In elementary school there was nothing I loved more than making dioramas.
Lucky for me, dioramas were always a project option. Read a book? Great. Make a diorama portraying one of your favorite scenes.
This delight in miniature worlds probably explains my fascination with terrariums. I’ve been wanting to make a terrarium for years. Building a terrarium was a project during last summer’s Maker Camp. I was confident my house would be lousy with terrariums by summer’s end. Christmas presents for everyone! Terrariums all around!
Summer came and went, and there was not one terrarium to be had. For some reason the project just seemed so overwhelming. What do you mean I have to go out and buy charcoal?
What do you mean I can’t use real moss? I have real moss right outside my door.
All of this required SHOPPING just seemed like such a pain in the a** (I really hate shopping).
However, things started coming together when I was in the craft store buying supplies for my toy hack. I added a bag of artificial moss to my cart. This was the result:
I broke off small pieces of moss and dropped them inside the ornaments, which I bought on sale after Christmas YEARS ago. There was no strategic placement of the moss mainly because I lacked long tweezers like the ones shown here:
The opening to the ornament is too small for chopsticks, which you can also use for placing plants and terrarium creatures.
I stole the centipede from my son’s collection of plastic insects. So far he hasn’t noticed that it’s missing. World of Mirth, a local toy store, also has a collection of unique plastic bits and bobs. I plan to pick up some creatures there for future terrariums.
I’ve looked at two tutorials: one from Hipster Home that recommends tillandsea for the greenery and advises against the use of soil, real moss, etc. and another from Make Magazine that uses soil, charcoal, and a variety of real plants.
My terrarium doesn’t have any base (no sand, no soil, just fake moss dumped in). I’m interested in building terrariums based on both tutorials to see which works the best.