Tiny Terrariums





Introduction: Tiny Terrariums

Here is a great, easy and inexpensive project perfect for kicking off the weekend with the family or getting in touch with your inner farmer.  Also, a great way to introduce "The Water Cycle" to kids and teens.  

Step 1: Materials Used in This Project

Materials used in this project include:

Glass Bottles 

Seed Beads 

Chopstick or Pencil 

Potting Soil

Any seed that will stay small as a plant (we used Chamomile) 

Step 2: Pour Them Beads!

Alrighty, first things first.  Take some seed beads and fill the bottom of the jar to about 1 centimeter.  The space between the beads allows the soil room to drain as well as helps create humidity within the jar (once water is added) therefore watering itself!  

Step 3: Pack That Soil!

Now, carefully pack about a tablespoon of soil into the jar without disturbing the seed beads at the bottom.  You want the jar to be jusssst about half full of dirt in order to leave enough space for your little plants to grow! 

Step 4: Poke Poke Pour

And now, take your chopstick or pencil and poke poke poke a little hole in the center of the soil.  Don't poke a deep hole but dig enough to leave a small impression; a dent, if you will.   This is where we will aim when we pour our seeds!  

Once you have poked a satisfactory pokily hole, pour in ze seeds!  (About 20-25 seeds will be more than enough.  Remember, we want to give the seeds some breathing room) 

Depending on what depth your specific seed packet suggests, gently take your poker and cover the little seed babies with just enough dirt, as if you're tucking in the cutest little ducklings into the cutest little duckling bed. You know, gentle and caring cause seed babies appreciate a gentle tucking in too.    


Step 5: The Miracle of the Water Cycle

After covering the seeds with dirt, pour in about  a teaspoon of water (careful not to drown it like I did) and close it up with cork or cap.  There should be enough water to seep down to the bottom of the jar where the seed beads are. Your Tiny Terrarium is now set and you shouldn't have to water it again (so long as you keep the cap on)  thanks to the miracle of "The Water Cycle".

*Water from the bottom of the jar will rise as evaporated gas and stick to the sides of the jar as condensation.  When the droplets are large and heavy enough, they will slide back down to the dirt as precipitation, therefore watering the plants by itself.  It's an indoor rainstorm!    

Science rocks, doesn't it?! 

Let your Tiny Terrarium sit in a warm, bright, sunny spot and in a few days the fruits of your labor should appear 
as little, leafy plants emerge from the dirt and continue to grow as large as the glass bottle will allow them to.   

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial and until next time ;D


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    61 Discussions

    Unless you use moss, eventually you will have to let the water evaporate and add new water with some type of fertilizer, since that tiny amount of soil won't hold much in the way of nutrients. Also, without a layer of activated carbon, you water will eventually go stagnant. As an educational activity about the water cycle, that's not terribly important, but if you want the plant to live for more than a few months, it is.

    Wow I can't wait to try this! But do you guys think this will work with moss? I like the way that looks

    I just so happen to have a bunch of tiny bottles and some tiny beads. Now all I need are some tiny seeds!....did I just rhyme? Oh well. I think I might make mine into a necklace, though. Just put an eye hook screw in the cork and put it on a chain. Then I can show off my baby garden!

    1 reply

    Hi BigRed!

    That would be awesome! Send us a pic of what you make and we'll post it on
    our Facebook page!





    5 years ago

    This is a really really cool idea! One question, though: How do the plants breathe if the jar is closed all the time? (I'm a tree hugger, I worry about plants) :)

    3 replies

    Hi Shadri,

    It's totally ok to open the bottle every few days for a quick second to refresh the air. I do it every few days and these little guys in the photo have been going for about two whole months now! I worry too, that's why I try to take care of them the best i can :)


    Hi Shadri,

    I totally think you can! I like using the chamomile seeds because I know they will stay small. Give it a try and let me know how it goes :D


    Hi Lexy,

    Yes, small, round beads work as well. Since they are round, there will always be space in between them when they are resting together.


    One of the nicest instructables about tereeariums on here. good work and nice images.

    1 reply

    5 years ago

    I love this idea! However, I did try it and the insides of mine developed a fuzzy whitish mold and green sludge! :(