Earth Day Moss Garden Terrarium Tutorial

Finished Moss Terrarium

Here is a simple way to celebrate the earth, and bring a little of it inside your home. This moss garden terrarium is easy and inexpensive to make. Children of any age can help with this project and may especially enjoy finding such treasures of the earth. Noticing the small things in nature can be so rewarding, and it feels good to sink our hands in the soil.

Materials for Moss Terrarium


  • a wide-mouthed glass container (goldfish bowl, candle holder, or jar; you may find something appropriate a thrift store)
  • gathered moss (gently lift from soil or rock, bringing the soil on which it grows with you)
  • about ½ to 1 cup small gravel or pebbles (look for pretty pebbles in your yard)
  • about 1 cup loamy garden soil (or more if your glass container is large)
  • interesting rocks, bark, twigs, or gemstones
  • spray bottle with water

Optional Materials

  • a small plant that requires little water (perhaps a jade plant or other succulent)
  • beeswax for modeling or a small figurine
  • crystals, glass gems, small twigs

Gathered Moss



Begin by gathering your materials. You may be able to gather most of the materials you’ll need from your yard or nature walk. (Be sure not to remove items from protected nature areas.) Take a soup spoon or small shovel and a gathering basket along on your walk. Look along creeks and in shady, moist areas.

When you find mosses, stop and consider them a moment. Moss is a delightful, soft plant. It gets it’s nutrients from the air, rather than the soil, and requires shade and only a little water. It makes a perfect plant for a terrarium that gets only indirect sunlight in your home.

Feathery soft, your green so bright,

preferring deep shade to the light,

quietly sitting, waiting, spreading,

it’s hard to tell which way you’re heading.

I will touch your velvet softness.

Moss, I love your gentle mossness.


You make a lovely velvet bed

for a Fairy Queen to rest her head,

who sleeps in afternoons for rest

and dreams of forests nightly blessed.

We creatures great and creatures small

find you the tenderest plant of all.


Thank the earth for growing such lovely mosses and gently dig up some patches. Don’t take more than you need to fill your terrarium container, and you’ll likely need to take only an inch of soil or less.

Garden Stones in the Bowl

Now place your gravel or pebbles into your glass terrarium. These are at the bottom for drainage of water away from the soil. Add your garden soil to the container. It will probably cover your pebbles completely. You may wish to grade your soil so that some areas are higher than others. This will add interest to your finished terrarium.

Side View

Arrange your mosses (in patches) in your terrarium. Try to keep your clumps of moss mostly intact to make a contiguous, soft carpet. Alternatively, you could place moss in only part of your terrarium, and decorate the other areas with a plant, pretty pebbles, or glass gems.

Mosses In

Add your decorative rocks, bark, or crystals. I happened to find a small chuck of old concrete that had more moss growing on it, so I added it to my terrarium. What will you add? Crystals? Twigs? Polished stones? A ceramic figurine of a deer or a rabbit? A butterfly? A gnome or a Fairy Queen in repose? Perhaps you’ll change your terrarium decorations with the holidays.

Spray to Keep Moist

Spray your moss garden with some water. Your mosses may need spraying once or twice a day to stay green and living. Avoid exposing them to direct sunlight.

Beeswax Gnome

I turned to our modeling beeswax to fashion a tiny gnome. I think he’ll make an excellent caregiver for my moss garden terrarium. Gnomes are kind custodians of the earth.

Finished Moss Terrarium

Be a good caregiver of your moss garden terrarium, spray it gently every day, and be careful not to saturate it with too much water. (Once again, the direct sunlight you see in this photo is too hot and bright for your moss. Be sure not to keep your terrarium in such a sunny location.)

Now add your terrarium to your nature table, your dinner table for an Earth Day celebration, or anywhere in your home that needs a small reminder of the earth’s beauty.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...Pin It

21 Responses to “Earth Day Moss Garden Terrarium Tutorial”

  • Kate
    April 21, 2012 at 9:12 am

    We are SO making this this weekend. What a great project!!!

    You are wonderful.


  • Kate
    April 21, 2012 at 4:01 pm

    And here’s ours!!


    • Sara
      April 24, 2012 at 1:12 pm

      Thanks, Kate! I hope you had tons of fun making it. Thanks for coming back to show me!


  • sunnymama
    May 10, 2012 at 6:25 pm

    What a great idea and it looks wonderful! Thank you so much for sharing this with our spring carnival. :) I just wanted to let you know that I featured your post here:


    • Sara
      May 12, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Thank you, SunnyMama!


