How to Build a Terrarium

Glass cloche terrariums are not only appealing to the eye, but they also preserve a bit of nature in your home and serve as a simple, yet beautiful, piece of art. Closed terrariums are easy to care for, as they retain much of their own moisture and provide a warm environment with a consistent level of humidity. You won’t have to water the terrariums unless you see that the walls are not misting up. Small growing plants that don’t require a lot of light work best such as succulents, ferns, moss, even orchids.

Glass cloche terrariums
Glass cloche terrariums (Image: Lucy Akins)

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What You'll Need:

  • Cloche
  • Planter saucer, small shallow dish or desired platform
  • Floral foam oasis
  • Ruler
  • Spoon
  • Floral wire pins or paper clips
  • Small plants (from a florist or nursery)
  • Moss
  • Tweezers
  • Other small decorative items (optional)

Step 1

Measure the circumference of your cloche and cut the foam oasis about 3/4 inch (2 cm) smaller. Place the foam oasis into a container full of water and allow to soak until it sinks to the bottom. Dig out a hole on the oasis large enough to fit your plant, being careful not to pierce all the way through to the bottom.

Dig a hole in the oasis.
Dig a hole in the oasis. (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 2

Insert your plant into the hole.

Orchid in foam oasis
Orchid in foam oasis (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 3

You can add various plants if you wish.

Various foliage
Various foliage (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 4

Using floral pins, attach enough moss around the oasis to cover it.

Attach moss.
Attach moss. (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 5

Gently place the cloche over the oasis. The glass may push some of the moss upward, exposing some of the foam.

Place cloche over oasis.
Place cloche over oasis. (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 6

Simply pull down the moss with tweezers or insert more moss to fill in the empty spaces.

Rearrange moss.
Rearrange moss. (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 7

You can use any platform you wish. In this case, a small saucer was used.

Place cloche on a platform to sit on.
Place cloche on a platform to sit on. (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 8

This particular terrarium rests on a planter saucer and features a small white pumpkin.

Cloche placed on a terracotta saucer
Cloche placed on a terracotta saucer (Image: Lucy Akins)

Step 9

This particular terrarium was placed on a wood slice and a little toy squirrel was placed inside to add a little whimsy.

Placed on a wooden slice
Placed on a wooden slice (Image: Lucy Akins)

Finished Terrarium

Displayed alone or in a group, these pretty arrangements allow you to add a little nature to your decor or tablescape.

Cloche terrarium
Cloche terrarium (Image: Lucy Akins)
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