Wednesday, May 4, 2016

DIY Air Plant Terrariums

My new teardrop terrariums hanging in our kitchen window.

I've always loved having plants around my various homes, dorm rooms and apartments, but life always seems to take over and the plants never survive. I have had success throughout the years with various succulents and cacti, since they are tolerant of my usually deadly droughts. Air plants have always fascinated me, with their low (basically no) maintenance and resiliency. They seem to have skyrocketed in popularity over the last few years, especially in small terrariums.
With the rise of Etsy, these DIY air plant terrarium kits are a dime a dozen and are even showing up on major floral websites, like 1-800-Flowers, and posh design sites, like Pottery Barn. These little DIY kits retail for upwards of $30, which becomes $40+ once you fqctor in shipping. I knew there had to be a cheaper way to create a similar product, even if it meant creating multiples. I would love to hang some of these cute arrangements in front of my kitchen window or give away a small arrangement to my mom and mother-in-law as gifts for Mother's Day.

To make an airplant terrarium you will need...

  • air plants
  • a medium in which to arrange your plants (sand, soil, rocks, seashells, moss)
  • a terrarium (get creative!)

Air plants are readily available for order online. Had they been too expensive, my project would have stopped at Google. The Amazon #1 Seller offers 5 plants for $8.50 with free shipping. The same seller also offers single plants.  This is a great option for making 1 terrarium or arrangement. Had I not been looking to make 5+ arrangements, my search would have stopped here.  I chose to order in bulk from a wholesale supplier on Etsy, Sky Farms Air Plants. They offer a variety of species in order sizes of 10 plants-100 plants. I ordered the 10 Assorted Tillandsia Air Plants to get a good variety in my terrariums.

The rest of the supplies are available either online or at your local craft store. I shopped locally at A.C. Moore and Michaels, based on the coupons that I had available. I found some awesome tear drop terrariums, perfect for hanging in my kitchen window, at A.C. Moore. They retailed at $6.99 and were part of a buy one, get one 50% off sale. I also picked up some small rose bowls to gift as desktop arrangements for my mom and mother-in-law. These retailed at $1.99 each, but you can always use a coupon. They also carry various mosses, sands and decorative stones for use in floral arrangements. I picked up some moss ($3.39 after 60% off) and sand ($.89 after 60% off) to use as a base for the terrariums. These were much lighter weight than stones, which was important for the hanging arrangements. You would also need some screw hooks and ribbon to hang a window terrarium.

Assembly is super easy. Pour in some sand, layer on some moss and then place your air plants. Voila, you're done. You can add little knick knacks to make your terrarium yours, little figures like gnomes or fairies.  To maintain your terrarium, spray your plants 1-2 times per week with water or dunk their roots in water for ten seconds once a week.

All in all, I spent about $60 for supplies and plants for 5 terrariums, so $12 each. Per terrarium, this is almost 1/4 the price of the kits online would cost with shipping. Most online kits come with 3 plants my breakdown includes cost for 4. Definite plus! And at home you can customize your terrarium, medium and plants to fit you. Happy Crafting!