Terrarium Ornaments

Terrarium Ornament
My mediocre photography skills are always put to the test when there’s glass involved. I hope you can see through the glare to tell that this ornament may just be my best idea ever.

Terrariums were all over the crafty blog world a couple of years ago, but they didn’t do much for me. :shrug: You can’t be into everything, I suppose. Here’s a great post about Maggie Mason’s succulent terrariums to get you familiar with the concept.

A big challenge for me with this tree was how to incorporate all the different materials you’d find in the woods, without just gluing everything on a styrofoam ball. I did some of that, but for a tree to be interesting, you need either everything the same, or loads of contrast. So I kept thinking, “How can I use dirt? How can I use rocks? In a way that would actually be pretty.?”

Then I saw these giant glass ornaments at Michaels. There’s probably 5″ wide which gives you an opening that’s about 1 inch, which is just big enough to shove things through.

Terrarium Ornament Step 1
Shove a bunch of dirt through the hole until it’s about 1/4 full. I used a potting soil I had in my shed.

Now here we need to address the difference between doing this in an ornament and doing this in a big glass jar that will never move from your counter. If you tried to put these away for the year, all the dirt would slide to the back and you’d be left with a big stirred up mess.

Terrarium Ornament Step 2
I took some white glue and watered it way down so it’d be easy to squirt and easy for the dirt to absorb it. Then squirt away, making sure to get the very edges, but taking care to avoid the glass. It will dry clear, but you’d still see a smudge on the glass.

Terrarium Ornament Step 3
Then I added a couple of different types of moss, and squirted glue all over the top of that too.

Terrarium Ornament Step 4
Then you just put in some miscellaneous pretty forest bits. It can be a little bit tricky to find something small enough to fit through the hole, so look for things that can easily be cut apart. I went to the section of the craft store that carried floral picks for wreaths. There was some good stuff to choose from, and on a much smaller scale that the stuff in the rest of the floral department. I just tossed in some clippings off a faux pine branch, a couple of fake berries, and because I can never resist the glitter (and I’m hardly going for verisimilitude here) a glittery plastic branch of something or other.

These ornaments will be heavier than average, so make sure that you pick a sturdy place to put them. I also opted for wire ornament hooks instead of my usual fishing line. The wire makes it easier to get a really secure set up.