Desert Terrarium DIY

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This desert terrarium DIY craft was inspired by a craft I found in Terrariums Reimagined.  This post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

We don’t have a desert in Vermont to enjoy and I had never seen a real cactus growing anywhere but in a pot before my recent trip to Texas.  It was really neat to see cacti growing along the side of the road and since I was missing the sun and warmth, I decided to make my own little desert. Of course, it still isn’t warm and sunny in my desert but I can pretend for a while.  I found this desert terrarium craft in Terrariums Reimagined: Mini Worlds Made in Creative Containers by Kat Geiger.

Desert Terrarium

Desert Terrarium DIY

Materials

  • Open topped glass jar or planter
  • Gravel or Perlite
  • Cactus potting soil
  • Sand or gravel
  • Grafted cacti or succulent plants of your choice
  • Decorative materials

Instructions

Desert Terrarium

  • Pour Perlite or other drainage material into the bottom of  your glass vessel until it is about 1″ deep

Desert Terrarium

  • Gently remove the cactus from its pot and place it with the soil on top of the Perlite.

Desert Terrarium

  • Add cactus friendly potting soil to the container until it covers the Perlite by 1″ and surrounds the bottom of the cactus root.

Desert Terrarium

  • Add colored soil or gravel until the soil and the top of the cactus root are covered.  Adjust the plants so they are standing up.
  • Add decorative objects.
  • Lightly water your cactus terrarium with 2 tsp of water from a medicine dropper once a month. Place it in bright indirect light.

One of the fun things about making a desert terrarium is that each one looks so different.  A variety of different containers can be used from a large fish tank to a small canning jar. You can choose any type of grafted cacti or succulent that you like. The decorative materials you add will really make your desert terrarium unique.  I chose plastic horses since I was missing my them from my trip to Austin.  Plastic lizards or tortoises could be added as well.

I found everything I needed except the glass bowl at our Home Depot. I used Miracle Gro Perlite, Miracle Gro Cactus Palm and Citrus Soil, and Mosser Lee Pearl Stone Soil Cover.

There are lots of different types of terrariums you can make including tropical, tilandsia and even children’s themed terrariums. If you are looking for more ideas or more in depth planting information on the types of soil for each type of terrarium, I recommend Terrariums Reimagined: Mini Worlds Made in Creative Containers by Kat Geiger.


This desert terrarium DIY craft was inspired by a craft I found in Terrariums Reimagined.  This post contains affiliate links.  All opinions are mine and mine alone.

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Comments

  1. Katherine G says
    This is so pretty!! A great project idea!!
  2. Mary Beth Elderton says
    Perfect!  Great craft for my Grands--something for them to care for...but not too much.  
  3. Adorable!!  You could make it to match anywhere.  Love it Ellen!! Pinned & Tweeted!
  4. I love the plastic horses! It's a very unique twist!
  5. Mary @raising dick and Jane says
    So cute. Love the horses. Great touch!
  6. What a cute little project! My teenage daughter would love this.
  7. Liza @ Views From the 'Ville says
    So cool!  I've always wanted to try a terrarium.  This looks like a project I could actually tackle :)
    • Ellen Christian says
      It was very easy to do. The book shows you exactly what soil you need for each type of plant.
  8. Mag@GirlyCreation says
    This is so adorable, can match different themes for party decoration too.
  9. What a great idea! I was planning to give my grandkids their own "pet cactus" plant - but this is such a better way to get them involved in the care of it. I appreciate the step by step directions for doing it right! Thanks!
  10. Dana Rodriguez says
    That is really cute!And the cactus you used are pretty.This would be perfect for someone who doesn't have a green thumb ;)
  11. Rose Powell says
    This was totally going to be my craft this week until I went to Home Depot, lost and confused and not a soul who saw me asked if u needed help, I walked out very disappointed, but it's nice to see one made! Lovely! 
    • Ellen Christian says
      Aw that is too bad.  The book told me exactly what I needed so I didn't end up needing help from anyone thankfully.
  12. Rose Powell says
    The horse is an awesome addition!!!
  13. Rachel Ferrucci says
    My Grandson would love to do this! Awesome
  14. Debbie Welchert says
    This would be so great for my grandchildren to do. I love that it doesn't need a lot of attention to maintain it. Which is perfect for my grandchildren.

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