How-To Make a Terrarium

I hope you had a nice weekend my friends!  I’m thrilled that my friend Brittany, the sensational and empowering DIYer behind Pretty Handy Girl, is here today sharing a fun DIY creation that brings the outdoors in.

Brittany, show us what you got…

I’m so excited to be guest posting on SAS Interiors today. Today I’m going to show you how to make your own terrarium. But, before we begin I’d like to introduce myself.

Hi, everyone, my name is Brittany (aka Pretty Handy Girl).

I write a blog, called what else: Pretty Handy Girl! My blog is filled with DIY tutorials for building things (like my son’s closet turned into a reading nook,)

or sewing things (like a piped bench cushion using a shower curtain,)

or fixing things (like replacing an old almond colored outlet,)

or crafting things like a book page rose and ceiling medallion wreath.

And now, I’m going to show you how to create your own terrarium!

Terrariums are making a comeback in home décor. Gone are the octagonal mirrored terrariums. They have been replaced by sleak apothecary jars, tall cylinders and lidded glass vessels (to name just a few shapes.)

Twig Terrariums has an amazing array of beautiful ready made terrariums or DIY kits for sale! Some of them have stunning details, right down to a little miniature person inside the lush world. The terrarium below sells for $200.

If you want to create your own version that is a little more budget friendly, it isn’t hard to do. In fact you can get some plants from a local nursery or as close as your own backyard!


  • Glass container (with or without a lid)
  • Small decorative pebbles or pea gravel
  • Potting soil
  • Live Moss
  • Terrarium plants (small shade loving plants)
  • Potting shovel
  • Water

1. Clean your glass container with soap and water and dry it.

2. Add a layer of gravel or decorative pebbles to the bottom of your glass container.

3. Add a layer of potting soil. No need to level it.

4. Collect your plants and think through the plant placement in your head.

5. Gently remove a plant from the pot.

If it is root bound (all the roots are wound tightly around the bottom) gently tease some of the roots free and break apart the roots at the bottom of the plant.

6. Insert your plants into the soil.

Put taller plants at the back and the shorter ones in the front so you can see all the plants.

7. Cover the soil with moss. You can cut or tear pieces to fit flush with the edge of the terrarium.

8. Fill your terrarium and let the water soak in. The water should reach the top of the rocks. Check the water level a few times a week and be sure to refill when the water gets low. If your terrarium has a lid you won’t have to water as often as a lidless variety.

9. Add any decorative embellishments like these faux mushrooms (tutorial HERE)…

…or my sons’ favorite, a little plastic dinosaur!

Terrariums make the perfect year round accessory. I have them prominently featured in my living room along with some other natural elements.

This version was made entirely with plants that I have growing in my shade bed. Small ferns, arugula and creeping ground covers. Plus, I added a few round pebbles for visual interest.

I might pick up a tiny person or two at a hobby shop next time I’m near one. Anyone seen any that look like the characters in “Land of the Lost” heh, heh, heh!

In the meantime, I’m loving my cost effective terrarium. Yes, terrarium singular, because the cylinder terrarium was a gift for a friend.

I almost wouldn’t be surprised to see a fairy take up residence in one.

Thank you so much Jenna for having me on your blog today.

I wanted to share with you that from April 16th – April 27th I will be hosting a DIY Talent Parade and Link party. Jenna shared her talents by making a faux roman shade last Monday, April 16th – I hope you’ll join us!

Definitely link up your DIY creations to Brittany’s party this Friday @ Pretty Handy Girl!  Isn’t she so creative by making her own terrarium?  I love how it brings organic elements into the home in a cost effective and budget friendly way!  Brittany is always creating new DIY projects and empowering others so that there is a “95% chance that you can do it too”!

O, and by the way, if you ever want to learn how to use any tool out there, Brittany is the #1 gal to turn to.  Check her weekly Tool Tutorials where she shows us how to use a new tool every Friday!  Thanks Brittany.

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  1. Brooke Barrett says

    This is great! It is like a small ecosystem and what’s good about it is that you used real plants. And I’m curious on how you made the medallion wreath. I’ll definitely check that one out!

  2. Lavinia says

    Hi Jenna, I love your terrariums, thanks for sharing the tutorial n_n
    I just wonder, how do you keep plants that size? I`ve tried to make a terrarium, but my plants kept growing without control, making it look like a mess! LOL
    Thank you!

    • Jenna says

      I’m no experiment on terrariums and actually Brittany created the one you commented on. Anyway, I would try and just trim them back with a scissor when they start to get out of hand. Good Luck!