How to Make a DIY Terrarium

I had been meaning to make a terrarium for a while now, but I finally got to it last week. I put together a post about the process for west elm, using their tall glass jar.

The full instructions and list of materials needed can be found at west elm’s blog, Front & Main. I also talked about how to care for your terrarium, and what I would have done differently.

You could simplify the process by choosing a smaller container and just placing moss inside (like this one) with a few interesting rocks or objects. Of course, you could make it more complex too, by choosing an extra wide vessel and combining more plants of different sizes and textures.

I’d love to try a succulent terrarium next time, switching out the rich potting soil for a sandier blend, and using an open-air container. I think it would be fun to gather some HO scale model items to make a little scene, too. I do have a special fondness for miniatures, after all.

73 Responses to “How to Make a DIY Terrarium”

  1. Jenny April 17, 2012 at 12:29 pm #

    Wow, this is so pretty! I think I have found a Mother’s Day gift!

    • Jacklyn April 18, 2012 at 1:37 am #

      Ooo good thinking! I’m with you!

    • Valerie April 7, 2013 at 10:36 am #

      Love it! used your tutorial to make my very own yesterday! Thank you!! BTW, where did you find that amazing wood ampersand?!

  2. katrina April 17, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Nicole, you are brilliant. This is the prettiest terrarium I’ve ever seen!

  3. Danielle April 17, 2012 at 12:43 pm #

    So pretty! And the how-to’s and tips were very helpful!

  4. paige :: approaching joy April 17, 2012 at 12:58 pm #

    So very dainty and alive. I love it!

  5. Pam April 17, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Where did you get the yellow flowers (Billy Buttons) I’ve been searching for a long time for these and haven’t been able to find them at a reasonable price. Thanks!

    • Making it Lovely April 17, 2012 at 2:17 pm #

      I bought all of my supplies from Sprout Home in Chicago. The billy buttons were $2 a stem.

      • Kim @ Yellow Brick Home April 30, 2012 at 2:44 pm #

        Ooh, we love terrariums, and make them all the time as gifts! We also buy our supplies at Sprout. Love those guys!

  6. Donaville April 17, 2012 at 1:10 pm #

    Delightful :) I’ve had my eye on that Terrarium Craft book for a while (my local B&N didn’t have it in stock last time I checked). Where did you get the lovely pink geode?

  7. Sarah April 17, 2012 at 1:11 pm #

    You did such a great job! I LOVE terrariums. I’ve made a few, but I went on vacation once and kept the AC off in the house. I came home to some very sad terrariums =(

  8. Heather B April 17, 2012 at 1:25 pm #

    I LOVE that! Especially the slice of pink agate(?), so lovely. What are those super-cool yellow spherical flowers? I’ve seen them before but I have no idea what they are. It’s Brilliant!

  9. Evelyn April 17, 2012 at 2:14 pm #

    Oh wow, this looks so great! The earthy browns! Love it!

  10. Ashley {GirlyObsessions} April 17, 2012 at 2:19 pm #

    This is a beautiful post and a great tutorial! My husband and I made some terrariums around the holidays, but they are starting to look a little unhealthy. I’m going to use your post as inspiration and start over! :)

    • Making it Lovely April 17, 2012 at 2:22 pm #

      Did you add a layer of activated charcoal to the bottom? I hear that’s the trick.

      • GirlyObsessions April 21, 2012 at 2:20 pm #

        I did, but I think the type of plants we mixed required different conditions, so they couldn’t really survive together! Oops…

  11. Chloe's Mom April 17, 2012 at 3:56 pm #

    How long will something like this last?

  12. tinajo April 17, 2012 at 5:22 pm #

    It’s so very pretty – I really like it! :-)

  13. Judy April 17, 2012 at 5:30 pm #

    Oh, i’m in love with your site! Where did you find the beautiful brown and white drapes?