  • Yvonne
    June 12, 2012 at 2:05 am

    I love this green tutorial. They look so cute and adorable. I am going to featured your post once I done any cute design with my plants!


  • Ola
    June 18, 2012 at 4:18 am

    This is so lovely. You have inspired me to create something like this with my children. Thank you.


    • Sara
      June 21, 2012 at 11:43 am

      Hi Ola, if you do, please let me know! I’d love to see a photo. xo


  • cordless vacuum reviews
    March 26, 2014 at 8:23 am

    Hi there great blog! Does running a blog such as this take
    a massive amount work? I’ve virtually no knowledge of computer
    programming however I was hoping to start my own blog soon.

    Anyways, should you have any recommendations or techniques for new blog owners please share.
    I know this is off subject nevertheless I just had to ask. Cheers!

    my web-site; cordless vacuum reviews


  • Qa Training
    March 27, 2014 at 10:29 pm

    An impressive share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a
    friend who has been doing a little research on this. And he actually ordered me dinner because I stumbled upon it for
    him… lol. So let me reword this…. Thank YOU for the meal!!

    But yeah, thanks for spending the time to discuss this topic here on
    your web page.

    Here is my webpage; Qa Training


  • Missy @ Dot-to-Dot Connections
    March 28, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    We love making terrariums and this is so timely as my daughter is soon going to be learning about moss and other nonvascular plants! Thank you for sharing this great idea!


  • hot summer dress
    April 3, 2014 at 5:02 am

    Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is a
    very well written article. I’ll make sure to bookmark it and come
    back to read more of your useful information. Thanks for the post.
    I’ll certainly comeback.

    Also visit my page – hot summer dress


  • mary kay intouch
    April 3, 2014 at 6:04 pm

    It’s very effortless to find out any topic on net as compared to textbooks, as I found this piece of
    writing at this web page.

    My blog post … mary kay intouch


  • how to trimmer line
    April 10, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    Hi, i think that i saw you visited my weblog thus i came
    to “return the favor”.I am trying to find things to improve my website!I suppose its
    ok to use some of your ideas!!

    my page: how to trimmer line


  • best microwave popcorn
    April 14, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    I have to thank you for the efforts you’ve put in penning this website.

    I really hope to view the same high-grade blog posts from you later on as well.
    In truth, your creative writing abilities has inspired
    me to get my own, personal website now ;)

    my homepage; best microwave popcorn


  • Nutrilite
    April 15, 2014 at 1:42 am

    Hey! Quick question that’s totally off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly?
    My website looks weird when browsing from my iphone. I’m
    trying to find a theme or plugin that might be able to resolve this
    problem. If you have any recommendations, please share.
    Many thanks!

    my web blog … Nutrilite


  • acoustic guitar tabs
    April 16, 2014 at 3:43 am

    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d most certainly donate to this
    outstanding blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your
    RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group.
    Talk soon!

    Look at my weblog; acoustic guitar tabs


  • book of ra
    April 16, 2014 at 4:19 am

    Questo è davvero affascinante , Sei un blogger troppo professionale.

    Ho unito il tuo feed rss e sono ansioso di in cerca di più del vostro magnifico posto .
    Inoltre , ho condiviso il vostro sito nei miei social

    Take a look at my webpage … book of ra


  • Avon Catalogue
    April 16, 2014 at 9:58 pm

    Wow, awesome blog layout! How long have you been blogging
    for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your site is magnificent,
    as well as the content!

    Here is my site – Avon Catalogue


Leave a Reply

  • About Sara

    Hello! Thanks for visiting! I'm Sara, a freelance editor and writer, wife to Ian, and mother of two precious boys. I am living each day to the fullest and with as much grace, creativity, and patience as I can muster. This is where I write about living, loving, and engaging fully in family life and the world around me. I let my hair down here. I learn new skills here. I strive to be a better human being here. And I tell the truth.

    Our children attend Waldorf school and we are enriching our home and family life with plenty of Waldorf-inspired festivals, crafts, and stories.

    © 2003–2013 Please do not use my photographs or text without my permission.

    "Love doesn't just sit there like a stone; it has to be made, like bread, remade all the time, made new." —Ursula K. LeGuinn

  • Buy Our Festivals E-Books

  • Archives

  • Categories

  • Follow Me on Pinterest
  • Featured on …

    familybookfestival sunnydaytodaymama littleacornlearning
  • sunnydaytodaymama
  • Meta