Gardening Houseplants How to Make a Forest Terrarium Repurpose an old fish tank into a beautiful terrarium filled with forest features by following this kid-friendly guide. By Viveka Neveln Viveka Neveln Instagram Viveka Neveln is the Garden Editor at BHG and a degreed horticulturist with broad gardening expertise earned over 3+ decades of practice and study. She has more than 20 years of experience writing and editing for both print and digital media. Learn about BHG's Editorial Process Published on November 30, 2017 Share Tweet Pin Email Project Overview Working Time: 1 hour Total Time: 1 hour Skill Level: Kid-friendly A vintage fish tank picked up at a thrift shop houses this simple terrarium. The tank frames a miniature piece of forest, scaled down for ease of contemplation. A small evergreen breaks the box shape, making this terrarium even more stunning. With this step-by-step guide, you'll soon have a beautiful, miniature forest gracing your space! What You'll Need Equipment / Tools 1 Scissors 1 Sharp knife Materials 1 Aquarium, about 15 x 8 x 10 inches 1 Pea gravel 1 Horticultural or activated charcoal 1 Vinyl window screening 1 Peat moss or potting soil 1 Norfolk Island pine 1 Sheet moss—Green-Preserved Moss Mat 1 Small terrarium plants 1 Decorative rock Instructions Pour Gravel Pour a 2-inch layer of pea gravel evenly across the floor of the terrarium. Distribute a 1/2-inch layer of horticultural charcoal over the gravel. The diversity of textures will be visible from the outside of the terrarium since the container is clear. Related: Host a Terrarium Making Party Place Window Screen Use scissors to cut a piece of vinyl window screen to 15 x 8 inches, or the size of the base of your aquarium. The screen should cover the charcoal and gravel layers and prevent them from mixing with the next layer you're going to add. Place the screen on top of the charcoal. Place Soil and Pine Add a 1-inch layer of peat moss or potting soil over the screen. Place the pine where you'd like it; we put ours to the side to make plenty of room for our other forest elements. Surround the pine with more peat moss or potting soil. Cut and Add Moss Cut the green mat of preserved moss to fit the terrarium. Into one side of the mat, cut a slit that will fit around the miniature tree. Adding in green moss to your terrarium mimics grass in your tiny forest. Place the moss mat inside the tank so it forms the top layer of your terrarium. Open the slit to wrap the moss around the pine.. Make sure to leave a peak of soil under the mini pine tree so it can breathe, and even add a more realistic affect. Add in Aesthetics Use a knife or box cutter to cut small slits in the sheet moss and tuck in smaller plants. To keep it simple and uncluttered, add either one decorative rock, small statue, or woodland figure. This will really bring life to your terrarium, and create a lifelike affect you will surely enjoy.