If you are looking for a great craft idea for the kids or just looking for a decorative idea for your home, then you should try your hand at a terrarium!

I have always loved the mini gardens in jars, they are just gorgeous and look amazing on the mantle with your other bits and pieces. And any plant I can bring into the house without my 2 Burmese Cats eating are a good thing! ALSO, they make THE best gifts too!

A homemade terrarium is super easy to make and you can use a range of used jars that you have on hand and even fish bowls or glass bowls.

Materials Needed:

  • A Glass Jar with lid or your glass bowl
  • Potting Soil. If possible you can use the soil from the mossy area in your yard.
  • Terrarium Charcoal (or activated charcoal) – This can be found at local pet stores or aquariums. You could also buy the charcoal tablets at pharmacies too.
  • Small stones, gravel or pebbles. You can grab these from outside in your garden or purchase some from garden supply stores.
  • Sheet Moss (or known as preserved sheet moss). You can buy this from local garden stores, or if you have some moss in your garden you can use that as well.
  • Decorations you want in the jar. You can use any of your kids toy soldiers, plastic animals etc, or go floral with some twigs and flowers.
  • Chopsticks or bamboo skewers. Or if all else fails you can use a stick from the garden!


This isn’t rocket science so play around with how you want it to look but the basic steps are:

  1. Clean and prepare your jar that you are using, you can even spray paint the lid to be one colour to suit your home, or you can leave as is. Make sure you peel off any labels as they don’t seem to look any good and also cover up the light your plant needs.
  2. Now add a 1 inch layer of pebbles or gravel at the bottom of your jar. You can use a mixture of gravel and pebbles or just stick with the one you like.
  3. Add a thin layer of the charcoal over the top of the pebble layer. This will help filter the water and also absorb any odours – without this layer your terrarium may start to smell a little funky. You can also select to mix this charcoal into your soil layer, but for the layered effect keep them separate.
  4. Add approximately 3-4 inches of potting soil. Make sure you leave enough room in your jar to add greenery and any decorations you have, but just work with what you have. You will know the right amount for your jar.
  5. Now you can add your moss! Best way to do this is to tear pieces of the moss up and place them in a single layer in your jar and the easiest way to do this is with you chopsticks. You can move it all around easier with this than trying to stick your hand in the jar.
  6. To create a mountain look, layer the soil higher on one side and then cover with moss to give the right look. You can also add small plants such as small ferns or other little plants from the cracks in the sidewalk! They all work – trust me!
  7. Decorate with your little toys or rocks. Cake toppers are also cute and they come in very small sizes so works well.  Try shells if you want a beach theme too.
  8. Water your new ecosystem lightly. The best way to tell is until you see some moisture down in your pebble/gravel layer and then screw the lid on and you’re done! You will need to water it every couple of weeks with a spritz from a spray bottle. If you notice your jar is getting a bit too foggy, remove the lid for a few hours to let the moisture out.
  9. Enjoy your new mini ecosystem! Honestly these are great for kids in their rooms for a touch of green, or even consider making 4-5 and putting them together on the mantle or shelf. VERY cute, VERY decorative and VERY easy to do!

Check out these others and send us your pics of your new terrarium! I LOVE THEM!

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