Make Terrariums Galore in Under 1 Hour


How to Make a terrarium, DIY @savedbyloves

How to Make a terrarium, DIY @savedbyloves

Today I am excited to share my first terrarium project (aside from the pendant I made in Cynthia’s class that I told you about yesterday’s 50+ Terrarium Projects to Make).  Since I have a habit of hoarding random glass containers from my junkin adventures, I had just the collection to whip up 5 different succulent planters.  The project was done in under 1 hour, and cost about $20 total!  I am giving some as gifts, and adding some to my own display in progress.

How to Make a terrarium, DIY @savedbyloves

On this $1 glass bowl from the dollar store, I etched “GROW” using Martha Stewart’s Glass etching cream that I showed you in this doily etched wine bottle post from Monday.  Perfect for a terrarium!

DIY Terrarium Supplies


Various succulents from your local nursery – I even found some at Walmart

Succulent Soil

Activated Charcoal

Little Rocks


Thrifted glass containers, jars, etc

How to make a terrarium



Put some small rocks at the bottom.  These drain the water from the soil.

If you are working in a closed container, you want to put a layer of charcoal next.  This prevents mold from forming in the closed vessel.  If you are working in an open container, this is not necessary.

Next put a layer of moss (I found the bright purple, green and white in a variety pack at Michaels).

Put an inch or 2 of soil next, then stick in succulent cuttings as you like.  You can cover the soil with moss, pebbles or other embellishments as desired.

How to Make a terrarium, DIY @savedbyloves

Your succulent will take root if all goes as planned.  As Cynthia Bee pointed out, if it dies, just start over.  You are out just 1-2 bucks.  Watering frequency will depend on your local environment.  It is better to underwater than to over water, as the latter leads to root rot.  Spritz with water once a week or so, and place in indirect sunlight.  Too much direct sun will burn your plant!

How to Make a terrarium, DIY @savedbyloves

 Easy DIY Terrariums


  1. So cool! I might have to use a pretty container to make one to put in my living room on the end table. I like the one with the cover on it, then my kids won’t pick at it! I just posted how kids can make windowsill mini-planters using succulents for mother’s day to give to mom or grandma. Check it out here:

  2. This is a good project .Some of us have a hard time trying to keep plants alive. These are easy to keep alive and not much work .Thank you for your craft . Elba

  3. jessica says:

    How/where do you cut the succulents before replanting?

    • SavedByLoveCreations says:

      Great question, Jessica! Succulents are awesome because you can even clip off a leaf and it will root and grow eventually. They aren’t picky about where you clip them. Just take a pair of scissors and clip somewhere along the stem at an angle. Yo want at least an inch or more or stem to stick in your soil, so if the leaves go down to right where you clipped, just pluck off the bottom leaves until you have some stem to push into the soil.

  4. What a great project idea, and just in time for Mother’s Day and for teacher gifts. You make it look so easy, Johnnie. I’m seeing succulents all over, and just purchased my first pot of them — hens & chickens, just like my grandpa used to grow. Thanks!

    • SavedByLoveCreations says:

      Thanks Sharon! I am a little addicted. Trying to figure out how to go about planting in an all wire birdcage (bottom is wire too… maybe insert a board or something). Enjoy your hens & chicks :) xo

      • Sharon,
        I have to agree that these do make awesome mother’s day and teacher’s gifts. In fact, I gave one to my mom for mothers day and she loves it.
        Johnnie, I’ve been daydreaming about planting them in a wire bird cage as well! I’m thinking a cute little baking pan in the bottom would do the job?! I planted my leaves in a baking pan and they are sprouting little rosettes :). I would love to see if you have planted any in a bird cage!!

  5. I love the idea of creating one on a cheese plate. We live where it is so dry the cover would create the moisture it needs. Pinned so I can make one soon! Theresa @

  6. A suggestion for you re: planting a bird cage – line the bottom and part way up the sides with heavy plastic. You can buy a role at the local big-box store, it’ll be enough to last for years. You can stuff some sheet moss between the plastic and cage bars to cover the plastic decoratively. Put in your soil, and create!
    Re: terrariums – yours are very pretty by the way – you might want to explain that you don’t need to plant only cuttings, you can remove plants from their pots and plant them roots and all. (I understand that you used cuttings to get a variety of plants into a small place.)
    Speaking of which, most of your examples are simply plant collections in glass bowls. A terrarium is a closed environment; in other words, only the ones with lids are actually terrariums. Which shows that you can use any kind of container to put plants into. Since there’s no drainage, you just have to be careful not to water too much.
    I have plant care tips at my blog if anyone would care to drop by.

  7. Guylaine says:

    Where do you purchase the charcoal? Thanks for sharing your ideas with us, I’m very anxious to make my own very soon, if only I can find charcoal.

    • SavedByLoveCreations says:

      Hi Guylaine. Pet stores carry charcoal. Just tell them what you are doing and they will help you.

  8. Hi Johnnie, I love succulents too! Your succulents are absolutely gorgeous!! Love all the pictures you include in your blog. I blog about caring for succulents- check out my posts at and keep checking back as I have many more posts in the works.

  9. I LOVE terrariums! From someone that has a black thumb, terrariums are so easy to maintain and lovely to look at! Great for gardeners, who aren’t “really” gardeners, but want to be!!!

    I especially love the glass bowl with GROW etched on it!

    • SavedByLoveCreations says:

      Kristen, I feel like a green thumb every time I walk by my succulents. They are thriving and that has not been my experience with other plants (to put it mildly). You are so right. They are perfect for our type!

  10. How did you do the cake stand terrarium so that the soil, etc doesn’t spill out?? Love them!

  11. These are gorgeous. However, Im pretty sure that, technically, a terrarium is closed, often lidded, environment. These are really dish or container gardens. That said, succulents are notoriously bad for actual terrariums as the closed environment is too moist for them. So hopefully the fact that these AREN’T lidded will be of some help. Does make me worry about your lidded cheese plant garden though. But you never know! It’s so pretty, I hope it does well! But you may want to hang onto it for a bit before giving it away to make sure it’s viable… Hope this doesn’t come across as smarty pants-ish or know-it-all! My knowledge is very basic- just trying to be helpful!

    • SavedByLoveCreations says:

      Thanks for the info, Mary! I love being educated and appreciate you taking the time to leave thoughtful feedback. xoxo

  12. kelsey beets says:

    Im very into the whole succulent movement and what youve done here is amazing! what is that purple looking moss type stuff? Ive got to get some!

  13. These are some great terrarium ideas! A lot more plants work in terrariums than just succulents, though!

  14. Keep the plants uncovered air circulation is key to keep succulents alive! Soon they will run out of air and are going to slowly die, so removing the cover is going to reduce the risk of your plants dieing.


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