Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Terrarium Party!

I love crafting and I feel like Pinterest is a bit of a dream- seeing so many different ideas and inspirations just make me want to create something. Some of those ideas are food related and they do end up on this blog but most of my other creations don't find their way here. Since my cooking updates have been a little less frequent I want to show that I am still keeping busy even if it is just vicarious crafting online!

I decided that I just loved seeing terrarium projects but I wanted to make my own and customize. One of the big drawbacks to a project like this is the cost when you are only making one - you need to buy large bags of many of the supplies which can make it expensive. In order to help decrease the per unit price, I invited a lot of friends over to make their own creations. We had a bit of trouble coordinating a good time for everyone but over about 3 days we made almost a dozen different little worlds. I also really enjoyed making the little men and mushrooms to decorate the little scenes, clay sculpting can be so much fun.  Make sure you have some dedicated space or a drop cloth down as this project can get a little messy!

Here are a few pictures of some of the different combinations we created!

Keep reading if you would like instructions....

Terrarium Layers: (from top to bottom)

decorative rocks/figurines
plants/ moss  - try to plant so they do not touch the glass as that can cause etching, I used moss to cover area around plants
soil mix (1/3 charcoal, 2/3 well draining soil) - moistened, only put in a few handfuls at first (about 1") then fill around plants once you are almost done adding to the scene
spagnum moss - this will help prevent the soil from sinking into the gravel layer (thin but complete - 1 cm)
charcoal - this helps to absorb odors and filter the water (very thin - 1 cm)
gravel/ rocks- the base layer helps to keep the plant roots out of water and allows for drainage (about 1-1.5")

It is very important to leave a good layer of rocks or gravel on the bottom to give the plants drainage - while all the plants we used were moisture loving its also very important that the roots doing sit in standing water and rot.

We used damp soil to start so we didn't need to do much to the terrarium other than a bit of misting over the first few days to make sure the balance of moisture was correct. I watered based on how much glass surface was covered with condensation - under 1/3 means that you need more water (a quick spray or two will be enough) while more than 1/2 means that it is too wet and you must wipe the glass to remove some water.

Try to keep the lid on your jar however to maintain its climate.

Remember that these plants do need some sun however putting them in direct light can cause the glass to overheat. Try to make sure their is enough light that you could read a book without a lamp at some point in the day.

were did we get our supplies?

For plants we used (from amazon):
ruby red club moss (selaginella)
iridescent blue peacock fern (selaginella)
splash polkadot plant (hypoestes)
frosty fern spike moss (selaginella)
lemon button fern (nephrolephis cordifolia duffii)
baby tears (helxine)

fresh live green moss from flower supply store (or etsy)- we bought this dry and soaked it in water for 24 hrs to bring it back, be careful not to get preserved or spray painted spanish moss however as that will not come back to life.

soil, spagnum moss and gravel from home depot

activated charcoal from amazon