Here's How You Can Make the Cutest DIY Terrarium

You don’t need a lot of room — or even a seasoned green thumb — to create a dreamy green space. A DIY terrarium lets you create an entire garden, or even a whole mini ecosystem, within the walls of a glass container. Plus, it’s super easy to make and care for. Triple win!

Two-Minute Terrarium

Level: Easy

Two-Minute Terrarium
glass terrarium filled with soil and plants on wooden surface in front of a brick wall

From DIY Weekend Gardens

What You Need

  • Glass container
  • Small rocks or gravel
  • Activated charcoal
  • Succulent potting soil
  • Decorative stones
  • Sheet moss
  • Alternanthera
  • Snow White waffle plant
  • Tricolor brake fern
  • Rose shades saxifrage

Good to Know

There are two types of terrariums: open (which have open tops) and closed (which have a lid). Open terrariums are better for dry-weather plants like cacti and succulents, and need to be misted with water a few times a week. A closed terrarium has a lid that allows moisture to build inside, creating a self-sufficient ecosystem for humidity-loving plants. In this tutorial, we're making an open terrarium.


1. Build a Drainage Layer

We used living, water-dependent plants in our terrarium, which means the roots need to be protected from excess water. To do this, place small rocks or gravel across the bottom of the glass container until the layer is about 2" thick. Sprinkle a spoonful of activated charcoal on top to separate and absorb any lingering water.

2. Add the Potting Soil

Pour potting soil on top of your drainage layer. Pack the soil gently by pressing down with your hands.

Pro Tip

Make sure to use soil that’s specifically designed for succulents, otherwise it could retain too much water.

3. Plant Away

Arrange your alternanthera, Snow White waffle plant, tricolor brake fer and rose shades saxifrage in the glass container, then plant them in the soil. There’s no right or wrong way to do this — just place them how you like!

4. Cover the Soil

Lay pieces of sheet moss wherever soil is visible between the plants. Add decorative stones as accents — and maybe even a gnome for good measure.

Now just water your plants, place the terrarium in a sunny spot and watch it thrive!

Find Your Next Project

If you love all things miniature and plant-inspired, go on and make these too.

If your hometown were turned into a miniature terrarium, what would it look like? Check out our take on the "Making It" second Faster Craft challenge; can you tell we borrowed a little inspiration from contestant Amber?
Transform ordinary arrangements into magical microcosms as Debra shows you how to plant succulents in glass terrariums. Discover how to care for plants in containers that don't drain water. Then add flair with colored sand and glass pebbles for additional interest. For a fun surprise, you can also add figurines and thematic elements to create a delightful miniature scene in your terrarium.
If you're a #plantparent, you've got to have the very best home for your botanical offspring. These DIY planters are easy to make and personalize for your style — and you probably have most of the supplies you need already lying around your house (no fancy pottery wheel or kiln required here!).

April 16, 2020
More to Explore
Now Reading
Here's How You Can Make the Cutest DIY Terrarium