How to Make a Terrarium

Seems like marriage is in the air for the Austin Craft Mafia. In the last couple of months Vickie and Susann have gotten married and Karly has gotten engaged. Hope got engaged last fall. Jen A and I are already married and Jenny and Jesse have serious dudes so it is just a matter of time for them. Susann ran off and got married in Indiana and reenacted the wedding scene from that movie Breaking Away and then went skiing. Well tomorrow is her reception at the Elks Lodge and speaking of the Austin Craft Mafia as our gift to her each of us is making her a centerpiece for the tables. I decided to make a wedding terrarium. It was easier than I thought and now I kind of have terrarium fever and want to make one for me. Here are some simple steps in case you are in a pinch for a centerpiece or gift. Cost me less than $25 bucks!


1) Find yourself a nice clear jar. I actually ended up buying 2 jars and a vintage clear plastic hat box before deciding on which one I was going to use. No she is not pregnant. I just so happen to have had my shot gun shells in one of the containers. No I don’t own a shot gun they are used and for crafting. ANYWAY when I showed Karly this picture she said “Oh that is so funny, like a shot gun wedding”.

2) Decide if you are going to have a lid on your terrarium. This will determine what plants you put inside. If you are using cactus you don’t want a lid because the moisture will be too much if you are using tropicals or fleshy succulents you can use a lid. If your terrarium starts to fog up, just take the lid off for a few days. I opted for a lid and succulents.

3) You plants are going to need soil to survive, but in a terrarium you don’t just dump in dirt and go. First you should add a base layer of sphagnum moss. I actually did not do this step. On top of that layer you should add a couple inches of potting soil. I hoped for the best and used dirt from my yard. Last you can use a layer of rocks or festive gravel. I hit the fish department at Wal Mart for my blue aquarium gravel. I really wanted to use hot pink, but Susann had requested jewel tones.

4) Next time to plant your plants. I used cuttings from my own garden to make the terrarium more special since some of my plants started as cuttings from other friends. I love passing plants around. I chose a small selection of succulents and decided where in the terrarium I was going to place them making sure to leave room in the middle for my wedding themed centerpiece. With each little cutting I just stuck my finger through the gravel and cleared a little space to stick the cutting in.

5) I had to make the whole thing have a wedding theme. At the flea market last week I had scored a pair of vintage bride and groom cake toppers with my plan in mind and stuck them right in the center of everything. I buried their bases under a lot of gravel to make sure they stayed put and presto the whole terrarium had a wedding theme.

On a side note I really wanted to add a hermit crab to the whole thing and make him a little ravine to splash around in. However, my assistant lectured me on animal cruelty and talked me out of it. It’s not like I would have kept the lid on. Then Hope reminded me I could have painted congrats Susann and John on his little shell without harming him and I was full of regret. However Travis is a Vegan and Hope collects taxidermy so maybe it is best I listened to him.

3 Responses to “How to Make a Terrarium”

  1. Anonymous

    i like the idea of a small animal in there, but I HIGHLY advise against hermit crabs. Besides the whole animal cruelty thing, they STINK.


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