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. That was it.
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 countertops… but was never used to actually make anything.
I never really used the apothecary jars for anything either. I just left them sitting by their lonesome – empty on a shelf.
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). Creating something with them seemed slightly intimidating.
But, whatever the reason, no DIY terrarium was happening at my house. At least until this week.
I decided that four years was probably long enough to marinate on the idea of any decorating project, no matter how intimidating, and I went out and bought the plants.
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. (NOTE: 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 (hopefully not 4 years from now).
MAKING A DIY TERRARIUM:
I left the store with:
- Six small plants
- 1 small bag of gravel
- 1 small bag of potting soil
- Cute little mushroom pic 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.)
Here’s how I assembled them and some tips:
Place 1 inch of gravel in the bottom of the apothecary jar.
Add enough soil to allow room for the height of the plant bases.
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. (No, I wasn’t trying to drink the soil.)
Remove the plants from their containers.
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.
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”.
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.
It was a pretty simple project overall, (and obviously a DIY terrarium was not one of the largest decorating goals I’ve ever had. It does add some life and personality to the space it’s in, and I wish I wouldn’t have waited four years to do it.
Completing it has also given me more motivation to complete other decorating projects that I have on my to-do list.
Can you relate? What decorating goals or projects are on your list that you could accomplish in one simple afternoon if you just decided to get it done?