So Succulent – DIY Terrarium

Terrariums are so pretty and easy to maintain. They make great gifts and they are so easy to build. If buying one is on your gift list then you might want to rethink about your decision. May be you can build one and give that as a gift? Giving a gift that is handmade by you speaks a lot louder than any gift you can buy at the store. 

Here is how you can build it – 

Instructions –

Container. (You can use fish bowls, mason jars, flower pots, buckets, old lamp or anything you can think of).
Colored sand
Cactus soil
Shells, star fish, miniature toys and other props
Cactus, moss and succulents

Where to Buy:
Lowe’s and Michaels. 


  • Start with a layer of stones. This helps with drainage so it is an important layer. You can add a bit of charcoal to control moisture too. 
  • Layer the stone layer with sand and mud based on the look you are trying to achieve.
  • Dig a tiny hole and place your plants from their original pots along with the mud. At this point it might tumble so handle carefully. Cactus can be very prickly so make sure you don’t hurt yourself. Wear your gloves to be safe. Cover with mud and you are done. You can use stones on the side to stabilize the plants.
  • Decorate with your favorite props based on the theme you are going for. I used shells and stones. 

Prettiness factor:

  • Color and texture: Focus on adding different colors and textures by layering different colored sand, mud, stones, shells and succulents. If you want the green theme then try going for tone on tone greens with different textures. Add reds, yellows and oranges if you want it keep it more colorful.
  • Level Play: Different levels contribute to an interesting cluster so play with the levels by placing different lengths of plants and stones together. 
  • Layer Play: Try layering with different colors and textures. Make sure that your layers are thicker so they show up clearly through the glass. My first layer was tiny stones that got completely covered. This was my first attempt at making terrariums so it was a great learning experience. Add bigger stones at the bottom and make the layer thicker so it won’t get covered completely and show through the sides of the glass.
  • Theme Base: Alice in wonderland, rainforest. waterfalls, mountains, zen, garden or ocean, a theme will make it more interesting. 
  • Pretty Props: Add mushrooms, start fish, rocks, rabbits or moss based on your theme. 
  • Cool Container: Based on your theme, you could go for fish bowls, antique lamps or buckets. I absolutely love this mini succulent garden in an Altoids tin idea presented on Free People blog. 

Keeping them Alive:
Now this is the hardest part for me because I don’t have a green thumb. According to experts, succulents don’t need too much water so overwatering is the worst thing you can do. Spray mist lightly or use a straw to water lightly once a week.  

Here are some pretty terrariums that you could draw your inspiration from:
Beach Decor Whelk seashell Air plant
Lime Air Plant Terrarium
Another World Succulent Waterfall Terrarium
Extra Large Jar Terrarium with Bunny 
Exotic Red Dendrobium Orchid Terrarium
Modern Succulent Terrarium with Greens

Here is a video from west elm on how to make your own terrarium. 

What do you think of Terrariums? Would you like to build one?  Would love to hear from you. 🙂

“Whatever we plant in our subconscious mind and nourish with repetition and emotion will one day become a reality.”

Heel in Mint

  23 comments for “So Succulent – DIY Terrarium

  1. December 6, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    very lovely! and in fashionable in way of house design

    Inside and Outside Blog
    P.S. I’m hosting a glasses giveaway on my blog here check it out!

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      Thanks. Glad you liked it. 🙂

  2. December 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful idea and all the photos! x

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:58 pm

      You are welcome 🙂

  3. December 7, 2012 at 12:48 am

    great post

  4. December 7, 2012 at 2:59 am

    I totally agree that handmade gifts are so much more meaningful than store bought ones. This is a lovely idea and the recipient will think of you whenever they view their terrarium. I really like the scale of the one you created in the fishbowl but that mini one in the Altoids tin would be great for those short on space. Thanks for sharing this nifty DIY!

    I also wanted to say thank you for your always thoughtful and kind comments! Your childhood room must’ve been a girly dream 🙂
    Rowena @ rolala loves

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:45 pm

      You are welcome! It is more meaningful and I agree about the Altoids one. My childhood room was very girly and I miss it a lot. I am the only girl in the house now so I don’t get to color my room pink anymore. Too bad.

  5. December 7, 2012 at 1:20 pm

    I try to offer handmade gifts as much as I can. They are special and always have something of yourself in it. It’s not only a gift but a gesture of love.

    I think I’ll create one for myself and another one to offer. 😀

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:47 pm

      It is a gesture of love and not just a gift. It is not that hard to make it so anyone can try this project. 🙂

  6. December 7, 2012 at 1:23 pm

    Wow….. Veey beautiful DIY:)

  7. December 7, 2012 at 3:33 pm

    Love this! They will also make great center pieces for a party or an event. Handmade gifts definitely are the best. It’s fun making them and it’s from the heart.
    XO Wil Harris

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:53 pm

      I agree, they do look great as center pieces and it’s fun making them. They also make you feel proud of yourself every time you look at them and put a smile on your face. I feel good when I can keep the plants alive for more than 6 months because I don’t have a green thumb 🙂

  8. December 7, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    This is such a nice and special DIY…HMMM…Christmas present ideas

    <3 Marina

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:54 pm

      It is and I don’t know of anybody who doesn’t like plants. They might not have a green thumb but again succulents don’t need a lot of attention. 🙂

  9. December 8, 2012 at 5:09 am

    Wow such an awesome idea! I’d never even considered this, but it would make an excellent gift for a few people I know! Thanks!


    • December 11, 2012 at 11:55 pm

      You are welcome. 🙂

  10. December 9, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    This such a cute and adorable idea,I love it,like a mini garden in a bowl! I agree that handmade gifts are so much more personable and meaningful.Thanks so much for your tweets,they were a lovely suprise.Hope your keeping well and having a great weekend x
    Off to check out more of your posts Ive missed out on!

    • December 11, 2012 at 11:57 pm

      It is like a mini garden in a bowl and the glass gives it that aquarium kind of feel which I love. Thank you so much for stopping by. I am doing great and hope you are too. 🙂

  11. December 12, 2012 at 4:10 am

    that is os great! i really want to give this a try sometime! i love the collages and the colors of the plants!

  12. December 12, 2012 at 11:58 am

    Happy december, dear! and my G+ for you…

    Besos, desde España, Marcela♥

  13. December 12, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    This is absolutely gorgeous! What a great idea!

    Kisses, Lucy:)

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