DIY Bottle Terrarium

Bicycling in the wilderness, backpacking in the mountains, fly-fishing at dawn—you can keep memories alive by sealing them in an apothecary jar.

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What You Need

  • Clear glass container with an opening large enough to insert plants
  • Gloves
  • Clean 1⁄2- to 3⁄4-inch pebbles
  • Bowl
  • Dried sphagnum moss
  • Dowel for tamping
  • Moistened potting soil
  • Wooden spoon
  • Terrarium plants such as ferns, mini philodendrons, and palm seedlings
  • Oversize tweezers
  • Lichen, stones, driftwood, shells, and/or other bits of nature
  • Figurines (let your fantasy flow!)
  • Turkey baster or small measuring cup with a spout

Step 1: Add Pebbles

To build the foundation of your terrarium, insert a 1- to 2-inch layer (depending on the size of the glassware) of pebbles into the base of the container.

Step 2: Prep and Add Sphagnum Moss and Soil

Fully moisten the sphagnum moss in a bowl, and wring out the excess water—it's important to maintain only slight moisture in your terrarium. Insert a thin layer of sphagnum moss into the container, and tamp it down with a dowel. Then spoon 1 inch of moistened soil into the container, tamping it down.

Step 3: Add Plants

Unpot one of your mini plants, and massage the roots to loosen them before inserting the plant into the container with a pair of tweezers. Carefully place it firmly into the soil and repeat with additional plants. Be sure to leave some growing room between the plants.

Step 4: Finish It Off

Add soil to fill in gaps, and tamp it to keep the plants firmly in place. With tweezers, insert lichen, stones, twigs, and natural objects. Add "the talent" with figurines to create the scene of your dreams. To finish, add 1-2 tablespoons of water with the turkey baster or cup, and seal opening with the stopper.

More Creative Terrarium Tips

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