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Terrarium Craft project: “A Girl’s Best Friend”

by Timber Press on February 10, 2015

in Craft

063_kb100808_042-550-WEBA Girl’s Best Friend

This elegant piece is the Marilyn Monroe of the terrarium world—fluffy, soft, curvy, and spiked with sass—a definite show-stopper and larger-than-life experience. Layers of ermine-white sand, nubbly pebble, smooth river rock, jewel-like sea urchin, raw fluorite rock, and downy clumps of moss are topped with a superstar succulent to create a sparkly, almost edible vision of sensual abundance.

Read on to learn how to make this elegant terrarium.


  • 1 curvy glass vase (32 inches tall)
  • 12 cups pure quartz sand
  • 6 cups white pebbles
  • 4 white river rocks
  • 4 handfuls cream reindeer moss
  • 4 handfuls chartreuse reindeer moss
  • 1 handful small mexican river rocks, or other inexpensive rocks
  • 1 Haworthia venosa subsp. tessellata (2- or 4-inch pot)
  • chopsticks
  • 3 green sea urchins
  • 5 green river rocks
  • 14 raw fluorite rocks
  • 1 piece of ammonite (fossilized nautilus shell)


  1. Clean terrarium glass inside and out.
  2. Pour pure quartz sand into glass and shake container to settle it.
  3. Add white pebbles on a slant.
  4. Place white river rocks on one side, with a small bunch of cream reindeer moss above it; add some small Mexican river rocks (or another inexpensive rock) in the center of the terrarium to elevate the plant.
  5. Drop the potted haworthia plant in center, followed by more small pinches of cream and chartreuse reindeer moss to conceal the pot. (Chopsticks come in handy to push reindeer moss and other materials into place.)
  6. Slide green sea urchins down sides of glass, along with a small pile of green river rocks, the raw fluorite rocks, and the piece of ammonite.


This spectacular piece is large enough to work on the floor but it is equally impressive on a table, where the detail can be seen up close. To water the haworthia, use a small container or turkey baster so you can get your hand down far enough inside the glass.


Haworthia venosa subsp. tessellata thrives in bright, indirect light or a half to full day of sun; just pull terrarium away from window on hot summer days, as terrarium glass intensifies heat. Water lightly year-round when the soil dries out to the touch. To water, pour 1/2 cup of water slowly at base of plant so water fills inside of pot. Apply a weak solution of quarter-strength fertilizer every other watering during spring and summer.


Here’s another great terrarium idea demonstrated by author Amy Aiello:


aiello_aAmy Bryant Aiello spent her early childhood wandering around the forests and wetlands of Minnesota. Inspired by lessons gleaned in plants, animals, and the natural world, Amy went on to study photography and installation art at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. Amy and her husband are the owners of Artemisia, a popular Portland, Oregon, boutique specializing in terrariums, indoor gardens, and fine art. Amy’s terrariums are one-of-a-kind botanical worlds that are created with a palette of living plants, natural materials, and personal objects.

bryant_kKate Bryant blends her love of writing and gardening, having contributed to gardening books including the two-volume Flora encyclopedia and newspapers such as The Oregonian. She’s also contributed to lifestyle magazines such as Portland Monthly, in which her column and gardening blog, Plantwise, appear. Kate has worked in plant nurseries and volunteered for community garden projects, urban tree plantings, and local Master Gardener programs. Kate runs a garden design, maintenance, and consulting business in Portland, Oregon.


Click image to see inside this book:


“Simple growing tips and chic design know-how in an easy-to-follow, lovely-to-read format. Creating your own terrarium will definitely be next on your crafty to-do list.” —Dwell

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