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Terrarium #1


I have done it! I have finally used the plants that have been sitting on top of my fridge for 2 months, and the rocks sitting in the bookcase just as long, and the vases I bought at Home Sense 3 weeks ago for some good (this round one was a whopping $7.99).  I have made my very first terrarium!  Isn’t it pretty?

I’ve obviously been meaning to get to this for some time, and last night I just decided it was finally time.  I got the remaining ingredients needed and got to work.  Would you believe this only took me about 30 minutes to make?  And that was with taking photo breaks and petting the dog/getting him off the table breaks!  I quite love it.    The little round fuzzy plants are my favourite.  And the moss… love moss!  Ok show and tell time!  Here’s how I did it:

Step 1: Put rocks in.  I used 2 bags (purchased at IKEA) because my container is very wide.  The rocks are there for water drainage.  Wouldn’t want to drown your little plants!

29 October 2012

Steps 2&3: Add charcoal/carbon.  I bought this little container in the pet section of Walmart.  This is an important step because it keeps the water clean in your pretty terrarium so your plants won’t die.  Now add the soil.  I just got some regular potting soil for this.  There are fancy schmancy soils out there, but my plants have been living in crummy IKEA soil on top of the fridge for 2 months – I didn’t think they needed fancy!


29 October 20121

Step 4: Get your little pretties in there!  Here are my beloved.  You can also see the container with just soil in it.  I have 2-3 inches of soil.  You can use more, but probably not less.  Some of these little plants have lots of roots, so they need space to grow.  You can see I got my assorted succulents for $3.99 at IKEA.  Good deal?  Not sure… If they live I say yes!

29 October 20122

Step 5: Moss.  I happen to think the little plants look nice with just the new fresh soil, but I did add some fancy moss (purchased at Michael’s for $9.99, which was the moss variety bag).  I like whatever that tan/brown moss is.  It’s different, and the texture is so great!  There’s some super fuzzy moss in there, but you can hardly see it.  I might move it over to the edges for some more visibility.

29 October 20123

Step 6: Sit back and enjoy your little creation.  Then get real up close and look at your mini-forest in all its cuteness.  Awesome, right?

I moved the little forest from the kitchen to its new home – the living room.  I like where it is because being beside the candy, I know our visitors will always get a peek at it! (Sorry about the picture quality on these – it was late and dark… not a good photo-taking combo!)


One last look?  Ok :)

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  • Reply Raven Corwin, aka Meggie

    Being a miniature-o-phile, I have been wanting to make a terrarium like this forever. Why I haven’t Googled how to do it before is beyond me, but with your information, here, I see how easy it is, and now I am inspired to REALLY do it. I could never understand how to keep it from getting algae or mold or just rotting the plants- your trick with the carbon solves that problem. You did a lovely job!

    October 31, 2012 at 3:18 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Thanks so much!!!! I hope I put enough of it in there. I’ll let you know in the next few weeks how the terrarium progresses. I’m itching to get some little deer and other animals in there now! Too much?

      October 31, 2012 at 3:27 pm
      • Reply Raven Corwin, aka Meggie

        When it comes to whimsy, there is no such thing as too much. I am going to make a fairy garden out of mine when I do it.

        October 31, 2012 at 7:10 pm
  • Reply Deli

    How lovely and beautiful . I would love to have one as a gift . Remember …

    October 31, 2012 at 4:39 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      hahaha I didn’t forget! I am in the process of making a special one for you mommy. Don’t worry!!! :D

      October 31, 2012 at 4:40 pm
  • Reply quenbysheree

    I am definitely using your post for when I make my own. I adore these and have been wanting to start some for a long time.

    October 31, 2012 at 5:31 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Awesome! So glad to read that!! I’m posting a second, possibly fancier one soon.:)

      October 31, 2012 at 5:36 pm
  • Reply Katie

    Hi, I found your link from the frugal girl’s link party. I’ve always wanted to know how to create a terranium, so thanks so much for sharing this! I like your post a lot, and am definitely pinning it to remember when I finally find some cute, little plants to create one.

    November 2, 2012 at 12:18 am
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Thanks so much Katie! I’m so happy you liked it!! I’d love to see your terrarium when you get around to it.

      November 7, 2012 at 7:13 pm
  • Reply Sauly

    This is pretty rad. It would be cool to make a bunch of mini-terrariums in Mason jars for gifts. You have always been a crafty one, Thalita!

    November 2, 2012 at 10:56 am
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Thanks Alex! Hilarious that you said that… I was planning on using Mason jars for Christmas terrariums, possibly with miniature reindeer and other Christmas-y minis. Totally kitsch, but possibly awesome? With your green thumb, you could make some awesome terrariums, I’m sure!

      November 2, 2012 at 11:01 am
  • Reply Jen

    Love this! I have my fish bowl,rocks & plants all ready to go but have yet to get to this project!

    November 2, 2012 at 8:54 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      It’s so worth it – I love looking at it! Good luck with yours. I’d love to see it once it’s done!

      November 5, 2012 at 8:47 am
  • Reply Marigold Mom

    I like it! Great job. I hope they live. =)

    November 3, 2012 at 2:03 am
  • Reply Gillian

    Love your take on the terrarium – so many fun plants! And the bowl is just perfect. One more thing I’m adding to my thrifting list.

    November 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Thanks Gillian! Can’t wait to see what amazing thrift find this will bring!!

      November 5, 2012 at 3:51 pm
  • Reply Do It Yourself Projects: Tutes & Tips Not to Miss {83} - Home Stories A to Z

    […] How to Create Your Own Terranium by The Learner Observer. These are so great to brighten your table during the long winter months soon approaching. […]

    November 5, 2012 at 8:01 pm
    • Reply thelearnerobserver

      Agreed!!! I’m looking for ways to have some mini ones around the house since they are so easy to maintain and the dog doesn’t seem interested (yet) in eating them!

      November 6, 2012 at 9:21 am
  • Reply Gail (@repurposedlife)

    Your terrarium looks cute! I wonder, though since these plants are desert plants how they will do. I hope they live forever!

    November 6, 2012 at 3:29 pm
  • Reply muffinsandmocha

    thanks so much for taking the time to answer my question! can’t wait to make one and post about it :)

    December 21, 2012 at 10:36 am
  • Reply Weekend Winners

    […] disowned my grandmother and mom.  Sad.  I can’t seem to keep anything alive.  My terrarium plants?  Dead.  Yes, really.  The soil I used was too rich, and I watered them too often (every 2 […]

    March 30, 2013 at 12:16 pm
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