Making a Terrarium

Terrariums are a great way to add some life to your decorating. They can be made from just about any glass or clear plastic container. They are also a perfect way to make use of something that was just taking up space before. This is a page about making a terrarium.


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I wanted to make a terrarium from an old fish bowl, but couldn't find inexpensive, small leafed plants. I realized that my herbs growing outside would not only look great, but I could keep and use them all winter if I planted them in the bowl.

I planted oregano and common thyme and added a little toy crab. I love it!

Approximate Time: 5 minutes



Just add some pebbles for drainage, then soil, then plant some herbs into your terrarium. Add some pretty rocks, shells or small toy and enjoy your fresh herbs in your indoor garden all winter long.

By Donna from NEPA

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Here are my step by step instructions on how to make a plant terrarium with no drainage. Plant terrariums with no drainage require little maintenance - you only need to water every 2 to 3 weeks, or when needed.

- Use cardboard box to contain soil, succulents.
- Use old art for scrap paper.
- Use rocks found while hiking for decoration.
- Use soil mixed with pumice and perlite (pumice for absorbing water no drainage and charcoal as purifier).
- Cheap decorations rocks can be found at Dollar Tree for just a $1. (I purchased the white rocks there.)

Total Time: 1 hour


  • succulents
  • scissors
  • soil
  • pumice
  • perlite
  • charcoal
  • decorative rocks
  • assorted rocks
  • chopsticks
  • terrarium
  • acrylic paint
  • paint brush
  • plastic cup


  1. Using scissors, cut the base of a plastic cup to fit your terrarium.
  2. Cup height/size will vary depending on your plant terrarium and preference.
  3. Optional - I did not want the red cup to show, so I painted the cups with white acrylic paint and allowed to dry overnight.
  4. Add charcoal rocks, assorted rocks, and soil mixed with pumice and perlite into the plastic cup.
  5. You are ready to make your plant assortment.
  6. Place plant assortment into the terrarium.
  7. Now you are ready to decorate your terrarium. Tip: Use chopsticks to help arrange plant/rocks to your liking.
  8. To finish off, add your choice of decorative rocks, or any rocks you would like to add.
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I had a neat terrarium in my room when I was a kid and I really wanted to make one with my son.

put lid on

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When a friend got some cherry tomatoes, it hit me this container looked like the mini terrariums from the 70s. All sorts of things came to mind, but I can't grow anything but mold so the next best thing was a faux terrarium. I was at the dollar store and saw these cacti and thought how cute that would be.

Recycled Faux Cactus Terrarium

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This simple but cute summer project can be made in minutes, but you can enjoy it for a long time! It's good for kids or adults.

Easy Terrarium - mason jar

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Make a tabletop terrarium from those odds and ends that tend to accumulate and clutter your cupboards.

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July 14, 2014

Terrariums are fun to put together and easy to maintain. Check out this video on how to set up a terrarium.

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11 Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

September 27, 2006


Does anyone have any soda bottle terrarium directions for me? I am not sure if I am in zone 5 or 6.

Hardiness Zone: 5b

Dawn from Elmira, NY



Here are some simple directions for a soda bottle terrarium.


  • One 2 or 3 liter clear plastic soda bottle (needs to have a colored base).
  • Scissors, craft knife and a teaspoon
  • Charcoal
  • Coffee filter
  • Potting Soil
  • Suitable small plants
  • Assorted rocks or figures
  • Moss


  1. Remove the label and the colored base from the plastic bottle by soaking the bottle in hot, soapy water.

  2. The clear portion of the bottom is made of a thicker plastic than the top. Use the tip of a craft knife to punch 5-6 holes around the bottom to create some ventilation. You're going to flip this over so it becomes the top.

  3. Now, using a craft knife or scissors, cut off the top of the plastic bottle at the point where it starts to slope toward the top. Flip this over. This end is now the bottom and should now slide easily into the colored base.

  4. If the colored end has holes in it, place a coffee filter in the bottom to prevent soil from leaking out the holes.

  5. Place a 1/4 or 1/2 inch layer of horticultural charcoal in the colored base, followed by 1 to 2 inches of high quality potting soil so that it comes to 1/2 inch below the bottom's rim.

  6. Add 2-3 small plants or cuttings. The plants should have similar growing requirements. Some good plants include Aluminum Plant, Ivy or Baby Tears.

  7. Add decorative figures and rocks as desired.

  8. Water the terrarium lightly. The soil should be barely moist, but not wet. Cover the soil with moss.

  9. Slip the clear plastic top back onto the base until it's firmly seated in place.

  10. Keep an eye on the terrarium for a few days. Water droplets should form. If they don't, add a bit more water. If too many form, open the top of the terrarium temporarily to let it dry out a bit.



July 24, 20061 found this helpful

Just type in kidsdomain terrarium on yahoo search.and you will find instructions.
Oh ,by the way i made a hanging plant bottle just buy cutting holes on the one side so the plant can hang out and down almost to the floor if you wish.
I just poked a hole in the cap tied a plastic bead to the inside end and screwed in a plastic plant hanger in the ceiling joist. it still hangs in my bedroom by the window (10 years now)
The old plant died from my neglect a few years ago. Your message has encouraged me to start a new one
Thank You
Mr Thrifty

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By dawn (Guest Post)
September 28, 20060 found this helpful

Thank You. I will try it.

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November 12, 20061 found this helpful

I remember making terrariums like that which Ellen described above when I was a kid! They're a lot of fun. The only problem might be that I think they stopped making two-liter bottles with those colored plastic bases a long time ago - all the soda bottles I've seen for years now have been all one piece.

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Answer this Question

How do I make a terrarium using a glass gallon jar?

Hardiness Zone: 4a

By ilovesophie from Laurel, MT


August 31, 20100 found this helpful

You can find it by using the Google search engine.

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January 12, 20200 found this helpful

glass container terrarium

Step 1
The glass container will make a pretty terrainum. Remember to place pebbles at the bottom for drainage

Step 2
Don't pack down the soil you choose to use.

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March 2, 2020

This kid friendly succulent terrarium incorporates your child's rock and shell collection into the planting. Add some colorful plastic beads too. Check out the full project below.

Kid Friendly Succulent Terrarium - glass terrarium with beads added

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September 28, 2016

This page is about converting an aquarium into a terrarium. When your fish tank is worn out or you do not need it anymore, recycle it into a controlled environment for plants or reptiles.

Rectangular Cactus Terrarium

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