Christmas gift for the plant lover: DIY terrarium


This closed-top DIY terrarium was created and crafted using one-gallon hexagonal glass drink dispenser (you can see the spout in the lower left).

What I used to create this jungle terrarium was the following (read instructions below):

Soil Layers

Pea gravel

Sphagnum moss

Coffee filter

Garden charcoal


Potting soil


Top Layer

Blue calcite mined in Marble Falls, TX

Limestone rock with eroded hole to fit aerial plant from Central TX

Glass marbles from Michael’s Craft Store



Wolf moss from Northern California (fluorescent yellow)

Bromeliad from nursery

A fern very similar to the lemon button fern

Elephant ear



1.  Boil all inorganic materials (gravel, sand, rocks) so that harmful bacteria, etc. does not enter your closed ecosystem

2. Cover the spigot/spout with a filter

3. Fill the gallon container with about one inch of pea gravel

4. Cover the pea gravel with about two coffee filter cut to shape, and put sphagnum moss around the edges so the coffee filter doesn’t show and the moss prevents any soil and charcoal from entering the gravel

5. Cover the coffee filter and moss with about one inch of sand

6. Cover the sand with a mix of sand and potting soil

7. Plant the plants

8. Cover the soil with embellishments like the calcite, marbles, and colorful moss


These are great homemade Christmas gifts. Enjoy!


These are short directions to get you on your way to creating a miniscape in your home. If you would like more details, please comment!