Apparently crafting is relaxing. So if you’re in need of an hour of creative stress busting vibes, jump on board the craft train with these DIY terrariums. Not only are they fun to make, they’re super easy to look after and you can impress all your friends and family with ‘thoughtful’ (cheap) gifts.
You will need:
- 1 open-top glass vessel (old preserving jars, fish bowls etc) big enough to place your hand inside
- Horticultural charcoal (buy a small bag to start with, depending on the size of your terrarium)
- Ladle/old measuring cup/large scooping implement
- Bag of potting/succulent soil (small bag)
- Cleaning implements – a teaspoon, a dessert spoon, chopsticks or skewers and old rags
- Chopsticks or skewers
- 3 succulent cuttings (three is Deb’s recommended number for aesthetics)
- Small bag of pebbles/gravel
- Wire (from an old coat-hanger or similar – something to bend and maneuver objects)
- Decorative rocks/pebbles/sticks/ornaments
- Glue gun
- Water bottle with spray nozzle attached (these are easily purchased from gardening shops or pierce holes in the original bottle lid)
- Take your vessel and line the base of it with a small amount of horticultural charcoal. This acts as a purifier against mold.
- Using the scooping implement, place a small amount of special cactus mix soil, or well-draining potting mix, over the charcoal.
- Heap the soil to make a small mound either in the centre or to the side. This will form the centre of your arrangement.
- Clean the sides of the vessel with your cleaning implements or a cloth. Make sure there is no stray dirt on the inside of the glass as this will look messy from the outside and is near impossible to clean once the pebbles are in place.
- Plan how you will situate your plants, then position them with the chopsticks and tweezers, trimming any stems to suit. Make sure you don’t cut them shorter than one centimetre. One large and two small plants can work well in a design, especially if they have different form, colour and structure.
- Carefully place plants further into the soil, then add a layer of more soil if required (just enough to cover the roots).
- Use the small spoon to top dress with pebbles. Place the pebbles along the edge of the vessel first and work inwards. Remove any stray pebbles using the tweezers, chopsticks or wire. Following this, give the plants a light water – only the smallest amount is necessary (succulent terrariums need only be watered when dry).
- Arrange your ornaments and decorative rocks etc. in this miniature landscape and use the glue gun to keep them in place, if necessary. Now your terrarium is complete!
Tip: To make cleaning implements, wind old rags around a teaspoon and a chopstick. Deb recommends using anything around the home to create a makeshift glass cleaner for reaching the tricky spots.
Words: Deb Twining and Ellen Morgan
Deb Twining is a youth art teacher based in Verdun. Her arts school, Twining Arts, runs five weekly classes that cater for ages five through to teenagers. She also runs pop-up workshops in various locations. twiningarts.com.au / @twiningarts
Have you had a crack at making a terrarium? How did it turn out? Was it relaxing? Let us know in the comments, below. Meanwhile, check out some local Adelaide creators who make handmade delights.