I made my closed terrarium first, so I will post them in the order I made them. Actually no, I will post them simultaneously until the steps that are very different. Most of the steps are the same, the only difference is...one has a lid and one doesn't (actually there is another difference). Also, closed terrariums are better for normal plants/flowers particularly of the miniature variety. Open terrariums, on the other hand, are better suited to succulents and cacti.
Make sure your containers are clean. You don't want to trap unusual bacteria in with your plants.
Fill the bottom of the container with pebbles.
To clarify, the closed terrarium is on the left. Step 2, add charcoal. You can get it at pet stores in the fish section. (I'm terrified of goldfish, so this part was a bit overwhelming. I just made sure I kept my eyes away from the tanks!) The charcoal helps with the filtration so don't skip this step!
Add soil. For the closed terrarium, standard potting soil is fine. For the closed terrarium, you will want soil specifically for succulents or cacti. You can also mix regular soil with sand, which is what I did. You can see the pink bits (which is the sand) in the picture.
Here's the part where my closed terrarium
gets stupid goes wildly out of control. I had this brilliant idea to shove a very large, overgrown Irish moss plant into the terrarium container. Yes, it kinda works, but it's really just weird. Also, apparently centipedes are quite fond of moss and when I sprayed the plant down with just a bit of water before I tightened on the lid... centipedes emerged. They must have made the plant home while at the greenhouse!
I put some toy salamanders in at this point and sprayed down the moss. (Watch for bugs with lots of legs, I tried to photograph the bug but he wiggled out of my fingers before I had the chance.)
Et voila! Il est tres stupide, mais j'ai essaye. I hope you have better success!
Now the Open Terrarium worked much better!
Pretty little succulents
Dig into the soil/sand mix and plant your succulent into the hole. Add additional soil to make sure it's not going to tip over or die. I also added pebbles to make it look nicer. I was very happy with the results of this project.
Lavender, Mint, Chamomile
Hen and Chicks (and there's more but this is getting boring even for me)
So now I have a gigantic outside pot garden and no place for all them during the ridiculously long, cold Canadian winter. (I love winter, plants don't, obviously). Even if your terrarium dies, it's a fun project... try it... let me know how it goes.
My beautiful dirt mess!