Trendy Terrariums: How to Make and Care for Them

Want to introduce a gorgeous pop of greenery into your home? One that barely needs any TLC? We thought so. Introducing… unique and funky terrariums! Michelle Inciarrano co-owns Twig Terrariums with Katy Maslow. Together, they create quirky terrariums in their Brooklyn, NY-based studio, run workshops and ship easy-to-use DIY kits, too. Since launching in 2009, these gals have crafted all kinds of personal, whimsical creations featuring tiny figurines that set the scene, including custom work for Martin Scorsese and George Clooney. Want to know learn to make one? Here are some tips from Michelle – included in the duo’s book, Tiny Word Terrariums: A Step-by-Step Guide to Easily Contained Life – on building your perfect terrarium in any glass container.

How much skill do you need to make a terrarium?
Our kits are fully tested; our seeds are germinated inside a lab, so they have a 98% germination rate; we give you more than a few, so successs is guaranteed. A lot of it depends on where you get your supplies – soil, moss, and plants. It doesn’t take an incredible amount of skill to assemble, but making it look pretty can take a little bit more skill. We specialize in custom work — we get a lot of people who say, ‘I want a terrarium, with my family inside’. Or people who want memorial terrariums for their dogs or cats.

Before running outside and grabbing stuff to throw in a jar, what should we know?
If you’re going to choose materials from your backyard, I’d recommend using an organic pesticide on everything, because bugs have a 90-day gestation period. You may not see anything now, but three months from now, you might. You’ll need rocks, filtration, soil and plants. The soil and plants are going to vary depending upon the type of terrarium you’re making.

Is there anything you can’t put in a terrarium?
Don’t put in anything porous: if you put a clay figure in there, it’s going to get moldy, and then turn into mush.

What kind of care do terrariums need?
Moss terrariums require very little light. They thrive on neglect, in a sense! Just keep them in a shady spot and mist them every three weeks. Succulents like more sun.

Did you know…? The first terrarium happened by accident in the early 1800s, when British doctor Nathaniel Bagshaw noticed seedlings thriving in glass containers as moisture evaporated inside.

Need more info before digging in? Check out Michelle’s photo tutorial to see how easy and addictive terrarium making can be!

PHOTO INFO: Courtesy Twig Terrariums

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