Shot & Wine Glass Terrarium / Seed Starter





Introduction: Shot & Wine Glass Terrarium / Seed Starter

I do not garden as much as I use to, but when I do, I start the plants indoors - to get a jump on the short Michigan summers. To start my seeds, I use enclosed containers.

I always wanted to do miniature enclosed terrariums.

I was working with wine glasses on another project and came up with the idea of combining the two ideas. I was giving away my shot glass collection and thought, what the heck, let’s throw them in the mix.

So there you have it, my instructables is about making Shot & Wine Glass Terrariums and Seed Starters.

Stay Gardening my friends

Step 1: Gather Things Up

Shot glass – small containers that fits inside wine glass
Long stem wine or water glasses - the ones used were 9 inches tall overall - 3 1/4 inch diameter base - with approximately 3 1/4 inch stem.
Small plate or saucer

Diamond saw – I am lucky to have access to one. OR Hand stain glass cutter Note: I did one wine glass with a stain glass cutter and got a good result.

Grinding wheels or wet sand paper – grits – 100, 220 400, 600, 1200. Again; I am lucky to have access to power wheel grinders/sanders. When I was younger I did this by hand, using wet silicon carbide sanding paper to smooth and polish cut glass bottles.

Drill and drill bit - I used a ½ diameter drill bit. This will vary by the diameter of the stem.
Charcoal – I got mine from the fireplace
Glass beads - this is used instead of stones
Soil – I use a seed starter mix which includes fibers
Plants – I used a fern and a violet (flower)
Seeds – I do some flowers for my butterfly garden, but you can use your own choice
Handles – Large oversize wood beads, wooden spools etc…

hand glass cutter
painters tape

Step 2: Let’s Get Started Cutting the Glass

I picked up some wine glasses from my local dollar store. I am sure you can find some glasses at a thrift store. Also, you can keep this project in mind when a glass breaks.

Cutting the glass: I used a power diamond saw to cut off the bowl from the base; cutting the stem. There is no exact spot to cut the stem, but cut enough to create a handle.
For this project - I cut the stems anywhere from 1 to 2 1/2 inches down from the bottom of the bowl (just learned that term. What I was calling the cup, is actually called the bowl of the wine glass).

Please note; glass is very unpredictable especially when cutting and polishing. For Safety - Adding blue painters tape around the glass and/or wearing gloves is advisable. When I used the hand stain glass cutter, I put the entire glass under a heavy towel before striking it to break the stem.

Clean the glass with soap and water.
Note: This power diamond saw uses oil for lubricant and coolant

Step 3: Polishing the Glass

Water, water, and more water will be needed to take the sharp edges off and polish the cut glass.
This is done for two reasons:
to avoid cut fingers while working on the project
if you do not add a handle to the stem, it will have a nice appearance

I started with 100-grit to take off the major chips and sharp edges. Then I use finer and finer grit levels to polish - 220 400, 600, and ending with 1200.

Clean the glass with soap and water.

Sorry for the photo, I did not take a photo while making the Terrarium / Seed Starter.

Step 4: Add the Handles

Well you do not have to add a handle to the Terrarium / Seed Starter, but it makes it a little easier to pull up and off.
On one of theTerrarium / Seed Starter, I did not cut off the stem, I just reduced the size of the base, to make the handle.

I used oversized wood beads and old wooden spools to make handles. With the items I choose, I needed to open up the holes to fit on the stems. To do this I use a drill to make a ½ inch diameter hole. I did not drill all the way through – just enough to fit down onto the glass.
Some handles fit so tight, I just used a friction fit; on the others I used all-purpose glue.

Step 5: Building the Shot & Wine Glass Terrarium / Seed Starter

I started by cleaning all the containers, to avoid growing problems(contamination).
I next added small glass beads in the bottom of the shot glass instead of stones.
Then I crushed fireplace charcoal in a baggie. I placed the crushed charcoal on top of the beads.
From there, I added my soil. I use seed starter mix as my top soil, which includes fibers. I like to think this combination gives me good drainage in such small containers.

For the seed starters: I will add seeds this spring.

The terrariums: I added my plants and flowers - in a seperate shot glass I planted a Fern and a Violet

For watering, I do just a light misting of water directly to the soil. I will watch to make sure the plants do not get to little water and dry out.

The last step is placing the shot glass on a plate and then put the completed glass bowl over top of it.

Step 6: Finished – That Is It – Some Examples

Seed starter – I had good success of enclosed containers; getting my seeds to start. The colorful beads are great to rediscover in my garden, from the past years.

Enclosed Terrarium – These seem to be a little tricky for me to keep growing strong.
Please note an enclosed terrarium is different than what most people call a terrarium. An enclosed terrarium should be its own eco system. The moisture released should recycle back into the plant/flower. You cannot use just any plant/flower. It is important to keep the soil off of the bottom of the pot, or in this case the shot glass. This is why I put down the beads, the charcoal and soil with fibers. Moss is sometimes used between the charcoal and the soil.
I picked a fern and a violet which should survive in a closed environment.

This is a great project. It makes me feel good to make things.

Step 7: Other Examples of Shot & Wine Glass Terrarium / Seed Starter

Please see my photos.

The spool was my Grandmothers

Step 8: See My Other Instructables on Using the Base

If you get a chance; you can see what I did with the cut off base of the wine glass.

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    These are so pretty! Thank you for sharing your hard work and do have a splendorous week.


    2 replies

    Thank you for the kind words

    Thank you for the pleasant comment; it made me feel good.

    you might try fire polishing your glass with a propane torch ( it smooths cut edges) . look it up

    1 reply

    Thank you for the information and viewing my instructables.

    Great idea for a cloche! I can imagine putting mounted butterflies inside.

    2 replies

    I had to look up the meaning of cloche. Thank you for the idea.
    I love butterflies, but can not bring myself to processing them.
    So, I will need to figure something out for my watch collection.
    Thank you again

    Agreed. I wouldn't catch a butterfly to kill it for decoration. I'm on a major migratory route for butterflies, and occasionally some of them die in transit.

    Does the seed starter has to be sooooo elegant? The idea totally rocks! You have an eye for beauty.

    3 replies

    Where is the voting button?

    I am waiting to hear back, if I am accepted. Thank you again. Scott

    You made my day, thank you for the nice comment and viewing my instructables
    Warmly Scott