  14. Judy April 17, 2012 at 5:33 pm #

    One more request(please, what is the name of the font you used for the names of the people who are leaving comments. I haven’t seen it before.
    So simple and lovely!!

  15. Alli April 17, 2012 at 8:22 pm #

    This is the prettiest one I think I’ve ever seen!

  16. Michelle April 18, 2012 at 1:01 am #

    This is by far the prettiest terrarium I have ever seen. I just did a google search of terrariums and most of them look like hideous alien habitats. Your terrarium, however, is a stunning masterpiece that I would love to have in my home!

  17. jessibee April 18, 2012 at 10:30 am #

    I agree with Michelle…this is the best terrarium I have ever seen! I love billy buttons and they look so great in there with the pink stones.
    I am, however, totally distracted by the black and white pillow on your chair…where did you get that? I love it!

  18. Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet April 18, 2012 at 12:11 pm #

    Too cute! I love it!

  19. Andrea Howe April 18, 2012 at 1:05 pm #

    The billy buttons add the perfect touch. I wonder how well they’ll do in there? And I just emailed you – because we are having a brain twins moment right now talking about the succulents, sand and miniatures ;)

  20. Jenna April 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm #

    So pretty!!! I just bought a bunch of succulents that I can’t wait to plant in a pretty dish. A terrarium is next on my list.

  21. Susan Hazel April 18, 2012 at 3:29 pm #

    This was really helpful. I bought a terrarium last year at this little shop in Portland that I love called Noun ( Like a dummy I didn’t think to water it and the plants died. Now, I’ll be able to use the glass container to make a new one and actually water it. Thanks : )

  22. Kristen @ Popcorn on the Stove April 18, 2012 at 10:38 pm #

    The terrarium is lovely! I love that you used Craspedia’s (or Billy Balls) in there. They’re one of my new favorite flowers and I had to specially request them to be put in my bouquet at my wedding.

  23. sarina April 19, 2012 at 12:05 pm #

    THis is beautiful, I love the added crystal and color. Like you I have wanted to do this forever! Perhaps you have inspired me! Thank you.

  24. Lauren @ with two cats April 19, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Hi Nicole! Love the terrarium – it’s gorgeous. I read that you purchased the agate and quartz at Sprout Home but I don’t see those items on their site. Any other ideas on where to purchase them? Thanks so much!

  25. Jennifer April 20, 2012 at 10:25 am #

    I love it when I find a fun new blog! Your blog is really lovely!

  26. Camellia April 20, 2012 at 2:42 pm #

    Love this. I’ve been searching and searching for those little yellow flowers (Billy Buttons, right?) I’m going to intensify my search because they are such a perfect touch!

  27. Jeni April 22, 2012 at 12:34 am #

    Thanks for sharing Nicole! I’ve been wanting to make a terrarium for a long time. Your post inspired me and I completed mine this weekend.

  28. Katrine - make it & fake it April 24, 2012 at 6:45 am #

    WOW; this looks amazing!! how long will it last for? Doesnt the flowers need air? (This is prob such a silly question, but im not good at keeping anything green alive!!!)

    love K

  29. Gretchen April 24, 2012 at 3:02 pm #

    Love to try! It’s beautiful!

  30. KellyGreeny April 25, 2012 at 11:59 am #

    These are great. The pink geode makes it!

  31. Ellen W. October 12, 2012 at 9:17 pm #

    I love terrariums! My Mom use to make these growing up~ So many variations and ideas- I love your tutorial, so vibrant n’ fun!

    Thank you

  32. Melyssa March 19, 2013 at 2:36 am #

    Beautiful terrarium! Your pictures are so bright and easy to follow, too! I even included it in a new article on my site, “11 Creative Projects to Make Your House a Home.”

    Thank you for the inspiration!!


  33. Yvonne Osborne August 16, 2013 at 3:02 pm #

    The use of semi-precious stones is so creative! I’m going to have to copy that next time!


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