|From Old Jar to Lush Microcosm: How to Make A Terrarium|
|Written by Erin Shaw|
Terrariums are decorative mini-landscapes made from just about any kind of clear container, from old jars and fish tanks to light bulbs and soda bottles. As a naturally self-regulating environment, terrariums are a low-maintenance way for the busy urban biophiliac to be around plant life at home or in the office. This Victorian favorite is also a perfect hands-on teaching tool for helping kids understand ecosystems and plant processes. Here’s a look at a few of the different ways you can turn old plastic and glassware into lush microcosms.
First, pick your container. Any clear glass or plastic container in just about any size will do. Recycle a carafe for a table-top piece, or go micro by re-using a wine glass or Tabasco bottle. Apothecary jars make beautiful living room centerpieces, and have wide openings that make it easy to arrange your plants.
Then, choose your plants; dense, slow-growing plants that thrive in humidity are ideal. Small ferns, moss, succulents, African Violets and Creeping Charlie are great no-fuss starter plants.
An odd number of plants with a variety of colors and textures are most eye-catching. Overall, you will need your container, plants, some pebbles or gravel, potting soil, moss and charcoal (for closed terrariums). You can add decorative elements like figurines, wood, crystals, seashells, even dollhouse furniture to make your own scene.
Need more inspiration to build your tiny universe? Check out this Microworld collection on Etsy, artist Paula Hayes’ towering plantscapes, Rachel Bishop’s Beetlejuice house in a jar or these DIY refrigerator magnet terrariums. The scale and landscape is only limited by your imagination!
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