Mini Ecosystems

My current obsession is terrariums. I can’t get enough of them, they are too cute! I also have been on a gardening kick and the cool weather will be rolling in soon so I am trying to find ways to bring it indoors. If you’re interested in making your own forest style terrarium read on ^.^

This is specifically for a forest style terrarium. If you are interested in a desert or beach terrarium you will want different types of plants that go well together and a different type of potting mixture such as sand/peat. I also suggest looking into air plants, they are really neat looking and easy to maintain.


A Clear Glass Vessel of your choice
Potting Soil (preferably with fertilizer)
Small River Rocks or some sort of Pebbles
Activated Carbon (you can find this at a pet store)
Terrarium Plants (slow growing and small)
Assorted Found Items
Clay or Ceramic Figurines
A Spray Bottle

First spray down and clean out your glass vessel with hot water to disinfect. I chose a large round vase with a base. Terrariums without lids are easier to care for but ones with lids can be very visually appealing just be sure to chose plants that do well in humidity and never over water.

Next you’ll want to add a layer of your rocks or pebbles for drainage.

Also add a small amount of carbon on top of layer.

Next get out your potting soil. This part may vary depending on the type of terrarium. For a forest terrarium a simple potting soil with long term fertilizer will work.

Fill your vessel and dig shallow holes for your plants to fit into. I like to make the soil have small hills to mimic a natural environment.

Get your terrarium plants together. I used three plants I found in a dried flower shop in Pittsburgh’s Strip District and sadly they were only labeled terrarium plants so I do not know their proper names. There are many resources online to figure out which species of plants work best in a humid environment. Make sure they are small and slow growing. I used Ivy on my first terrarium and it grew EVERYWHERE. Cute but it takes a lot of maintenance to cut it back every day.

I also bought a pot of baby’s/angel tears that will act as a ground covering along with some petrified moss.

Gently break up roots from the soil they came in.

Add plants to terrarium.

Add ground covering as desired. I also added some of the pebbles I used for drainage to make a faux riverbed.

Now gather all your found objects 😀 I love this part! My boyfriend got in on t and found me all sorts of lovely things including gnarled sticks and vines, sparkly geodes, shiny stones, and feathers.

Go to town! Decorate your terrarium and make it look sweet.

After adding your natural elements you may wish to add glass bottles, ceramic figurines, plastic ornaments or whatever else you can find or make. I made two little mushrooms out of polymer clay and added some pant to create some whimsy.

Here is the finished product 😀 Forgive the photo quality, these were all taken on my phone 😛

Let me know what you think in the comments. If you make one link me to a picture please! I would love to see what you come up with. Next tutorial is going to be a micro-terrarium.


About Candy Kisses

I'm an aspiring designer who one day wishes to move to New York and make it big! As of now I work at a restaurant near my apartment in pittsburgh to make ends meet while running a small business called Candy Kiss Couture, on etsy consisting of my designs, and crafts at I love all things beauty, fashion, and glamour as well as all things Art ^.^ Also an interesting tid bit about myself: I love to play dress up, cause I'll never be too old for that! I am fascinated by glitter, shiny things, lace, neon colors, pastel colors, alright colors in general. I guess that's more than enough about me we'll get to know each other as I blog. Thanks for checking my page out.
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One Response to Mini Ecosystems

  1. dena miller says:

    Love it and it looks great!!! I will definitely share my creation with you when I put it together. Hopefully it will be soon!

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