I was browsing Etsy and came across some really cool terrariums.
I figured I could never make anything with that much attention to detail, but I was intrigued.
So intrigued that I dumped the three pickles I owned out, washed the jar and promptly put it on the top shelf of my cupboards where it sat for three months. I'm a hurry up and wait kind of gal.
Today I was laying in bed, feeling sorry for myself and figured that wasn't the best way to spend a Saturday. EVILBOY and I went on a little hike and I figured I could get the supplies I needed for the terrarium while we were out.
Without further ado, here is how I built a terrarium. It may not have it's own Walter White, but it does have a clothes line...oh and a little door...
-Jar of pickles (emptied and washed out)
-"Goo Gone" (helped to remove the absurdly sticky pickle label)
-Soil (I used a mixture of 50/50 potting soil and some of the soil that I dug from the moss site)
-Moss (Look for it in damp/shaded areas, I found mine near the bottom of a tree)
-Small figure (Kinder Egg toys are a good size)
1. Prepare your jar - You can use any size/shape of jar you would like. I decided to recycle a pickle jar. Because I was using a jar that had been used to store food, I washed it out really well. The jar I chose also had a really sticky label, so I had to use some "Goo Gone" to get the pickle label off. Even after using the Goo Gone, a bit of the residue was still there. This is pretty much a newbie error. I decided to go on with my jar even with this flaw, because it sat on my shelf for months. It had sentimental value at this point!
2. Gather your material - EVILBOY and I went for a little hike along the bike path. I was having a hard time finding moss. I figured it would be growing everywhere on trees, but this was not the case. After Googling where to find moss (yes, I had to Google it!), I learned that moss grows in damp, shaded areas. I also thought it would be on trees, but it was under a tree, kind of close to it but not growing anywhere ON the tree as I thought it would have been. I'm sure there are many types of moss, you can even buy it online.
I made sure to take a bit of dirt from the area surrounding the moss. I figured that was probably the best kind of soil to use since it was already sustaining the moss.
I also gathered enough small rocks or pebbles to cover the bottom of the jar.
3. Cover the lid - My jar also had a printed bird on the lid and the company slogan. To cover it, I took a piece of scrap material (you may recognize it from my office project) and hot glued it to the lid.
I didn't get too fancy here. I put the glue on the top of the lid and plopped it face down onto the fabric, searing off my fingerprints in the process. When that was finished, I cut around the lid in a circular shape with EVILBOY's dull school scissors. It doesn't have to be a perfect fit to cover the side of the jar lid because we will trim the excess off later.
I found the easiest method was to glue around the rim of the lid (on the out side!), gluing a few centimeters and then pulling the fabric down tightly to the edge of the lid. This is easier if the lid has already been glued down to the fabric (and dried!). Mine was still a bit wet so the fabric slid a bit. I also got pretty sloppy cutting with EVILBOY's scissors so I had a bit of a shortage on one side.
Once you've gone all the way around with the fabric, you should wait a few minutes for it to dry and then trim the edges with (sharp) scissors.
I'm sure there is an easier method to cover a lid with fabric, but this is how I did it and it worked. If you have an easier way that doesn't burn off your fingerprints, you are probably best to do it that way.
4. Fill your jar - I started by filling the bottom of the jar with pebbles. I did some research online for terrariums and I was surprised that they didn't start with pebbles on the bottom. My mom always told me to put rocks in the bottom of my plants to dissipate the water. I guess because the moss doesn't really need much water, the rocks are kind of useless. I still liked to have a little layer of rocks though. It just seemed right.
The next layer was a 50/50 mixture of potting soil and the soil I dug up from the moss site. Looking back, I probably should have collected a bit more dirt from the moss site and made it like a 70/30 split. Either way, it's dirt. Hopefully it does what it is supposed to do.
I saturated the soil with water. I added a bit too much water and had to dump some out. Although now that I look at the finished product, it looks a bit dry near the lower level. I guess I would have added a bit more water even and let it trickle down the soil for an hour or so before adding the moss.
I wiped out the inside of the jar with a cloth to get as much of the dirt off the glass as possible. It was pretty messy because I had to dump some of the excess water out. If you can skip that little mistake, you probably won't have much to wipe down.
5 - Add Moss/Decorate - I wanted my terrarium to look like a little hut built into a moss hill. I built up the dirt on one side (I put it up higher against the flawed glass side of the jar) and added moss to all the dirt surfaces. I put down one layer and I tried not to overlap too much with the moss just so the tiny roots all had access to the soil.
I made a little door out of sticks hot glued together. I made a little window too but it ended up the "little" window was a little too big for the project. I also made a "clothes line" using two sticks and some thread and a tiny scrap of material (from the lid covering). I also added a few of the leftover rocks.
I found a little Winnie the Pooh character that has been kicking around my desk at work for a few years now. It actually was a perfect fit for this project because the stand that he was built on broke off and he has little pegs sticking out the bottom of his feet. I'm not a huge Winnie the Pooh fan, but this is just my test. If this works out, I plan on having a whole army of Hello Kitty/Megazord terrariums in my craft room!
So this is my test terrarium. I have so many ideas if this one works out. If you would like an update on this project leave a comment and I will add a current photo to this post.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Hello..this is my blog. I bought this fancy theme and I don't know what to write here just yet. Maybe one day remind me I have to write something inspiring here?