It’s that time of year again. Time has flown and it’s Christmas gift time. As usual, I am going with the theme of my children making gifts for family. This teaches them to look beyond the commercialisation of this time of year, and to express their love for family by transforming regular household items into items of beauty that I’m sure their family will treasure.
The last few years we’ve made edible goods. This year I decided to do something different. One day when I was looking at old jars, I decided to start collecting them to upcycle them by reusing them rather than recycling them. This started my plan many months ago to make terrariums for family members using old jars.
A terrarium is essentially a jar with a plant growing inside it. It can either have a lid and be sealed, or it could be open. Those with lids create a mini ecosystem in that evaporation forms condensation which ends up watering the plant. Many plants can be planted in a terrarium, from decorative plants, to succulents.
As I was using reused glass jars, I decided to have an open terrarium and use existing succulents I had around my garden.
So how to get started and what do you need?
- Old jars, cleaned
- Large pebbles
- Soil – preferably one for bonsai or cacti as they have good draining qualities
- Horticultural / activated charcoal
Place the pebbles at the bottom of the jar to about 2 cm. This helps with drainage and to keep your plants healthy.
I added some extra coloured pebbles and going with the Christmas theme, I had green, red and silver.
I cut a small bit of cloth (I used an old reusable cloth bag) and put over the pebbles before adding the soil layer because I didn’t want the layers to mix much.
I added some activated charcoal then the soil. The activated charcoal acts to keep your terrarium fresh and stops any bad odours. Pat the soil down to prevent air bubbles.
I then added my plants. As my jars were small, I only used 1 to 2 plants per jar. I added some more decorative pebbles on top and viola – done!
The terrarium needs to be lightly watered through a sprayer about once a week, so it should be low maintenance.
My children were involved in all aspects of this activity, from choosing the colours and order of the layers, to selecting the plants to the actual plants. I know that they’re going to be so proud to give this to their family.
There are a lot of videos on how to make these and I share a few with you below:
It’s not too late to start your own DIY gifts from the heart project this Christmas. So what are you waiting for?