Friday, February 17, 2012

Mini Terrarium (DIY)

Over the years, I've been lucky enough to work in a few different greenhouses.
Spending my day in the fresh, calming atmosphere was so revitalizing, like a private little place just for me.  These mini terrariums are 1.2" to 1.6", the perfect size to add to your own doll sized greenhouse.
Made with dried moss, they are not alive and don't need to be watered or cared for.
They're so cute and not very difficult to make.
Start with your container.
I made three types: a footed bowl, apothecary canister, and a round vase.

For the Footed Bowl 

You will need:
*a clear glass or plastic cap with a unique shape (this lid is from a travel sized bottle of Victoria's Secret Heavenly perfume)
*a clear pony bead
*a clear button
*super glue

Use the button as a base, the pony bead as the stem and top with the perfume cap.
Use super glue to combine them.

For the Apothecary Canister

You will need:
*a tall clear plastic cap (this one is from a bottle of hairspray)
*a clear button
*a detailed clear bead
*super glue

Before any gluing, make sure the button sits comfortably on your plastic cap.
If its small enough to fall into the container, it won't work as a lid.
Glue the bead to the button.
T his will be the handled lid to your canister.

For the Round Vase

You will need:
*tiny glass Christmas ornament (this bulb has a 1" diameter)
*a metal ring or button
*super glue

The button or ring acts as a base for your vase.
Set your vase at a slight angle and attach it to the base with glue.

To Fill Your Container

You will need:
*black brown or beige seed beads (the color of pebbles)
* dried moss
*pretty stones and trinkets
*fake flowers
*3D Crystal Lacquer
*hot glue gun

Terrariums are built in layers.
The base layer in actual terrariums is made of small stones to collect excess water.  For the stone layer, I used black seed beads.  To keep them in place, I added 3D Crystal Lacquer.
A few drops added over the beads will settle in between and hold them in place.
It will look white at first, but dries clear in 1-2 days.  The 3D Lacquer is ideal because its designed to be used in dimensional projects and on materials like plastic, and I like that it dries totally clear.  I bought this bottle on Etsy.  I'm not sure if other glues would work, let me know if you experiment and find something else that works for you.

The next layer is dried moss.
I found a bag at a Michaels store.  At the time, I thought it was so interesting, but had no idea what to do with it.  

Cut a piece of moss into a circular shape slightly smaller than your container.
Set it inside and press down gently.  The lacquer on the beads will hold the moss in place.  For the round bottle vase, I used the head of a push pin to gently nudge the moss through the neck of the bulb.

Many terrariums have a variety of other interesting contents to look at along with the plants.
As the focal point for one of them, I used a tiny birdhouse.  It was originally an Easter ornament for a tiny tree.  You could also use little shells, figurines made to go along with train sets, or jewelry charms.
Use hot glue to 'plant' flowers and leaves. For the round bottle vase, hold the flower with tweezers, add a dab of glue to the 'root' and gently touch it to the moss. If you are adding small stones or beads, drop them in now and use the push pin to move them around.

For the Planter

You will need:
*a plastic cap (this one is from spray butter)
*twine or yarn
*fake flowers
*hot glue gun

Wrap the lid in twine using hot glue to secure the ends.
Trim the stems from your flowers until you are happy with the height when they sit in the planter, then glue in place.  To make curly tendrils, I wrapped the excess wire stems from my roses around a push pin.  The watering bulb is a glass bead cut from a bunch of faux grapes.
To make up the green house scene, I added a cannon piece from the game RISK, a watering can bracelet charm, and the tiny brown bottle was a gift from my friend Kyle.
For inspiration, I spent some time studying this beautiful blog full of ideas for living terrariums: thefernandmossery.  
I adore the look of these creative little indoor gardens.  One of my next projects will be making a full sized real terrarium for my apartment.
Totally Tutorials Blog

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