DIY – Make your own terrarium (and repair the one you killed)

I don’t have a green thumb.  My thumb is as black as they come, which is highly awkward for someone dabbling in herbalism as I am.  But I love plants, and I love terrariums.  I bought one from Twig Terrariums (chronicled here) and paid a pretty penny for it since it had teeny tiny customized characters in it.  And I loved it dearly, right up until the moment I murdered it due to overwatering and general stupidity when it comes to terrarium maintenance.

Since the demise of my terrarium, I vowed to fix it and make one of my own.  The resurrection of my old terrarium and creation of a brand new one happened this weekend.  If you’re interested in making a tiny ecosystem of your own, I’ll show you how!  (And here is where I solemnly pledge to keep my moss alive this time.)

First, I made a new terrarium.

I used:

  • a glass container – mine is an inexpensive one with a lid from Hobby Lobby-
  • rocks of some kind – I used aquarium gravel
  • activated charcoal
  • soil – preferably organic and with a decent content of peat
  • moss – my moss is some beautiful North Carolina moss that I bought from ByLightofMoon on Etsy.
  • either leaves or other moss to use for layering
  • rocks/decorations/whatever you want to bring your terrarium to life

First (and after you’ve washed and dried your jar), add in a layer of rocks an inch or two deep, depending on the size of your container.  Mix in the activated charcoal.



Next, add a protective layer over the rocks/charcoal to separate it from the dirt.  Not all terrariums have this but, from what I read, it can be helpful.  Some instructions call for adding some moss here, too, but I decided to go with the lovely leaves sent with my moss as a good protective layer.

Now, add the layer of soil.

And it’s time to start placing your moss!  This part was fun, because it required thinking about what I wanted for the final look and breaking off the moss/laying it in just the right way.

Here’s what it looked like after the moss was in place.

And here’s the final result. As you see, there are a few rocks and I designed it to have a hill and a little valley.  The reason for that is because I’m looking for the perfect teeny-tiny Bigfoot figurine and once I find it, he’ll be living inside this terrarium.

So after I finished it, I spritzed it with some distilled water and placed the lid on it, where it will remain and wait until I find Mr. Bigfoot and bring him home!


Now it’s on to the terrarium I resurrected.

I removed all the dead moss while lamenting the fact that I killed it in the first place.  Then I topped off the soil already in it with a thin layer of fresh soil.

poor, dead terrarium

Then I started placing my new, fresh (and alive) North Carolina moss.

Once it was in place, I put back in the rocks and carefully replaced my tiny people so that, once again, the Times Square kiss on V-J Day lives again in my terrarium!


One thought on “DIY – Make your own terrarium (and repair the one you killed)

  1. Pingback: Terrarium rejuvination | At the corner of 14th & Oak

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