DIY: Artificial Terrarium

If you’re like me, you love greenery in your home! I can’t get enough of it, but apparently it can get enough of me – I am a master when it comes to killing plants. You know that old saying, ‘if at first you don’t succeed, try try again’? Well, that has become my motto when caring for plants. A couple months ago some girlfriends and I went to a great terrarium workshop at a lovely little store called Habitat in downtown Edmonton. They supply you with it all; from the plants and sand to the glitter and dinosaur (yes, you read that correctly, I said dinosaur). Me and my new little creation were so happy, until we weren’t. I bet you know where this story is going… Yes. I killed it. All of it. Those plants didn’t stand a chance, but my little dinosaur somehow survived the massacre and is still thriving! habitat terrariumI’m not sure what I did to be honest, I thought I followed the care instructions to a tee. One day it was fine (so I thought) two days later the plants looked like they were hit with some serious weed killer. After killing our Bonsai tree, our store bought cactus garden AND this terrarium, I decided enough was enough.

I missed the presence of succulents in my home. After my wedding I sold the majority of my decor, but I thought my card box was just too gorgeous to part ways with. I thought about what I could use it for and finally settled on……. another terrarium. This one was going to be different, this one was going to last, this one was going to be fake!

I knew if I bought another terrarium I would be throwing money down the drain. This fake terrarium ended up costing me just under $50.00 for all the contents to go inside the box. I bought my fake succulents from Pier 1 Imports and Michaels  You can also buy some from Urban Barn and Flower Affairs. Tip: Michaels was having a fab 50% off sale on their fake florals, be sure to look out for these deals pre-project! (Click here to see how else I took advantage of this sale).

fake succulents
Another Tip: Call these stores ahead of time to make sure they have them, Urban Barn usually does but didn’t at this particular moment. I know Flower Affairs has a beautiful selection, but they were closed when I was shopping on Sunday.

terrarium tools

Here’s what you need: Fake succulents of all shapes, sizes and colours, dirt, sand (if you don’t have a sandbox, Michaels sells some), rocks, moss (optional, can also be bought at Michaels), a glass container of your choosing (HomeSense usually has a wonderful selection), a dinosaur or animal figurine (optional, but highly encouraged) and wire cutters (to cut the wire stems to size).

Here’s what you do:
Step 1: Fill the bottom with half an inch of dirt. Really pack it down so the sand doesn’t ‘fill in’ the gaps (I didn’t do a good enough job of this *insert eye roll*).
Step 2: Pour the sand evenly on top of the dirt, about another half an inch.
Step 3: Map out where you want to put your fake plants.
Step 4: Place your plants/cut your stems. Cut the stems with your wire cutter to get your desired height. I cut the stem and placed the plant one at a time. You may need to use your finger to create a little hole in the sand and dirt to set and secure your plant.
Step 5: Cover the sand with rocks! Tip: you can either put the rocks on the bottom or the top, it really is personal preference. In living terrariums rocks tend to go on the bottom to provide drainage. Since we don’t have that problem with this project, I put them on the top!
Step 6: Place your extras, i.e. moss, bigger rocks & little Dino.
Step 7: Admire your work! ❤

It really is a simple project! The hardest part for me was finding fake succulents that actually looked real – I found a lot of the green ones were far too neon in colour. No thank you.


If you make your own please send us pictures of them, we’d love to see your creation and feature your work below!

Until next post, Jessica ❤

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Thanks for visiting our blog! We're sisters & moms from Edmonton who adore beautiful spaces! We love easy DIY projects and hope to inspire you to make your home that much more beautiful without breaking the bank. We're all about home and party inspiration, so be sure to check back regularly to see what we're designing!

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