upcycled terrariums

Giant wine glass, apothecary jar and centerpiece globe re-purposed as terrariums.

Let your imagination run wild with these tiny worlds you can create.

You can make your own terrarium using a variety of thrift store glass ware and microscaping, landscaping on a micro scale.  We incorporated objects from around the house.  Figurines, crystals and interesting rocks we found bring the little worlds to life.  We even made a path from sliced pieces of cork to look like wooden steps.

This project turned out great, and we get lots of compliments and interest around our terrariums every time a new visitor comes over.

How to Create a Succulent Terrarium Using Upcycled Materials

The first step in creating your own microscape is not to spend lots of money.  When Marc and I were decorating our new apartment, we wanted something cool and unique, so we went to Goodwill and found these giant novelty wine and martini glasses, along with an assortment of apothecary-style beakers, pitchers and vases.  We used these to create a series of really awesome displays around the house.


  1. Variety of succulents and/or moss from your local garden nursery.  It’s best not to mix succulents (dry-loving) with leafy plants (moisture-loving).
  2. Variety of glass ware.  Let your creativity run wild.  Just remember, you’ll need to get your hand safely inside the glass and be able to water the plants once arranged, so glasses with long skinny openings may not be the best option.
  3. Fish tank filter carbon.  Most pet stores sell loose carbon for cheap.
  4. Potting soil.  Consider using an appropriate soil type based on the type of plants you are growing (succulents vs. high-moisture plants, for example).
  5. Moisture meter.  Because space is tight in microscaped terrariums, it can be difficult to ‘feel’ the wetness of the soil with your fingers, and it’s important to maintain just the right amount of moisture in a succulent scape (not too much, not too little).

Close up of succulents and moss in giant novelty wine glass terrarium.


  1. Clean and dry jars.
  2. Cover the bottom of each jar with a thin layer of ground carbon.  This helps absorb excess moisture that may rot plants’ roots.
  3. Add a layer of potting soil several inches deep, or as deep as you want depending on the container you’re using.
  4. Plant your plants.  Consider the placement of your landscape before you begin so as to minimize disrupting the bottom layer of carbon.
  5. Place moss around the base of your plants.  If you have fat fingers, it may be easier to use planting tweezers or pincers.
  6. Lightly water and place in a sunny location.
  7. Check moisture level weekly and prune / tidy as needed.

When mixed and matched, these glass terrariums add a creative flare to any room in need of character.  Happy indoor gardening!