Jar, glass container that has a top to it (or you can also use a round vase or bowl that has a small opening)
Small rocks, pebbles, or marbles (to help drain the water from the plant roots)
Horticultural charcoal (small amount; to keep the environment fresh)
Piece of porous material, such as pantyhose, to keep the soil from settling into the gravel (optional)
Plant(s), such as an African violets or ferns
Layer the materials
1st: the rocks
2nd: the charcoal
3rd (optional): the porous material
4th: potting soil (don't use potting soil with too much fertilizer, because it won't drain completely in the terrarium)
5th: sheet moss
Then, plant your chosen flower or plant by working around the sheet moss.
Put some more rocks or other decorative items on top of the soil.
Pour or spritz some water over the top so that the soil is moist, but not wet.
Put the lid on top of the jar and place it in a bright space, but not in direct sunlight.
Then, the next day, check to make sure moisture has developed and the cycle of evaporation and condensation has started. If you see a lot of water left in the soil, leave the top of the jar off for a while, so that it can air out.
For some more information on how to build terrariums, check out the following links:
- Video from E-How on how to make a terrarium
- Article from Cookie Magazine with instructions for making a terrarium
- Article from PBS Show that provides instructions for making a terrarium
- Pictures from Flickr of different terrariums