How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium

Whenever Spring comes around, I automatically want to fill the house with green plants. They make a space feel alive and as I mentioned when I put together my kitchen window plant (which is still going strong), I love the idea of bringing the outdoors inside. I have a tray on top of my coffee table where I put the remotes and photo/coffee table books so they’re tidy, and usually have a candle sitting on top. I decided to build a happy little tabletop terrarium (Bob Ross fan here) to take the place of the candle, but knew it had to be small because of where I was putting it. I have been seeing a lot of terrariums lately, and there are so many possibilities with how you set this up that you can really customize to fit your taste. Here’s the few easy steps it takes to build a tabletop terrarium no matter what jar you decide on.

First, you’ll need a container. I found my container at Home Goods which actually had a tag as being from their terrarium line, but you can really use any kind of clear glass container to house your little garden. I picked up my jar just yesterday which motivated me to get started ASAP, and here’s everything I used for my DIY tabletop terrarium.

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium Supplies

I was worried I would make a mess because of the soil, so I went outside to put together the terrarium. I started by putting a layer of rocks or pebbles at the bottom of the jar to help with drainage, which I found at Lowe’s. You could probably use fish tank rocks if you prefer too. I thought the pebbles were pretty, so I put a little more than what was probably needed, filling about an inch or two in my jar. I specifically went a little pebble happy because I didn’t want them to get lost when I added everything else, which they almost did. If you’re like me and want to see the pebbles more in your bottom layer for aesthetic appeal and not just function, I recommend going a little heavier.

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Next, you’ll want to add a layer of activated charcoal. This helps filter the air and keep it fresh in a closed environment, since I planned on closing the lid to my terrarium when finished. I just did a light layer to where you couldn’t see the pebbles anymore, about a 1/2 inch or so. I surprisingly couldn’t find this at Lowe’s, but the nice cashier recommended I try a pet store since activated charcoal is often used for fish filters. She was correct! I found it at Petsmart for about $6.

After the charcoal, I added a very thin layer of moss. I just wanted a little bit to prevent the soil from falling into any cracks below. Next, you’ll add your soil and put in plants as desired.

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium 4I used a variety of succulents, including a cactus, so that I would have different heights and textures. I think ferns would have been pretty too, but succulents are supposedly very hard to kill and do no require a lot of attention or watering. In fact, they can die by over-watering them because they are desert plants and like dry, hot places. I purchased a water bottle which I’ll use to lightly spray my garden every few weeks. They also like sunlight, so put them in a spot where they can see the sun….I’m hoping my coffee table is sunny enough.

How to Build a Tabletop Terrarium 5I actually wanted to go lighter on the soil layer so everything sat a little lower, but I wasn’t able to because of the size of the root base the plants had. Maybe that’s something you’ll want to consider when selecting your plants, container, and determining the thickness of your layers..

I found a few bigger rocks outside in my yard (free!) and placed them on top for decoration, along with a little more moss.

Finally, add the top and you’re done!

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How to DIY a Terrarium

How to DIY a Terrarium 2So here’s my final mini garden.

Do you like the idea of bringing the outdoors inside? How are you embracing Spring?


Making a Happy Kitchen Window Plant with Miracle-Gro

With my love of painting and art, I grew up watching Bob Ross paint “happy little trees.” Now that I have a home, I realize that plants really do make a space feel more cheerful. I love the idea of bringing the outdoors in, which is very feng shui.

In my kitchen I still have the old window valance hung from the previous owner, but will be sewing my own soon. In the meantime, I wanted something pretty and green to add to the kitchen window sill. I stumbled upon these pretty ferns and succulents while shopping at IKEA, as well as this long, white jar. Everything was relatively cheap too. I think this total project cost me about $15 for the plants and vase, and they had a bunch of different plant pot options. If you don’t have an IKEA near you, these mini plants, succulents, and even cacti, are in season right now at home improvement stores like Lowe’s. This sat on my window looking quite messy, until I finally decided to actually plant the mini plants together.

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Luckily, I didn’t have to buy soil as I had a free sample of Miracle-Gro stored in my garage. To be exact, it was the Miracle-Gro Expand ‘n GRO concentrated planting mix, courtesy of Scotts. I dumped it in my jar, then added water. In my pictures below, once I added water you can literally see the plant mix expanded up to 3X’s the amount I started with. So cool! Another benefit is it holds up to 50% more water than basic potting soil, meaning less watering/maintenance for me.

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After the soil expanded, I made holes where I wanted to put my plants. I removed the plants from the jars they came in, but retained the soil around it. Then I planted them in the holes, covered with a little more Miracle-Gro, and that was that! The plants are still thriving, and making every “dish washing day” happier.

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If you want to get really crafty, try painting your own flower pot like I did in this paint-pot tutorial.

I’d love to hear your comments. How do you make your house happier?

 


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