Making a moss terrarium

moss terrarium by you.

I’m sure most of you can figure this out without my help.  But just in case there are questions I’m going to share the process I used to make the terrarium.   This would be a really great project to work on with kids.

  • you will need a clear glass jar with a lid.  The lid is what keeps the humidity in, which moss thrives on.  You can use any glass jar.  I found the one above at Hobby Lobby.  Or you can use a plain old mason jar.


  • You will need some moss.  I went out and scavenged mine in the park near our house.  For some reason moss and trees seem to go together, so I looked on the ground near trees.  Hunting for moss is a good excuse to go for a hike.  I took a container with me and a spoon.  The spoon worked well because the moss roots are very shallow and the moss comes up in sheets.  If your area is covered in snow, ferns or moss can be ordered by mail.  here or here.  If you don’t want to mess with live moss, I did find some fake moss at Hobby Lobby.

365 by you.

  • The soil I mixed for my container was about 2/3’s straight peat moss with 1/3 potting soil.  The reason I went with the peat moss is because I know you can get moss to grow outside on rocks or in between bricks by blending the moss with buttermilk, which is acidic.  And when I planted my blueberries the instructions said to plant in straight peat moss, and blueberries love acidic soil.  So….my educated guess was that the moss would love the peat moss.  Of course this could be a false assumption on my part.  I’m sure time will tell.


  • Now take your pieces of the moss and completely cover the soil to fit the jar.  You can tear small pieces off to fill in holes – basically you want to cover all of the soil with your moss.  If you want your moss to have little hillocks or rises you might build up your soil in some spots.

making a mini terrarium by you.

  • Water thoroughly so that the soil is saturated.  Wipe inside glass with paper towel.  Place little decorative items in jar.  For kids’ jars you could add little plastic figures like dinosaurs, frogs, or legos.  Whatever you desire.  Put the lid on it and put it in a spot where it will get filtered sunlight. 


  • If the glass fogs up, take the lid off and let it dry out some.  It may take a few days of leaving the lid off to keep the glass from fogging up.   Periodically check your terrarium to make sure it doesn’t get too dry.  And enjoy a bit of green during these gray months! 

24 Comments Add yours

  1. ellen kelley says:

    These are so sweet. I love moss and it sure thrives here in the Pacific Northwest..don’t move around for a day and it begins to grow under your feet.
    I also love the earthy rich smell of moss.
    Mossiness is good!

  2. I love terrariums and hadn’t thought about them in a long time. The one with the Lego robot man has quite some character. I like the nontradtional decor.

  3. Rachel says:

    I like the little mushrooms!

  4. Ayama says:

    😀 This is on the to do list with Miss CT. I will have to go scout where I can find some moss…

  5. simplyblogged says:

    beautiful. nice project for these winter months. seen this in the photography blogged flickr group.

  6. Rachel says:

    Oh that is cute! Boba and a mushroom…I always wondered where he would retire to! =) Fun project, I’ll be linking.

  7. jen says:

    i needed your help months ago! when i was raking my leaves in early november, i accidentally raked up a big chunk of moss. so i stuck it in a jar. it did well for a while, but without the peat moss, it dried up and i tossed it 2 weeks ago. next time, i’ll consult your instructions! must find a lego dude first.

  8. Ellie says:

    I love, love, love the robot in the moss. A little “green” project might be just what the Cabin girls need today since we are snowed in and school is cancelled.

    And BTW. . I am in awe of the papercutting.

  9. Leslie says:

    This is so cute. I have some of those mushrooms but I’m not sure where I’d find moss around here. Maybe when it warms up just a bit I’ll take a little walk to see what I might find.

  10. mayaluna says:

    Beautiful tutorial. Your images are always so inspiring. I’m feeling pretty happy that I don’t have put this on my to do list… it would up at the top if I wasn’t ms. lucky 🙂

  11. Ah, I want one. I have no idea where I’ll find moss around here, though. There used to be tons on the church wall back home, though.

  12. Knack says:

    Ooh ! I’m so excited to make one! I have lots of trees and lots of moss in my yard so thank you thank you!! Xo

  13. molly says:

    i found a glass lid and couldn’t for the life of me remember where it came from – then i remembered. i have the perfect glass container for this project. avery and i are making one of these tomorrow. thanks jackie!!!

  14. batspit says:

    I have the tiny creatures, the jar and the knowledge… now i need the moss.

    i’m going to add different levels of gravel to mine for drainage- trying to decide if it should be small to big or big to small…

    in other news:

    SNOW DAY!!!!

  15. Ellen says:

    This is a neat idea – thanks for sharing. My children would probably love to try this one out.

  16. Claudia says:

    how fun! moss you say? just need to wait until spring…don’t know why but getting moss by the mail is freaking me out!

  17. pockafwye says:

    I have got to try this! I’ll bet even I can keep moss alive, and it’s so pretty.

  18. B says:

    This is totally something I could use right now with the nasty snow that’s falling from the sky. I’m going to add this to my things I must do in the spring list. Like you said, it’s a great excuse to get out for a hike, and I love hiking.

  19. maya says:

    lovely. i’ve been trying to think of what to do with a few sentimental little things that are very clutterish in my otherwise urban-rustic home. a terrarium home is just the place for them. a set of terrariums, that is. also, i’ve been wanting houseplants without houseplants, the messy soil & no see-um bugs. i love all that outside, but not so much in. this is also the answer. great!

  20. Brandis says:

    I love it! I have a jar just lying around without a purpose that would be perfect for this, and with all the recent rain here I would be willing to bet it’s only a matter of time before there’s ample moss under my peach tree… I can’t wait!

  21. Elizabeth says:

    So cute! Thanks for posting. I absolutely love it!

  22. Gretchen says:

    Thanks so much! I picked up some moss on a hike last weekend and wanted to make one of these but apparently needed some instruction on what to do with it.

  23. lego says:

    where did you get boba??

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