How to Make a Terrarium for Any Season

White Sand Terrarium. Centsational Girl

Terrariums aren't just for those with green thumbs.  While it's true that the obvious purpose of making a terrarium is to grow plants that enjoy a humid environment, these days they are filled with all sorts of things, including artificial plants and birds, and other miniature items to create vignettes that reflect any season.  

To begin, select a glass vessel of some sort, such as a mason jar, wide-mouthed vase, apothecary jar, or hurricane.

 Here are some out-of-the-box containers to use as a terrarium:

Next, if you intend to grow live plants, follow these instructions for how to layer the proper foundation for terrarium plants.  Otherwise, choose a material to anchor your items--such as sand, pea gravel, or faux snow--depending on the season you want your terrarium to reflect. Here are some ideas for how to fill terrariums throughout the year:


  • Home Made Modern filled a large glass jar with Epsom salts for snow, then nestled in some bottle brush trees for a wintry scene.  If you don't have a jar this large, use mason jars or recycled spaghetti sauce jars to make miniature winter scenes like Sweet Something Designs.
  • For more of a winter village, as opposed to just a scene from nature, take a cue from A Bit of Sunshine.  Rebekah used miniature houses and animal figurines such as deer to fill several apothecary jars.
  • Or, perch frosted pinecones inside a few terrariums for a simple winter display.

Spring / Summer

  • Nothing says spring and summer like a little green.  Ferns, succulents, and moss are popular fillers for terrariums, and luckily, the artificial varieties look just as great as the real stuff.  
  • Use bird nests, faux birds (found at the craft store) and artificial eggs for a spring terrarium.
  • For a different spring scene, try using butterflies like The Pin Junkie.
  • Fennel and Fern placed flowering bulbs in her terrariums for a sweet-smelling, springtime display.
  • Home Made Modern filled a large jar with a spring scene complete with Easter bunnies and jelly beans.
  • For warmer months, or a coastal look, use sand as the base of your terrarium, and fill it with shells, sea glass, or driftwood like those found on Centsational Girl and At The Picket Fence.


  • Decorating with nature is never easier than in the fall when your own backyard is filled with beautiful things to display.  Try using moss as a bed for acorns, leaves, and fairy figurines for a miniature fairy garden.
  • The Inspired Room nestled a small pumpkin on a bed of moss, along with a branch of scarlet leaves.
  •  Or, use berry branches and white pumpkins like Zu Haus at Home.