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The Art of DIY Terrarium

DIY Terrariums

by Carrie Fry

Carrie Fry

Carrie Fry, writer, photographer and author of the creative blog One Pleasant Day joins us this month with a simple step by step guide to creating your very own Terrarium.

What better way to say hello to spring than by bringing the outside in?

Three Terrariums

Terrariums are a great way to decorate your home, adding a touch of greenery that’s easy to maintain, even if you don’t have the greenest fingers.

As a centrepiece for a dining table or a gift for a friend, they have a big impact for something so simple to make, and whilst terrariums can be bought, why not make it your own and do it yourself

Creating Terrariums


Small Cacti or Succulents
Readily available at home & garden shops.

Any will do providing they are larger than the pot the cacti come in. I used a combination of jam jars, candle glasses and an instant coffee container.

Cactus Soil
Easily found online or at garden centres.

A selection of different sized stones
I used decorative fish tank stones found at a pet shop.

Make it your own with jars of all different shapes, sizes and colours, just make sure you have right sized plants to live inside!

1. Grab your jar and start layering your stones. A depth of 1-2 inches works well and will create a drainage system at the bottom of the container. Be as creative as you like here by layering different stones in patterns.

2. Add the cactus soil. The easiest way to do this is to spoon in a thin layer of soil and gently pat down to cover the stones. Then spoon in more, and using the same spoon, create a hole in the centre to add your plant.

Jar Selection

Decorative and coloured glass pebbles can also be used and will add extra personality to your terrarium.

Place wherever you like

3. Very carefully remove your plant (and being aware of any spikes) from the pot. Break off any excess soil by gently pulling apart the roots and soil with your fingers, and trim away any dead roots.

4. Place it straight into the hole in your soil, and using the spoon, fill any remaining space around the plant with more soil, until all the roots are covered. Finish with a decorative layer of more stones around the top of the plant. Depending on the size of your container, you can place more than one plant together, but try not to overcrowd them.

Use your terrariums to brighten up boring book shelves, freshen up your bathroom or just to add a little touch of green to your home!


Occasionally mist your plants and water very gently, being careful not to over-water. Keep an eye on them by regularly checking the soil and if it feels very parched then add a little more water. Place your terrariums anywhere you like but avoid direct sunlight as the jars can act as a little greenhouse and get very warm!

Decorate with Stones
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