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Do It Yourself: A Ball Jar Terrarium

A bell jar terrarium.

Currently the ReStore has cases and cases of Ball Jars in all sizes! It got us thinking of creative uses for them, besides just canning or preserving. However, if you are interested in canning, we’ve got plenty of other useful materials for that as well at the moment! In the end, we decided we liked the idea of a Ball jar terrarium the best –it’s cheap, easy, and pretty cool to look at it! Plus, having plants in your house and not having to worry about the mess of a pot is great!

So, there are a lot of different types of ball jar terrariums on Pinterest right now, but I went for one using succulents, because they are low-maintenance, suitable for indoors, and small. Some don’t even have plants, just shells and sand, so keep your options open!

Here is what you’ll need to do one using plants:

A ball jar (I used a half-gallon one), soil, gravel/drainage rocks, charcoal (not the stuff you use to grill, the chemicals will kill your plants), your plants, and something to punch holes in the top of the jar (I used a nail and a hammer). Obviously, for the jar, nail, and hammer, the ReStore may be able to help you out, but for the plants, soil and gravel, head to your local nursery or garden center.


First, I cleaned the jar and punched holes in the top of the lid. This is for watering the plant and giving it air flow. I did nine holes because I wanted to make sure it would get a lot of air flow. Succulents don’t like too much moisture, but for some other plants less holes might be ideal. You don’t need to make them too large, and you could use a variety of tools to do it. Some people put a hole large enough to slip some rope through and hang their jars that way instead of sitting them on the window sill or tables.


Next, put your layer of gravel. This is for drainage. Put about an inch or two, depending on the size of your jar and what kind of plants you’re using.


Next, sprinkle some of your charcoal on top of the gravel. This is for additional help with drainage and with any smells.

After that, go ahead and put your layer of soil. You want about 1/3 of your jar to be made up of soil and gravel.


After that, you prepare your plants. Obviously you are going to want them to be small enough to fit comfortably in the jar. Mosses and succulents all work well, but there are plenty of options! The type of plants you use will determine the amount of water and sunlight you need to give them.

Prepare them  by loosening the root ball and then making a little hole in your soil. Then, arrange them however you feel fit! Here’s one of mine.


Once you do that, put your lid on, and gently water them! Then, place the jar wherever you please and voila!, you are an experienced terrarium maker!

Here are mine when finished:

finished close up

And here they are arranged in our front office:


We’d love to see yours if you make one!

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