottled Blooms. A big thank you for sharing the tricks of the trade and supplying all the necessary tools.
This is a great craft project to do with family and friends or to give as a gift, it will be sure to stand out from the crowd!
Have you ever made a terrarium? What was your experience and can you add any additional tips & tricks ?
Leave some love in the comments below and let me know your thoughts!
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