Terrarium

I often shop at Dollar Tree for kitchen, bathroom, personal, etc. basics and necessities. They have good stuff that’s comparable to brand name items in other stores. How can you beat $1 per product, right?!
At the first of this month, as I was detouring through an aisle to avoid a huge group of people just standing around yacking (and who were not social distancing or wearing masks πŸ™„), I suddenly saw an item that hadn’t been there before in the craft aisle. A cute little plastic terrarium! I have wanted one of these for a long time, but the glass terrariums are often expensive and easily prone to breakage. Yay me for finding this one! There were only two on the shelf so I grabbed one. And next to them were little packages of “insect” decorations (the usual butterflies, bees, and such). Since my favorite color is green I chose the package of two green dragonflies. I made many a terrarium when I worked for a greenhouse years back but had never gotten around to making one for myself.

It took me a couple weeks to remember, but finally I snipped some pieces off the sedum plants at John/Elissa’s the other day. A baby “chick” from the hens-n-chicks, a small piece of the “Atlantis” stonecrop, and a few little lengths of the “Emerald Green” and “Coral Reef” sedum. These are all part of the succulent family of plants. I rinsed each piece and set aside.

Granddaughter Madison has fish, and she gave me her previous 3-gallon aquarium with assorted items in it, some of which is pea gravel. (Remember this aquarium reference for a future post. πŸ˜‰) I took a small bit of the pea gravel and used it on the bottom of the terrarium as drainage medium. No, I did not wash it . . . fish stuff doesn’t hurt plants — in fact, they love used fish water! Yes, chemicals are sometimes added to aquariums – I used to work with the fish and aquariums at a job that was part of a greenhouse business. We always kept the used aquarium water and fed the greenhouse plants with it after letting it sit for a week. Madison’s aquarium had been sitting for several weeks without water so those chemicals are long dissipated leaving only the fish by-products.

Then I layered a small bit of potting soil on top of the pea gravel, probably about a half-inch worth. I always use less soil to begin and let it settle a few weeks before adding more if needed.

Next, I gently stripped a few “leaves” from the “Atlantis” stonecrop and the “Emerald Green” and “Coral Reef” sedum.

I somehow missed getting a photo of the plants at the time I put them into the terrarium, but I took a quick close-up just now so you can see what I did. (I see new growth already! Woot!) I used my 5″ tweezers (saved from past unused medical supplies we’ve had for Jerry), and starting at the back, basically just slipped the bare stems into the soil and gently covered them.

I dipped those few leftover stripped leaves in rooting hormone (you do not need this, I just do it because I have it on hand and it works faster than waiting for the plant pieces to form roots) and “planted” them in a clay saucer (also with pea gravel and potting soil) because they will grow roots and become new succulent plants.

Next, I pulled out a few cheap Dollar Store fake flowers I’ve had for several years to use as decoration on top of the terrarium.

I couldn’t decide whether to use the orange or the yellow, so I took one of each apart and combined them into one orange-yellow flower and used the leaves of both. These next photos will show you the order of how I applied the layers. The glue I used in the process is Aleene’s Original Fabric Fusion. Yep, permanent bond fabric glue. I’ve used the Beacon 527 and E6000 glues in the past, and they’re okay,  but they no longer work as well and the odors bother me something awful. So when Amanda bought a large bottle of this fabric fusion in 2014 so I could fix granddaughter Kara’s rolling luggage, I was amazed how great it worked. Kara’s  luggage is still together and the glue still has a tight bond that hasn’t pulled apart at all. I’ve used the fabric fusion on a ton of projects and it works great! I also use other Aleene’s glues in scrapbooking and various crafts. Amanda keeps me in glues and other items because I do so many scrapbooks for her lol.

One layer of leaves . . . glue and let dry completely. Use a bit of scotch tape to keep in place if needed.

Next layer of leaves, same step as above.

It’s important to let each layer dry completely. I would rather do it right and not be hurried so that my project turns out right. The glue has a bond within a couple hours, but I gave overnight drying time to each layer.  I only worked on this project a little each evening this past week. I mean, really, I do have other things to do during the day besides crafts lol.

Next, I made my flower layers and used a few quick run-throughs with needle and clear plastic thread to hold them together, glued a matching vintage button in the center and let dry. Then I glued the flower on top of the leaves right up next to the plastic ring on top of the terrarium. To make it stay put while the glue dried, I used a couple plastic clothespins to clip the back edge of a couple flower petals to the leaves.

On the final day of creating this terrarium, I adhered one of the dragonflies to the flower . . .

. . . and tied on a piece of orange-white plaid ribbon to the top. My original plan was to use twine and hang the terrarium from a Command hook at the top of the window, but right now my twine is in the shed in my garden cart over at John’s lol. We’ll see what I decide to do once we all feel safe again for us to go over there. For now, this works and I think it’s pretty cute.

You could use other things to decorate the terrarium, or leave it as is. This was such fun to create!

And it only cost a total of $2.00 to get both the terrarium and dragonflies!

I had everything else on hand and the plants were already growing at the kids’ house.

Whatcha think?

Be blessed and stay well!

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