Terrariums are fun for the kids to help out with, too. My girls love to participate in gift-giving, and I’m excited for this project that they can help me make.
DIY Terrarium Supplies
You don’t need much to make a pretty terrarium.
- Large mason jar or similar glass container
- Pebbles/rocks (find them here or collect free ones outdoors)
- Charcoal (find it here)
- Potting soil (find it here)
- Small plants, succulents, or moss
- Tiny figurines or painted rocks, optional (see below for suggestions)
How to Make a Terrarium
- Start out with a nice, clean mason jar or other glass container with a lid. Wash it with warm soap and water and dry it out before you begin this.
- The first things you’ll actually put in your jar are the stones or pebbles. If you found them outside in your yard, you might give them a good scrub so that they look pretty and clean. (They will be visible when you’re finished.) You can also buy rocks at most craft stores, too. Fill the jar approximately two inches full of the rocks.
- Next, add in a small layer of charcoal. The charcoal is there for two reasons: it will help filter the water that is evaporating and condensing in your terrarium, and it will also absorb some of the smell that comes from growing any organic matter.
- When the charcoal is in, it’s time to add good potting soil. This is another ingredient that you can collect from outside, but actual potting soil gives your plants their best chance for thriving. If you have some good, black composted soil you can use that, too.
- I think the hardest part of making this terrarium is deciding what kind of plant to use. Succulents are a good option; they require little water and are hardy plants. You can also find very small ones that will fit nicely in your jar. If you don’t want to use succulents, there are several other houseplants that work well for a mason jar terrarium. This list gives you many choices. Basically, you’re looking for a small plant that won’t grow too much. And don’t be afraid to add two or three plants to the same terrarium, as long as there is room for each of them.
- Your plant will need some preparation before it’s placed in the terrarium. Remove it from the dirt it’s planted in, and then very gently trim its roots. Don’t cut the thick roots off, but some of the stringy, far-reaching roots can be pulled or trimmed away from the plant. When your plant is prepared, place it gently in the dirt and cover the roots with potting soil. As far as your plants go, you’re finished.
- Add water to your terrarium (enough that it is a shallow, visible pool among the rocks at the bottom) and close your lid. You’ve created your own terrarium!