7 Terrifically Unique Terrariums and My Take On One


I’m a little obsessed with terrariums right now. If my husband would not look at me as if I’ve gone completely cuckoo, I would have a hundred of them. There is something so totally magical about them; like a perfectly imperfect world in a bubble. There are as many terrarium themes as there are potential containers and sizes…basically the possibilities are boundless.

Take a peek at these seven terrifically unique terrariums.

7 Terrifically Unique Terrariums
7 Terrifically Unique Terrariums

1. Meadow & Mountain Terrarium: Doodle Birdie’s Etsy Shop , 2. Clam Shell Terrarium: Centsationalgirl.com , 3. Tiny Jar Terrarium: slugandsquirrel.blogspot.com , 4. Tiny Mushroom Terrarium: Lovely Terrariums Etsy shop , 5. Coffee Press Terrarium: Level One Team, 6. Hanging Terrarium: Gems Of The Soil Etsy Shop , 7. Berry Basket Terrarium: Simple As That blog



I’ve had a variety of terrariums in the past but they are not the easiest thing to move interstate so often, the plants get donated and the containers, wrapped in 5 lbs of bubble wrap, get stored. That was the case with the big glass bubble I’m using for this terrarium project. At my Portland home, I had originally filled it with sand and succulents and had it on the guest bath vanity…sadly they died. I made an ethical decision to not torture any more live plants so the second time I filled it with faux succulents. Thankfully, since succulents have become so trendy, the quality of these little plastic pachyphytums is pretty awesome. I even had a guest complement me on my green thumb (why thank you!)



Since moving to Arizona I have started a losing battle with little gnasty gnats! They come from my house plants and I have waged war on them. I spray my soil with anti-gnat juice EVERY week. I have bright yellow sticky gnat traps in EVERY pot. I read that they like moist soil so I try not to over water my plants. YET THEY ARE STILL HERE! I forfeited my yogurt to one yesterday and this morning, two of them hijacked my coffee. The only satisfaction I get is that they DIED in the yogurt and coffee. Anyway, this post is about beautiful terrariums and not gno good gnasty gnaughty gnats. I did have a reason for bringing them up though; it is because of these annoying tiny creatures that I decided to do a mix of live cactus (which require very little water) and my faux succulents (because the real ones require more water, which equals moist soil…and you guessed it, more gnats). I also did some research on types of soil so that maybe I could find an alternative that is less attractive to the gnats. As you can see, the gnats have A LOT to do with it!

Terrarium Making Supplies
My soil choice: Bonsai Jack Succulent and Cactus Soil and Organic Cactus Mix



There are already so many great guides on making terrariums, like this one from www.dessima.co and this one from www.46spruce.com.

Simply put, there’s four basic steps:


1. Pick a container: fish bowls, canning jars, tea pots, science beakers…really the possibilities are endless. One of my favorite places to pick up affordable yet beautiful glass – HomeGoods.

2. Make your layers – starting from the bottom: rocks, then charcoal, then soil, then moss and/or pebbles (YES, this is important).

3. Plant your Plants – cacti, succulents and air plants for OPEN terrariums. Moss, begonias, ferns and violets for CLOSED terrariums.

4. Add some personality: terrariums are like settings in a little story so don’t forget to add some character like figurines, bridges, a geode or special stone…



cacti and succulent terrarium


cacti and succulent terrarium



And for a desert setting… I definitely needed a little lizard (Dollar store lizard + Metallic paint)

With the terrarium complete, I realized there were enough faux succulents left over to fill a metal trough I had. You’ll see where I put this on my next post… see you have to come back now!

faux succulent arrangement


Thanks for joining me on this little creative adventure. I hope you enjoyed it and are feeling inspired to create your own perfectly imperfect world in a terrarium.



  1. Lori McArthur | 2nd Aug 17

    So glad you are starting a craft blog, you have a great eye, and great ideas

    • JoElle | 2nd Aug 17

      Thanks so much Lori…and thank you for taking the time to check it out and leave a comment. I hope to see you again soon on the blog’s discussion board. Cheers!!

  2. Tania | 2nd Aug 17

    I love your terrarium JoElle! I recently planted one too but I’m just not sure if it’s going to make it! I’ll keep trying tho…luckily we don’t really have an issue with gnats…just one here and there every so often.


    • JoElle | 2nd Aug 17

      Thanks Tania. I didn’t have such a gnat problem in Oregon but here…it’s a constant battle. I’ve had the terrarium for about 3 weeks now and I haven’t seen any of the gnasty gnats coming from there. I got a little pipette watering thing, small enough to fit in the opening of the terrarium. About every other week I squeeze a little water onto the cacti and that seems to be working. I hope your terrarium survives! Thanks for supporting my blog and your encouraging comments.

  3. Vikki | 2nd Aug 17

    Loved your terrarium–so beautiful and creative. I’ve tried the moist/fern type terrariums in the past but never succeeded in creating the gnat-free environment. Thank you for all the helpful hints and pictures suggesting interesting containers. (Hate those gnasty gnats!!!)

    • JoElle | 2nd Aug 17

      Thank you so much for checking out the post and your kind comments, Vikki. I tried one of the rainforesty terrariums once too but it got kind of moldy. I know there is a trick to it and I think much of it lies in the type of soil you use and putting in the layers. I didn’t know about the whole layer of charcoal thing back then…maybe that would have helped?

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