January 20, 2011

How does your garden grow? DIY Terrarium


These gray days of winter really get to me and while sticking to my Vitamin D regimen helps for the most part, it always makes me feel better when I take on little projects around the house, especially when they green things up a bit. I thrifted a beautiful antique glass punch bowl set, but the bowl has a deep crack in it and might not be safe for liquids. I can still use the cups for punch, but after watching this fun tutorial from Design*Sponge, I decided to transform the bowl into a terrarium.


It doesn’t matter what size or type of container you use, but it will determine what kind (i.e. size) of plants you can grow. My punch bowl actually ended up being smaller than I had realized when I got my plant home, so my creation might not even be a “real” terrarium, but I love it anyway.



After having no luck at a big home improvement store, I found a container of activated charcoal (carbon) at a pet store. It was about $6 but I only used a little so hopefully it will go for several other terrariums in the future. The charcoal helps to keep things clean since terrariums are a moist environment and can get kind of slimy. Then I carefully scooped in some potting soil and planted a medium-ish sized fern in it. I used larger rocks and arranged them around the top of the soil along with some dry moss that I spritzed with water to help keep things damp. Technically the plants are supposed to be inside a terrarium, but I think the environment will be good for growing the fern and I can always repot it when it outgrows this home.


Now, I’m on the lookout for all sorts of other glass containers to be repurposed this way. The main thing to remember is that if your plants are inside glass, the sun’s rays can more easily “cook” them so make sure your terrarium only gets medium or indirect sun. I’m sad the punch bowl is cracked, but this way it gets a new life and gives new life as well.

[sidenote: Yesterday I tweeted that I was going to make a terrarium using Design*Sponge’s tutorial and the fabulous Grace Bonney herself actually replied! I have to admit that I was a little bit blogstruck…Blogstruck is a term I coined for when a blogger who seems like a celebrity actually responds to your post or comment and it makes you feel really cool by association.]

Happy Planting!


  1. blogstruck is a great word!!!! BTW, love your new project!

  2. Great info!! I just gave you an award - come see!

  3. Ooooh so much fun!!!!!!!! I totally need to do this!!!!!!!

  4. Kate! Stephanie Lynn at Under the Table and Dreaming just posted an awesome terrarium post as well and I left her a comment with a link to your great DIY Terrarium post. Just wanted to let you know! Thanks for the DIY info, this will be something great for me to do w my kiddoes. Happy Saturday :)

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