DIY Tabletop Terrariums: Succulents, Cacti & More!

Do you find it time consuming to keep your houseplants alive? Maybe there’s not enough time in the day to tend to your live décor. Tabletop terrariums solve all your plant problems while adding life to any room in your home! In three easy steps, you’ll have stunning terrariums that require little care and use a wide array of unique materials.

Choose Your Terrarium Elements

By choosing your terrarium objects first, the base won’t limit your element options. So to begin, find both foundational materials and the types of plants you want in your terrarium. Potting soil, rocks, moss and sand all add a foundation for your plants to stand on. Potting soil is a must to keep your plants happy and healthy. Just add the moss, sand and/or rocks to add additional support to the habitat.

Add some liveliness with plants. There is a range of options to choose from depending on the look and feel you’re going for. Succulents are always a beautiful addition because they complement any room style. Add some dimension with cacti, sold in a variety of shades. Small flowers are a beautiful addition, but will require more care on your part. Whichever plants you decide on, use different sizes and shapes to add some personality to your ecosystem.

Find a ComplEmentary Base

It’s time to find a home for your terrarium elements! We prefer glass objects to see the beautiful scene inside, but it’s up to you. As long as your base is decently transparent, the terrarium will look great. At stores like Michaels or Marshalls, you’ll find products such as globes, apothecary jars, large glass kitchenware and more. If you have candle holders or centerpiece décor lying around the house, that works too!

If you’re looking for something more unique, try a margarita glass, light bulb, coffee pot or hanging décor to build your terrarium in.  Have fun and experiment with different shapes and sizes – square, circle, asymmetric, wide, short, etc.

Arrange & Decorate Your Artwork

For a long-lasting ecosystem, place a layer of rocks on the bottom of the terrarium. Then, use a cup or gardening shovel to layer in the potting soil. Now you can plant the succulents, cacti and more in the soil, using rocks and moss to complement.

Get creative with how you decorate your plants. Consider décor like driftwood, shells, wine corks and more next to the plants. Personalize the terrarium with items from your life, like trinkets or figurines that mean something to you. Not only are you building décor for your home, but your memories too.

Although terrariums require little care, it’s important to keep an eye on them. Use a dropper to moisten succulents every two weeks and always keep them in sunlight. Open top habitats need to be damp, not wet – don’t over-hydrate! You’ll get the hang of tending to your creation after only a few weeks. So, gather your supplies and start arranging.


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