The Wannabe Gardener’s Guide to Making a Terrarium

DIY Terrarium

Living in an apartment, I can’t exactly have my own backyard garden full of home-grown vegetables and fruits or have pretty blooming flowers. The apartment lifestyle lends itself to miniature everything, including gardens. Unless you live in some fancy apartment with a rooftop garden (um… jealous), you have to make some compromises. Enter: miniature terrariums. Not only are they small, easy to take care of and can be kept indoors, but they are also all the rage in home décor right now. Here, I breakdown exactly how I created my DIY terrarium.

What You Need:

  • Garden tools: A garden scoop, tweezers will come in handy
  • A tablespoon from your kitchen
  • Container of your choice (I used cookie jars from the Dollar Store, and a pretty vase I found around the house)
  • Decorative things: (ideas: seashells, little painted rocks, crystals, marbles, colored sand, etc.)
  • Potting soil
  • Sphaghum Moss
  • Plants – depending on size of container – about 3 small plants


Tips: Buy your plants first (before you decide on a container). I decided on my containers first, and then got my plants which ended up being too big for my container!  So I repeat: pick out your plants, then choose your container.

Step 1: Place some rocks in the bottom of the container. I added about 2 inches of rocks – ensure that it covers the bottom of the container.

terrarium tutorial

Step 2: Pull out the sphaghum moss and try to pound it flat with your fist or fingers, spread the moss over the rocks and make sure the rocks are covered. The moss will ensure the soil doesn’t seap down through your rocks.

Step 3: Scoop some potting soil in now – not too much – about 1-2 inches of soil.

Step 4: Grab your first plant and squeeze the container to gently shake out the plant, place the plant in your terrarium container where you want to place it and begin scooping more potting soil in the container around the plant in order to build up around the plant and firmly plant its roots.

Step 5: Repeat Step 4 for your 2nd and 3rd plants (or however many you’d like)

Step 6: Once you have planted your plants, you can add some decorative elements you choose. I added some crystal rocks, and a couple seashells – both of which I had laying around the house.

*Plant suggestions: miniature African violets, little missy, artillery plant, black prince succulent, echeveria topsy turvy, golden Japanese stonecrop, cacti, and other succulents.

It is smart to choose plants that have similar needs so that you can care for them properly!

Some more inspiration for your terrarium:

Hanging terrariums

Glass hanging terrariums from Brit.Co

Terrarium Inspiration

Make your terrarium in unique containers like these ones from Urban Outfitters.


These desert-inspired terrariums as center pieces for tables in this wedding are to die for.


I love the textures and variety in this terrarium 


Go terrarium crazy now! Tag me @metropolette on Instagram or Twiter to show me your designs!




Metrópolette is the go to guide for women who strive to live a sustainable, but glamorous life in the city. We post lifestyle content ranging from career advice, beauty, how to decorate that tiny apartment, recipes that are easy and quick for you busy go-getters, budget-friendly travel and everything in between.

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