Creating a Closed Terrarium

Welcome back to the Koopman Lumber DIY Project book! This time around we’re going to be taking a look at how to create your very own closed terrarium.

The awesome thing about creating closed terrariums is that the possibilities are as endless as your imagination. The combinations of plants, jars, and aesthetics you can have are vast, and creating any combination of them is easy and fun! So let’s take a look at how you can create a closed terrarium at home.

Blog Series: Creating a Closed Terrarium

Difficulty: Medium
Time: 1 Hour

Step 1: Prep Your Workstation

Spread out your newspaper on a nice flat surface (like your counter) to keep it nice and clean. Next take out your container and wash it thoroughly including the lid. Set your container down on the newspaper and get out your Potting soil, charcoal, and gravel.

Step 2: Begin to Fill Your Terrarium

Add 1-2 inches of the aquarium gravel to the bottom of your container. This is crucial for proper drainage in your potting soil.

On top of the gravel add a thin, 1-inch layer of charcoal. The charcoal helps to feed nutrients to the soil and keep it fresh for a long time.

Above the charcoal add a layer several inches deep of your potting soil. Make sure it is enough to house the root balls of the plants you’re adding. During this part, you can be a little creative since you’re effectively able to create a landscape. Feel free to play around with tiny hills and create dry river beds out of your leftover aquarium gravel. Terrariums are supposed to look nice and creative, so go ahead and make it look good!

Step 3: Add Plants

There are many options for plants that you can choose. Tiny plants that deal well with high humidity work best, such as:

  • Moss
  • Baby Tears (also known as Angel Tears)
  • Aluminum Plant
  • Hypoestes
  • Rex Begonia
  • Many Species of Fern
  • Croton
  • Creeping Fig

Start by digging small holes for your plants where you want them to be placed.

Take your plants out of their containers and tease the roots apart gently, removing and excess soil. Now put the plant gently in the holes you dug. Gently nestle it into the new soil and help the roots to spread nicely. Pack soil in around the plants roots, patting it down gently.

Do this with every plant individually until you’ve created a nice little landscape inside your container.

Step 3.5: Decorate!

If you have small houses or figurines that you want to add, now is the time. You can use them to set a scene in your container. Maybe make a nice little village or a clearing in the woods. Whatever you want to do this is your time! You can also paint the outside of your terrarium with your paint if you want.


  • Tiny Figurines and decorations
  • Paint and a little paint brush
  • Miniature Gardening Tools

Step 4: Care For Your Plants

Water your terrarium with a few tablespoons of water and replace the cover. Set it near a window where it will receive indirect sunlight (direct sunlight will fry the plants) and enjoy! There are a few cases where you may have too much or too little water, but they are easy to identify.

Too Much Water
If the glass is steamed up and foggy looking there is too much moisture inside. Simply open the lid and allow the water to evaporate.

Too Little Water
Look at the soil, if it appears dry you can add a tablespoon of water, let it sit for a few hours, and check on it again. Keep adding water until the soil appears moist, but condensation is not blocking your view of inside the jar.

Wrap Up

We hope you’ve enjoyed this DIY Projectbook on creating your personal closed terrarium. The great thing about these setups is they are (usually) pretty cheap, and you can create as many as you want while incurring minimal maintenance! Once you do it a few times, you’ll notice that your terrariums are becoming more and more creative and beautiful.

If you have any questions about creating an indoor terrarium or are just looking for ideas, then feel free to reach out to us at!