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How to build a holiday terrarium at home for easy holiday decorating

Create this elegant and natural arrangement that will be sure to add some festive appeal to your home.
December 16, 2021 2:35 p.m. EST

Decorating your home for the holidays is one of the best parts of the season! If you're looking to put together your own Christmas planter for the season, get ready to be inspired! Plant and interior stylist Hilton Carter shared these simple instructions on how to make your own holiday terrarium at home with just a few materials.

Holiday Terrarium 

Materials needed: 

  • A lamp or glass vessel 
  • Choice of stones or rocks, enough to fill the base of the vessel 
  • Horticultural charcoal 
  • Soil 
  • Choice of plants 
  • Sheet moss 
  • Pieces of wood, figurines and more stones


  1. First, clean the glass of the vessel you're using because once your plants are inside, it’ll be difficult removing any previous smudges.
  2. Next, place a small layer of stones or rocks at the base to create a nice buffer zone. This area is to hold runoff moisture and keep your plant's roots from sitting in water. Use your spatula to even out your stones.
  3. Place a layer of horticultural charcoal on top of the stones to increase your buffer but also to help reduce impurities that can build.
  4. Place in your soil. Make sure that a third of your base is covered. I wanted to build a little hill for my terrarium, so I placed more soil to the back of the vessel. Once your soil is set, decide where your plants will go and then remove your plants from their nursery pots, break up the soil to loosen the roots and then place them into the terrarium. Cover the roots with a bit more soil and use the spatula again to even it out.
  5. Measure out your sheet moss and cut the appropriate pieces for the area you’ve mapped out to cover around your plants. With the sheet moss, it can act more like grass along a field, so I like to use it in a way that creates a small valley. Once that’s laid in, I’ll place in other pieces of moss.
  6. Make it feel a bit more like a small world by adding other stones, pieces of wood that feel like fallen trees and lastly, a little figurine. Here I’ve placed in a small Elk to make it wild! 
  7. Finally, display it in an area of your home or office that gets the appropriate amount of light for the plants you placed inside to thrive. And voila your holiday terrarium is ready to be on display! 

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