As satisfying as a well-written recipe, a smart and thoughtful DIY is our kind of lunch break reading. Bonus points if it’s an easy project AND teaches us how to make something beautiful.
The first rule of making a terrarium is that you don’t talk about making a terrarium — you just go buy one. But who likes following rules? If you’ve got a spare half hour, enjoy saving cash, and like the idea of customizing your own, consider building a terrarium from scratch.
What You’ll Need:
A glass container (we used a Cylinder Vase 8×8″)
Pumice, 1 part for every 4 parts soil
A wooden spoon
A wine cork
A stiff paintbrush
Succulents and cacti of your choosing
Sand, moss, and larger pebbles (optional), for decorating
How to Build Your Terrarium:
1. Pick your plants: If you want your terrarium to survive in addition to looking nice, choose plants that grow in similar native conditions. Since the weather in California is abominably dry, I decided to work with succulents and a rogue cacti, since they don’t need much moisture to thrive.
2. Choose your container: Select any glass vessel that has a large enough top opening to stick your hand through ; it doesn’t need a hole for drainage on the bottom. We recommend our cylinder glass vases or our terrarium glass vases. They can be both purchased on our WGV International’s Webstore.
3. Blend your soil: The ratio of soil to pumice (the crumbly white pebbles of volcanic stone you’ve seen in your mom’s pansy planters) determines how much moisture your plants will retain, so measure accordingly. Succulents do well on a blend of 1 part pumice to 4 parts soil, and cactus like to be even drier: use 1 to 1 or 1 to 2, pumice to soil. Tropical plants, like ferns, do fine on straight potting soil. Measure enough dirt to cover the roots of all your plants, adding more if you want a thicker layer, and mix with pumice if using. (For a large container like this one, I used about 10 cups total.)
4. Layer the base: Start off with a half-inch of pebbles, followed by a half-inch of activated charcoal (which will get all over your hands and your face, but will not harm you). The first layer is where moisture will accumulate, since there’s no room for drainage; the pebbles serve as insurance against overwatering. The charcoal acts like an antimicrobial to help keep your plants from rotting. It’s also porous and absorbs excess moisture.
5. Envision and shape the terrain: Before adding the soil, decide how you want your arrangement to look. Will the environment be even across, or sloped with peaks and valleys? Which plants will go in the middle, and around the edges? How many will fit? Add a few inches or more of soil and shape it to create an interesting terrain for your plants.
6. Loosen the roots, and landscape: When you take your plants out of their containers, gently loosen the soil from the roots and tease them apart, which prepares the plants to change environments and get settled in a new home. Then, arrange the plants according to your plan (or, completely diverging from it as I did), and top with more soil to cover the roots.
7. Get rid of air bubbles and clean up. Stab the end of a wine cork with a chop stick to create a makeshift soil tamper, and use it to tap out any air pockets that are lingering below the surface. Then, use your paintbrush to clean off any soil that’s crept up on the sides of the glass via magic and/or static electricity, and also to dust dirt off your succulents.
8. Accessorize: Avoiding any synthetic decorations (which might contaminate the soil when watered), decorate your landscape with pebbles, moss, and sand. I gave my cacti corner a little sandy surface to remind him of home.
9. Care: Though many people will suggest feeding your terrarium just an ice cube per week, a better strategy is to look at the plants and let them tell you when they need water. A succulent will pucker at the base of the leaves when it needs water, and will get mushy (a sign of rotting) when over-watered. Wait for signs of thirst before watering (since they don’t require much) and then add just enough to get the soil wet — you don’t want there to be a pool accumulating on the bottom. In fall and winter, water succulents and cacti once a month or once every 2 months (and every 1 to 2 weeks in the spring and summer).
To help make your next gathering as festive as possible we have gathered some of our favorite decorating ideas that are not only easy to do, but also help bring the beauty of the season indoors.
Click on any of the images to go directly to our online store for a recommendation of an item or items that would work great with any of these decorating ideas!
Wrap glass votive holders in textural flair for an easy candle accent. Tie raffia around three or four overlapping moistened corn husks trimmed to fit. The finishing touch of a spotted guinea fowl feather (available at crafts stores) adds a flourish.
