Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Make a Moss Terrarium

Moss terrariums are a wonderful way to bring a bit of nature indoors. These lush, moist habitats are just fascinating to watch and, best of all, are easy enough to care for that even those of us with black thumbs can manage!

This is a simple activity that you can get your kids to help you with making this a really wonderful idea for a thoughtful gift(and if you're thinking of gifting one of these, don't forget to include a card from the etsygreetings team)

Here's what you'll need for this activity:

A selection of moss. I just walked around my house and found several different varieties. It's fun to mix different shades and textures -- some moss is made up of tiny ferns, some has tiny shoots sprouting off of it, some forms itself into soft roundish "pill0ws."

Rocks. Again, I found mine around the house.

A wide-mouthed clear glass jar. Raid your recycling for an old mayonnaise jar or something similar. I've also purchased some lovely jars from Goodwill for just a few bucks.

Charcoal. Various tutorials I've read mention that you can purchase activated charcoal from the pet supply shop, however my husband claims that the charcoal we use for grilling is the same thing.

Sphagnum Moss (or something similar to keep the soil on top of the stones). I pulled mine off an old hanging planter.

Potting soil.

Here's what to do: Wash your jar and rinse out well. Add stones to the bottom for drainage. On top of the stones, add in a layer of sphagnum moss to keep the dirt separate from the stones.

Mix up some potting soil with some crushed charcoal (my eight-year-old twins loved breaking up the charcoal briquettes with a hammer for this activity). The charcoal filters the water and keeps your terrarium smelling sweet. Moisten the mixture and add in a layer to your jar. It doesn't have to be deep -- just cover the sphagnum moss. For interest, you can mound the dirt in some areas to make little hills.

Now comes the fun part: Add your moss! Press it down firmly so that it is anchored on the dirt. If you like, you can add in some miniature figurines (mushrooms, wildlife) or pretty stones or shells for interest. Mine is now inhabited by a sweet little stick bug ("Sticky"), donated by my boys.

When everything's in place, mist it thoroughly. It should always remain moist inside, with condensation on the inside.

With the lid on, the terrarium should be fairly self-sustaining, perfect for those of us who like nature but aren't particularly handy at keeping plants alive. You should be able to keep it alive with just a gentle misting every 2-3 weeks.




Orange Cat Art said...

Great tutorial! Thanks MollyLee!

Lucky Duck Designs said...

Great idea for an article!! Fun project for our crafty readers :).

Handmade in Israel said...

Nice idea! Thanks for this, Molly.

ctb003 said...

I remember making a moss terrarium as a child and pretending that a little fairy lived in it. Thanks for the tutorial and the memories!!

~ Wendy

Molly said...

Thanks for the lovely comments!