amy merrickDIYdiy projects

made with love: terrarium ornaments

by amym

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My love for plants growing under glass knows no bounds and I was extra excited to find a way to incorporate a little terrarium love into my holiday repertoire this year. These ornaments are actually fake terrariums, by using dried sheet moss or reindeer moss , the ornament isn’t technically growing so it requires no care. Perfect for those of us who are excel at forgetting to water things. Plus, I’m tempted hang them in my kitchen once the holidays are through. –amy m.

CLICK HERE for the full how-to after the jump!

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What you’ll need:

– clear glass ornaments

– dried moss

– twine

– pencil

– q-tips

optional- twigs, butterflies, feathers etc…

1. Tear off a small piece of moss and moisten slightly (this helps to keep the moss from crumbling a lot of dust inside).

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2. With the eraser end of your pencil, gently push moss into the opening. Repeat this a few times until you have a forest floor on the bottom of your ornament.

3. Add any extras and poke with your pencil to style things as necessary.

4. Bend a q-tip and clean any debris stuck to the inside walls of the ornament.

5. Attach a piece of twine with a bow and hang.

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  • I LOVE terrariums! I just had our wedding florist draw up some ideas to incorporate them into our centerpieces, and then yesterday I saw a great diy terrarium piece in ReadyMade mag. Thanks for this great idea!

  • This is such a good idea – they would be great package tags too – – put the recipient’s name inside handwritten on a tiny piece of pretty paper…
    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Thank you, Amy and Grace, for sharing this!
    These terrarium ornaments are THE PERFECT gift for my mom, who has an extremely green thumb, but is really picky about presents. God, I love how these don’t scream CHRISTMAS!!!!!! I could see these bobbing in a window frame or hanging on a tree or gathered into a garland in a door frame…the opportunities are endless.

  • pretty pretty! How’d you get that butterfly in there? the hole looks small compared to it..

  • I just found my weekend project!! I’m going to fill a bowl with these and put them on our dining table

  • I saw terrariums and I immediately knew it was you, Amy! I am so making these, they’re brilliant! What a great gift idea for those less-than-close friends that you still feel like you should get something for!

  • so unique as are the other lovely items in previous posts. i sooo appreciate handmade things.. have a lovely holiday season.. thnak you for bringing us such joy in your blog… x pam

  • Haha these are fun. I remember being obsessed by terrariums when I was growing up. I was not allowed one so I made mine in a Tupper wear box.

  • IF I didn’t have (and love)my vintage aluminum tree – with it’s modern and jazzy colored balls (magenta! orange! turquoise! lime green!) I would have my green tree full of these. What a perfect ornament.

  • Lovely! I too am curious how you got the butterfly into the ball – what size ball are you using?

  • Oh, I love these! I’m totally making these for family and friends. Thanks for sharing such a great idea!

  • The butterflies are those standard craft store feather butterflies with wire under the wings. I just folded them in half and poked them down the hole. Once inside i had to use the pencil to open them up a bit.

    It was super easy to get them in there, I swear.

  • oh goodness, so well done and easy. My children will love trying this tomorrow for holiday craft day…fairy world inside an ornament.. fab. thanks

  • How beautiful are these!? I have been looking for a simple but tasteful craft project for my daughter’s class. The other moms will be soooo jealous!

  • Amazing! I might have to try and make these! and I love the idea of hanging them in the kitchen even post holidays! Such a brilliant idea! Thanks!

  • I made these! they were great and sooo easy. i made heavy use of some hot glue and tweezers to make sure everything was in its place – and stayed there. also used some little baby birdies and eggs instead of butterflies in some. hooray!

  • I made these yesterday, although I had some trouble with the butterflies they were very easy all thins considered! I also added some floral vines that were tiny and looked nice with the moss that were on sale. If I have extra baubles when I finish today, I may stuff them with flowers or something similar.

  • I made these cute lil ornaments this weekend and this morning i realized there was MOLD GROWING in them! apparently i had my moss too moist. so BEWARE of that! make sure they are completely dry before putting the top on. I even added tiny rhinestones randomly on the outside. :( guess i have a science project on my hands.

  • My butterflies were too stiff, so I removed the wings, inserted them separately, and re-glued the wings onto the body inside the bulb using a tweezers. Next time I’ll use different butterflies, but the results were gorgeous!!

  • Can anyone comment on how these hold up over the years? If I made some as gifts in honor of my son’s first Xmas, will they last a long time?

    • A- as with all living things- they need to be cared for in order to survive. If you keep them out and give them light, air and water (like any other plant) they will last. But you can’t put them away in a box like other ornaments bc they are live plants.


  • Any suggestions on how to keep things in place? I bought some little birds to put in the ornament, but I’m not sure how to keep them upright when the ornament moves.

  • OMG I absolutely love it! Its not even Christmas yet, but my gift trouble is half sorted :) i made a list of 24 people in my (and my bf’s) family who I need to get some sort of present! This is perfect for the not too close ones and great to go with other gifts for the close family. Plus I can decorate my little “try-to-look-natural” tree. Thank you so much!

  • My wife and I tried creating a butterfly, twig & moss within a jar, but after a while mold/mildew started to grow within the jar.
    How do you prevent this from happening?

  • How gorgeous. I too used to make terrariums. I made them with my grandmother when I went to stay with her during the summer but we called them “gardens in a bottle” then, long time ago. Lovely memories. Lovely idea.

      • Mary

        There is, actually. That’s how we did this project. You need fake butterflies and they easily fold in half and then you can roll the wings around the form to get it through the opening, which is about 1 inch wide.