Place these beautiful votives on your Thanksgiving dining table, mantel or coffee table. Just gather unshelled nuts and layer in a glass vase around a small candle. Save a few nuts to scatter near your display.
Make a pretty centerpiece or mantel decoration by layering seasonal materials in clear glass cylinder vases. We started with corn kernels, then added burgundy cockscomb celosia, orange bittersweet, pale green dried hops and brown oak leaves. Top off with a rust-color pillar candle. Change candles if the flame gets close to the dried material, or use a battery-powered candle for safety.
Footed glass containers show off ribbons, beans and nuts in fall hues. A copper tray adds shiny sophistication and makes the arrangement portable as well.
Add Thanksgiving flavor to a tabletop or mantel with cylinder vases filled with nuts and flowers. Roll coordinating scrapbook paper into decorative cuffs that slip inside the vase. Vary the look by substituting wheat, branches or snips of any pretty leafy plant for the flowers.
This super-easy centerpiece showcases the rustic, natural texture of wine corks inside a footed clear-glass candleholder. For more fall color, add leaves or berries among the corks. Make sure any flammable materials are protected from the candle, or use a battery-powered candle for safety.
Bring autumn to your table or mantel by showing off gourds in cylindrical vases. Use containers of different sizes, and stack varying numbers of gourds. Add a pretty curving touch with a length of fresh pumpkin vine or another fresh or artificial vine.
With only a week or so left until Halloween, we thought we’d dig up another ghoulishly good DIY decorating idea to help make your holiday spooktacular!
From Martha Stewart
Autumn is now upon us and this beautiful season of transition is synonymous with changing colors, pumpkin spiced flavored everything, brisk fall weather and warm & cozy outfits. Though spring and summer are oftentimes referred to as “wedding season”, the fall can be just as wonderful. Vibrant color schemes, the changing leaves and the cooler weather all contribute to this glorious season.
We have included some beautiful centerpiece ideas that could be used at any formal engagement or at your next holiday gathering. We hope that these pieces inspire you to go out and create your own masterpiece this season!
Feeling inspired yet? Give us a call (866) 678-VASE or email us email@example.com and we will be happy to help you find the perfect glass vase to meet your needs.
The Dallas Total Home & Gift Market is located at 2100 N Stemmons Fwy, Dallas, TX 75207.
The Dallas Market Center is the world’s largest wholesale merchandise mart, showcasing apparel, gifts, home and garden furnishings, lighting, and floral and gourmet products.
We will be there on 9/15 - 9/17 from 8:30am-6pm. Please visit us at Showroom 2F133 located in the Plaza Building, 2nd Floor.
The Dallas Total Home & Gift Market is the premier destination for trending products. Access more than 20,000 gift and home décor lines within a convenient, easy-to-shop marketplace.
This is a simple yet elegant do it yourself project that everyone can do! Succulents in our geometric terrarium is a wonderful modern accent for your home. These are really a great indoor planting option for those to want to add a touch of nature. You can add this to your coffee table or give it as a very unique gift.
These nursery tiny worlds can be vibrant and bold, whimsical, or simply natural and unpretentious. Regardless of how and what you use in your terrarium, one thing is for sure…these beautiful mini-gardens are the perfect way to bring the outdoors into your unique space.
Step 1 - Collect Supplies
-Variety Succulents: 2″, 4″
-Moss, pebbles and stones for decoration
Put in layer of 1″-2″ of gravel to create a drainage system for your terrarium. This will ensure that your plants live longer.
Put a layer of 2-4″ of succulent potting soil, to create a base for planting.
Take your selected succulents out of their containers, loosening the surrounding soil from the pot.
Remove any dead/brown leaves before planting.
Burrow a small divot in base layer to place in your succulent, compacting with dirt to secure it into place.
You may split apart succulents with multiple stems that are not connected by one root.
When planting is complete, even out the top layer of soil so it is all the same and all plants are secure.
Add in your top dressings such as mood moss, pebbles, stones, sand or crushed glass.
Mix different textures and colors to give it your own unique look.
Note: Place your terrarium in a spot that will get bright indirect light or sunlight.
Water using a spray bottle with filtered water once every week/week and a half.