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How to Make a FREE Moss Terrarium

i'm beginning to think that there truly is a huge universal creative consciousness.

there have been many times that i've prepared a project and post for HOMEWARDfound
and then have seen something in a similar theme pop up out there.

case in point:

i SWEAR to you that i had this project planned to complete this weekend, 
and post about on Monday.
then on Friday, i saw posts everywhere [blogs, fb, and hometalk] of projects using MOSS!
after the momentary frustration of thinking that i was going to be 'late to the party', i laughed.
it's just one BIG HAPPY CREATIVE PARTY, after all!

so, a day (or two) late (and decidedly NOT a dollar short)
here is my 'Fast, Cheap, & Easy' TM take on creating something with MOSS -
a very FREE floral supply in the spring!

let's make terrariums, shall we?

first, you're going to need a clear glass container with a wide opening.

i am REUSING this vase that my BFF sent filled with orchids on my birthday. <3
i also grabbed a small brandy snifter on hand, just because i thought the pairing was cute.
cost? ZERO.
you can always find clear glass vases at thrift stores, dollar stores, and garage sales,
or use a large pickle or olive jar - or a GLASS LAMP GLOBE!
[just make sure your hand can fit down inside the opening]

next you will need some moss and tiny plants.
of course you can BUY them at the garden center, but WHY?
head out into the yard, or to an empty field or lot -
unless you live in the southwest, there will be moss somewhere nearby.
i'm in Southern California and there is moss in the shady corner of the front yard!

my tips for harvesting moss:
* use a metal kitchen spatula to scoop the moss up off of the ground. keeps it from breaking.
* try to find several different textures of moss for interest. 
[i found fuzzy moss, flat moss, and some miniature clovers (dichondra) to use - 
all within one square foot of my yard]
* when you harvest 'fuzzy' moss, shake it out a bit to remove BUGS.
* also: check for worms!
[a seven-inch earthworm crawled out of the dirt under some moss on my tray, and onto my hand - nearly made me scream. EEW]

i use cookie sheets and metal trays to hold the moss clumps and the small plants as i harvest -
the plants are basically just offshoots and seedlings sprouting up where they shouldn't be in the yard.
[this way, i got some weeding done, too!]

you'll also need a handful of small rocks or gravel for the bottom of the vase - 
just grab those from the yard or driveway, too. i washed mine, but you don't have to.
carefully place those in the bottom of your clean vase.

then add enough potting soil (or really good soil from your garden if you have it) to the vase.
you'll want the soil to fill one third of the container.

after this step, i use a paper towel to brush loose soil off of the inside of the glass.

now it's time to add the plants and moss!
first, select clumps of the moss and use the spatula to place them inside the vase - 
they'll just slide right off and into place that way. no breaking.
if needed, use the spatula to cut the clumps so they will fit together in a circular pattern.

a wooden kitchen skewer helps to press the edges of the moss clumps down into the soil,
and also to create a small hole for the plants.
set the plants in place, and then use the skewer to push a little bit of soil in around them.
[it tends to crush the moss less than fingers do]

in the large vase, i added a few white rocks around the base of the largest plant to stabilize it.
in the small vase, there's one little white rock - just to coordinate the look.
you can also add a small statue or figure,
or make it a 'fairy garden' by creating a whole garden scene in miniature
[with details like tiny pebbles as a walkway, itsy bitsy flowering mosses, a dollhouse chair or bench...]

in these overhead shots, you can see the varied types of moss used, 
and how they help to create a miniature 'landscape' look.

in a side-view shot, you can see how the plant matter all remains below the top edge of the container...
not only does it look better, but it helps them retain more moisture. water with a mist or a few drops daily.

btw, i spied a little glass container on a shelf and grabbed the lid...
it fit the tiny brandy snifter PERFECTLY!
 a lidded container is a great way to keep the terrarium environment moist

i spent absolutely NOTHING to make these, and the project took just an hour - including the photos.
that, my friends, is my idea of 'Fast, Cheap, & EASY!'TM

and for more MOSS-Y inspiration, check out THESE posts on other blogs:

...and if you are in the southwest and can't find moss anywhere near you, 
here's a one-stop solution:


  1. No way!!! I was looking at a little corner at the nursery yesterday where some moss had sprung up (seemingly overnight!) I was looking for some old vases about an hour ago. I guess all the moss is making us all think. Could it be that Great Minds Think Alike? LOL!

  2. Or Michael Kidd Michael Kidd or Madonna Madonna, but keep it all inside....

    Now you know why I make a point of telling you when you scooped me or "great minds think alike", so you don't think I'm being a copycat without an original thought in my head!....;)

  3. LOL! See what I MEAN, Missy?!!! We are all SOOOOOO on-trend! ;)

  4. What a fun project. I love it and it is so simple and easy...AND cheap! Great idea- xo Diana

  5. I love these so much Deb!!! And you're so right! We are one big creative group on hear just sharing ideas and sometimes we do overlap ~ hope you are doing good sweetie, hugs and love, Dawn