Xtreme Terrariums

Oh, Pinterest. You are a wicked temptress, bringing me into even more hobbies I lack the time to master. One day, I stumbled across the idea of a terrarium party, like this, and I knew I needed to make this happen in my life.

Where to begin? Well, first, I needed to know how to put a terrarium together. My mother was a damn master gardener, and had lovely houseplants when she died, most of which I’ve managed to destroy since I inherited them. Without her to guide me, I’m not sure I can make anything grow. But I read this and this and this, and took a deep breath, and started collecting the pieces necessary for a successful terrarium party. So many pieces.

My thrift store shopping really paid off in this respect. So many glass containers, from cups to vases to glass bowls, can be had for just pennies. I ordered a few, too, primarily from Zulily (affiliate link. Sign up, order something, and I get a little store credit. Which I desperately need, because I spent all my money on my terrarium obsession). They have some terrarium kits right now, like this one. And if you’re wondering what I’d most like for Christmas, may I suggest this lovely piece, because apparently I have a terrarium problem.

Oh, but what a glorious problem! Since July, I’ve been gathering glass containers, pouring over Pinterest, perusing publications on plants…I even interviewed my friend Randy, who knows all sorts of stuff about plants. Eventually, I bought five plants at IKEA and ordered a pile of succulents from Zulily.

But terrariums are not only glass containers plus plants! No! Let me tell you, they can be so much more. This websites shows how to make tiny terrariums in magnet form, and this Etsy seller offers a Hobbit-based terrarium that is so cute I could throw up. Remember summer before last when we planted fairy gardens with Myra? Terrariums can be like indoor fairy gardens, if’n you want.

So I found some wee deer on Etsy, and made some gnomes from air-dry clay (which I have no idea if it will withstand terrarium conditions. I’ll let you know), and found a few small animal figures at my local JoAnn Fabrics. Because Myra took us there to shop for fairy garden plants, I went back to Baker’s Nursery for the correct soil and for charcoal, which is so important in keeping terrariums fresh and healthy.

I do want to have a full-on terrarium party, but my luck with plants is spotty, at best. So instead of a full-blown deal right out of the gate, I recruited my dear friend Crystal. We met at her house this morning to make the magic happen. She added in some sweet figures from around her house, and her husbo Todd joined in on the fun, too.


This is the one Todd made.


And here is one of Crystal’s. She found the lovely, wide glass bowls at a local shop, on clearance. She is my people. And a gnome found a home there, along with an owl!


Look closely here, and you’ll see another owl, cleverly hidden. What a hoot.


A stoic Easter Island statue alongside both a plant from IKEA and one of the Zulily succulents. The statue seems happy, don’t you think?


And this little gnome lady, snuggled in beside some Hypoestes. She’s wearing new lipstick and hopes you like her hat.

We had so much fun! Suddenly everything we look at becomes possible terrarium fodder: wee Kewpie ™ dolls, a marble we found on the street…and couldn’t we take a cutting or two from that plant in the dentist’s office? No one would miss it, right? Must. Find. More. Window space.

Now, we just planted these today. I am as always an optimist, but I know they could all be dead by next week. But if that happens, we will figure out what went wrong, fix it, and resume terrariuming. It’s gardening plus playtime plus arts and crafts. What’s not to like?

PS:  there’s this guy, who sealed his terrarium in 1953 and has watered it only once since then. Personally, I would not have the self-control to not open up that bottle and look inside every five or ten minutes, which is probably why I don’t have a 62 year old terrarium yet. But just you wait. That gnome is going to see to it that good things happen up in there.


About Jennifer

Writer teacher mama sister friend sewist poet trying to stay warm in Minnesota's northwest.
This entry was posted in Craft, Grow, Love. Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Xtreme Terrariums

  1. Donna says:

    Love it, Jennifer! This brings back a lot of memories. They were very popular back in the 1970’s. Everyone in our apartment building had one…..very enjoyable project.

Your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s