Give a little bit of green…

Gnome Terrarium

The next time you need a gift for a co-worker, friend, teacher make them a terrarium.  Terrariums make great gifts, especially for those who work 8-5 and spend a lot of time at their desks.  They are very fun to make and sure to please the recipient!

1) Find the perfect jar.  It needs to have a lid and can be any size.  The smaller the jar the harder to make.  You can find great jars at flea markets and thrift stores. I have used jelly jars, spaghetti jars, spice jars, etc.

2) You will need stones, moss(dried florist type or spaghnum moss), soil, activated charcoal (I get mine at the pet shop).

2) Pick a plant.  I have an abundant supply of moss, so that is what I use.  If you do not have access to moss get a miniature plant that does well in warm moist environments such as a fern, ivy, any type of ground covering plant or moss.

3) Gather your tools. Some items you may need include:

  • A funnel
  • Spay bottle with distilled water (any bottled water)
  • A spoon/spade
  • Something to tamper your soil. Can be a skewer with a small cork on end.
  • Tweezers or chopsticks depending on how narrow the neck of your container is.
  • A small, soft-bristled brush like a child’s paintbrush
  • Q-tips

Start by adding a layer of pebbles or stones depending on the size of your container. Next add layer of moss, this helps to keep the soil from settling down into the rocks. Next I mix the soil and charcoal together 1/1 then add thin layer of soil mixture to top of moss layer. The charcoal helps filter the air in the closed aquarium therefore helps keep your aquarium from smelling bad. You can now begin adding you plants.  Using your tweezers or chopsticks arrange the plants to your liking. You can add ornaments and decorations if you wish.  I have found some adorable miniature gnomes, and other whimsical type figures at the flea market and online. Caring for your terrarium is easy.  Make sure to keep it out of direct sunlight. Your terrarium needs indirect light.  You only need to water if you do not see any condensation forming inside the terrarium.  The whole idea of the lid is that it creates condensation, watering itself.  If it creates to much condensation, just remove the lid for a few minutes.  You will want to remove the lid about once a week or so to let it air out for a while.  Get the kids involved, I know my kids love making these!

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