A mason jar filled with sprouted plants, a plastic rabbit figurine, a faux pink flower, soil and rocks.
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DIY Mason Jar Terrariums

Apr 28, 2017

Despite being a fairly horrible gardener, I love doing a couple of fun planting projects with my kids each spring. Wild-haired egg heads are always a hit and last year we had great success with our plastic cup greenhouses, but this year we’re all about the mason jar terrarium! I love these because they save a jar from going out into the alley with the recycling and my daughter loves creating her very own little scene using faux flowers and animal figurines. Our spring-themed terrariums have turned out beautifully and they certainly are a perfect fit given the time of year, but you don’t have to stop there... How awesome would a dinosaur-, unicorn- or farm-themed terrarium be?! Let your kiddo’s interests drive this one!

Whichever you choose to create, here’s what you’ll need to make a mason jar terrarium at home:

  • a glass jar with a lid (and something to poke holes in the lid with)
  • glass gems, marbles or small rocks (we like to use 2 of the 3 for visual variety)
  • soil
  • quick sprouting seeds (radish seeds are our go-to)
  • plastic figurines of your choice
  • faux plants of your choice (optional, but a great way to add a little colour)

A plastic tray with needed supplies: an empty mason jar, glass rocks, dirt, radish seeds, river rocks, a fake pink flower and a plastic lamb.

Creating a terrarium is really as simple as layering everything up, which makes it a perfect kid-centred project. First of all, start with a good, thick layer of marbles, glass gems or rocks in the bottom of your jar. This will create a drainage system should your little seedlings get overwatered at any point.

Adding rocks to the bottom of the jar.

Next, add a layer of soil. You can decide how deep you want this layer to be, but you'll definitely want enough room at the top of the jar for your faux plants and plastic figurine, so keep that in mind while scooping.

Layering dirt into the jar.

After gently patting down the soil with the back of a spoon, place your seeds where you’d like them. We usually fill the back half of the terrarium with seeds leaving the front half for our figurines, but how you place yours is completely up to you. 

Adding seeds to the jar.

Now cover the seeds with a little bit of soil and give them a generous misting of water.

Misting the terrarium with a spray bottle of water.

To finish things off, carefully place your figure and faux plants into the jar. 

With the help of an adult, poke several holes in the jar lid and screw it on tight. Now place your terrarium in a sunny, warm spot and wait for those little seeds to sprout! It’ll happen before you know it and the cool part is that you really don’t have to add water to the jar until you notice the soil is visibly dry. Be sure to watch for roots, too — they’ll be easy to spot through the glass jar.

Closed mason jar terrarium, ready to go!

Happy planting!

Article Author Jen Kossowan
Jen Kossowan

See all of Jen's posts.

Jen is a teacher, blogger, and mama to a spirited little lady and a preemie baby boy. She's passionate about play, loves a good DIY project, adores travelling, and can often be found in the kitchen creating recipes that meet her crunchy mama criteria. You can follow Jen on her blog, Mama.Papa.Bubba, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

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