Brighten your Home: How to make a DIY Terrarium

Last Updated: June 14, 2019By Tags: , , , ,

Are you looking to lighten your home? Terrariums are a fun and easy way to bring some of natures goodness indoors. Terrariums feature in our Indoor house plant inspirations post. Endlessly versatile terrariums fit in with any decor you may have. Originally developed in the Victorian Era they have been making a resurgence recently. Once you have them assembled, they are relatively low maintenance and look fantastic so it is easy to see why they are loved!

What is a Terrarium?

A Terrarium is usually a small enclosed glass environment. Rocks, decorations and other elements are added to create a suitable habitat for plants. Terrariums come as sealed or unsealed but mainly work the same way. The moisture from the soil and plants evaporate, this collects on the walls of the container and drips back into the soil. This process makes terrariums mostly self-sufficient they hardly need to be watered – if at all.


How to make your Terrarium

How to make a DIY Terrarium

Select your Container

This is where you get to show your sense of flair. You need to select a clear vessel, this can be as simple as a mason jar or something more detailed like a geometric glass container. The hanging glass planters are a favorite right now but if you prefer straight lines, there are plenty of angled tabletop displays and come in an assortment of shapes, from cubes to diamonds.

Select your Plants

The container you select will determine some of the plant selection. Planters that are entirely closed will require moisture happy plants such as moss or ferns. Open containers can hold cacti, succulents, and other small house plants. The key is choosing plants that grow slowly, as to ensure they do not dominate the vessel.

Note: When selecting your plants, it is essential to choose ones with similar light and water requirements.

moss for terrarium

Open Container Plant Selection:

Succulents and cacti thrive in open terrariums. Household plants also do well in open containers and give visual contrast to the cacti and succulent. Air plants also make a great terrarium plant alternative, and you don’t need soil for your air plants to thrive.

Closed Container Plant Selection

For closed containers, you need plants that love high humidity, like ferns Watermelon Peperomis, Starfish Flower Cactus, Nerve Plant, Baby Tears Plant and Golden Clubmoss

Gather the rest of the materials:


Building the Terrarium

Just like creating anything, building a terrarium requires you lay the right materials in the correct order to ensure that the plants get the proper drainage and moisture to thrive in.

  • Step 1: Place the pebbles or stones in the bottom of the container to allow for drainage.
  • Step 2: Add the activated charcoal on top of the stones. The charcoal is there to stop mold from developing in the terrarium.
  • Step 3: On top of the charcoal, you need to add an inch or two of potting soil.
  • Step 4: Gently plant the selection of plants you made
  • Step 5: Add flourishing touches – add decorative elements like stones, figurines, or other objects to suit your own personal style.

Here’s a helpful guide for how to make a terrarium from The Note Passer:


Starter Kits

Don’t have time to source all your own materials not to worry; there are plenty of starter kits that have everything you need to create yours. There are also plenty of ready-made terrariums. Terrariums also make an excellent git for those short of space or plant lovers.


For your convenience, this post contains affiliate links. These add no cost to you but we may earn a small commission through any linked sales which help to ensure we can keep doing what we love.

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  1. John@Tool Inspector February 16, 2020 at 12:38 am - Reply

    Love these they look incredible and are a great alternative to plant pots.

    The design options are unlimited and I think they add to the mood of the room they are put in. The more interesting the shape of the glass and type of plant you use the better the outcome.

    • Kelly Sanderson February 17, 2020 at 10:35 am - Reply

      Thanks John, we totally agree!

  2. Andy@ Audit Power Tools January 25, 2021 at 7:10 pm - Reply

    My daughter and i were making one of these for her mother as a surprise. I am glad i found this website because it really helped us. Keep up the great work.
    Andy @

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