How To Build A Terrarium


They’re very “in” at the moment, aren’t they? Terrariums.

I previously only liked to admire them on places like Pinterest and so on, however over a recent bank holiday where anything “lazy” goes, Lloyd and I felt the urge to be spontaneously creative!

With the introduction of all of these new geometric style vases and such coming out for these kind of projects, we were drawn in easily, as its currently very much a “trend” we’ve adopted into our own scheme for the refurb.

SO, naturally I just had to share the experience with you because it was fun, pretty, and I really do think that if you’ve not had a go before and you’re into this kind of “nature and hands-on-y” style fun, then you’ll find a new found love for these little eco systems in no time at all.

The beauty of your new terrarium (despite the obvious looks) is that you can go any budget you want with the thing. On this occasion we went a little on the plush side (total spend of around £50), but you can patch one together for as little as £10 by having your container be an old glass bowl, old lantern, I dunno, as long as its sealed on the base and sides so that your soil and stones don’t fall out, you’re good!

You will need:

  • Your container of choice!
  • Some cacti compost (Compost must be open and free draining, to help prevent waterlogging and recreate natural habitat. Cacti compost is readily available and premixed for your convenience at local garden centres).
  • Small stones to help further with drainage, rooting, and pretty layering.
  • Decorative sand/stone (purely cosmetic).
  • Decorative wood pieces (again, cosmetic and decorative).
  • Succulents/cacti/air plants (your preference of type)!
  • A dessert spoon (for digging your holes and spreading your stones/sand)
  • A spray bottle for watering (a more delicate way of watering the smaller guys. The spray also helps the water to disperse better and help generate humidity better). You’ll want to give a good dousing at least once a week

Fun Fact! Air plants are cool little guys that grow without soil! They literally live off air, and the roots are used as anchors! They attach happily to wood and rock cracks. The cutest thing about them (in my opinion) is their “offsets” or offspring, are called “pups”!



Seriously, anything goes! Get creative, and enjoy creating your own little world in there! There are some basics to abide by if you want to make sure everything happens in the best order possible, but I most certainly am only here to inspire as oppose to tell you how your creation SHOULD look. That is entirely up to you (and the best bit!).

Helpful Pointers.

  • Pop your small stones/gravel in first. It provides a good base for your soil.
  • Soil should be added at a measure which comfortable covers your succulent’s roots, but don’t suffocate it. Keep the succulent’s main soil “body” from the plant pot a guide to how deep you need to go. Make sure you gently loosen the roots up too first before planting. It helps them to relax and find their way better in their new home that way.
  • Use any old spoon to get stuck in with positioning your succulents. A dessert spoon (for larger containers) worked wonders in this instance.
  • Once your succulents are in place and tucked in, you can add decorative sand or stones around them! Be as creative as you like! Go natural or go rainbow! Your call!
  • Add accents like larger stones, wood bark, and other decorative items to create ambience and a sense of environment.
  • When you’re done, give your new terrarium a generous spray of water to really wet the soil through.
  • Position for everyone to admire!

Things to be aware of.

  • Water at least once a week (I’ll go for about 2). Remember, these kinds of plants love humidity and dry conditions, but of course still need water to live!
  • If you see any condensation forming for long periods of time on your terrarium, you’ve over watered. Wipe any away, and ease off a little.
  • IF you own pets as I do, make sure you do your research first and check that the succulents and plant life you’re adding to your terrarium are non toxic to animals. Sure, it might be stored out of reach, but you NEVER KNOW!

Enjoy! I’d love to see any of your cool little worlds if you get round to making any, OR if you’re already an addict! Share your pics in links in the comments if you like!


Rough Cost Breakdown.

  • Geometric Medium/Large Container (glass and brass) £34 | Local garden centre.
  • Collection of succulents and cacti range from £1.99 – £5.99 | My total came to approx £12 | Local garden centre.
  • A large air plant | range from £6.99 - £15.00 | Ours was a larger variety at £15 | Local garden centre.
  • Cacti Compost | £5.99 | Local garden centre.
  • Gravel | £2.99 | Local garden centre or FREE from the beach/woods.
  • Decorative wood | £2.99 | Local garden centre of  FREE from the woods/park.
  • Other decorative stones | FREE from anywhere outside usually (unless you’re a big city dweller, then you can always order some off the internet for next to nothing).
  • Spray bottle | £2.99 ish or FREE if recycled from your old hair spritz products, kitchen cleaner (make sure it’s DEFINITELY clean though before use!!), or similar.

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