Decorating Goals and A DIY Terrarium

a variety of plants for DIY terrarium

It was 2012 when I tore the “Plant A Terrarium” page out of BHG magazine, fully intending to make at least one DIY terrarium that week – maybe more.

I promptly (at least as I remember it – it’s been a while) went out and purchased two apothecary jars that I thought would work perfectly.

And… never did anything with them.

As you can tell, the magazine page has been looked at a fair amount and moved around from drawer to drawer, in and out of my purse, onto counter tops… but was never used to actually make anything.

Decorating-goals. Sometimes you just have to decide to get it done. | Schneiderman's {the blog}

In the meantime I’ve pinned other tutorials, talked about how plants add so much life to a space, and admired others’ terrariums.

It could be that I was procrastinating because I’m not exactly great with plants (more than a few have met their demise under my care).   But, whatever the reason, no DIY terrarium was happening at my house. At least until this week.

I decided that four years was long enough to marinate on the idea of any decorating project, no matter how intimidating, and I went out and bought the plants.

Cute little plants for my DIY Terrarium | Schneiderman's {the blog}

I was fortunate that the woman that I asked for help at the greenhouse/nursery was very helpful, asking me questions and pulling plants that would work for my taste and the size of my jars.

{TIP: if you already have containers, taking them with you to choose plants is a good idea.}

When I visualized these terrariums initially I planned on using succulents but it quickly became apparent that they weren’t tall enough for the height of my jars and, since plants and succulents have different watering needs, mixing won’t work.  So we went with Plan B and left the succulents for another day.

Relax.--Good-advice-when-making-your-first-DIY-Terrarium | Schneiderman's {the blog}



I left the store with:

  • Six small plants
  • 1 small bag of gravel
  • 1 small bag of potting soil
  • Moss
  • Cute little mushroom pick just for fun
  • (Many terrariums call for charcoal but my greenhouse assistant didn’t think it was necessary in my case, so I skipped it.)

Tools-you-might-not-think-of-for-making-a-terrarium | Schneiderman's {the blog}


Here’s how I assembled them and some tips:

Step One:

Place 1 inch of gravel in the bottom of the apothecary jar.

Place-about-1-inch-of-gravel-in-the-bottom-of-the-jar | Schneiderman's {the blog}

Step Two:

Add enough soil to allow room for the height of the plant bases.

Step Three:

If you’re like me and don’t like a super defined “layered look” with the gravel and soil, you can use a straw, or something similar, to push the dirt down in between the gravel like I did for a more combined look.

Step Four:

Remove the plants from their containers.

{TIP: For an absolutely-no-maintenance-ever version, use faux plants or succulents.}

A-little-sampling-of-fairy-plants-for-the-terrariums | Schneiderman's {the blog}

Step Five:

Plant the plants in the terrarium soil. This can be harder than it looks, depending on the size of your container and plants.

In my case the containers were fairly narrow and the plants were small and fragile. It can be tricky to get your hand in the jar and position the plants without dragging soil up the sides of the container, and onto the plant leaves. Since the plant leaves are so fragile, it’s also hard to get the soil off of them once it’s on. Just a head’s up on that.

Step Six:

Add moss as needed.

I initially didn’t think I needed moss, but decided it definitely softened the arrangements and made them more cohesive. The jar on the left below is “pre-moss”.


Step Seven:

Add any accents that you want. I knew I wanted the orange mushroom for a pop of color, but when I got home I realized that one of my “word rocks” would also be a great addition.

{TIP: These jars have lids, so my helpful greenhouse assistant advised keeping an eye on them and leaving the lids off for a day or so if there’s too much moisture. The finished terrariums are sitting in an area of my home that gets bright morning sun and she said that would work out great with these plants.}

Love-all-the-texture from the different elements. Two DIY Terrariums - tutorial | Schneiderman's {the blog}

It was a pretty simple project overall, and it adds so much life and personality to the space it’s in.

AND completing this project has made me more motivated to complete other decorating projects that I have on my to-do list.

The-DIY-Terrariums without the lids | Schneiderman's {the blog}

Can you relate?   Maybe it’s not a DIY terrarium waiting to happen, but what decorating goals or projects are on your to-do list?   

I highly recommend committing to the time it takes complete at least one goal.  It feels great!

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6 Responses to Decorating Goals and A DIY Terrarium

  1. Bryan May 21, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

    Absolutely LOVE these! I actually make these all year round in my spare time and have a plethora of them in my home. It’s fun to do these as a a hanging terrarium as well. Remember, when decorating with plants-they pair best in odd numbers (i.e 1,3, and 5’s) but as long as you have your THRILLER (adds height and/or color), your FILLER (adds body and occupies volume, & lastly your SPILLER (adds organic shape to an otherwise dull geometric pot, causing the foliage to spill out, running down the sides).

    • PK May 23, 2016 at 2:02 pm #

      Love the idea of using these as a hanging terrarium. Thanks for the tips! :-)

  2. Natalie May 18, 2016 at 7:13 pm #

    These look great! I’ll add them to my 4 year plan! ???? Seriously these are REALLY nice and I may give it a try.

    • PK May 19, 2016 at 6:39 am #

      Thank you Natalie. They were fun to make and it’s nice to have them done! (and they’re pretty simple to do – no need to wait 4 years :-) )


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