Showing posts with label miniatures. Show all posts
Showing posts with label miniatures. Show all posts

Tutorial: Terrariums

DIY Tutorial: How to make a simple glass jar terrarium
When my daughter came home from college in May she asked if we could make terrariums. I have wanted to do this project for awhile, but I have never had much success with terrariums. Every single one has been filled with dead and/or molded plants within weeks.

But since I don't get the opportunity to do many projects with my kiddo anymore, I decided to make one more attempt at creating a healthy terrarium.
Before we got started, I watched (and re-watched) this video by my friend Anne from Anne of Green Gardens. Anne was my inspiration when I made my fairy garden village, so I thought her guidance would boost my confidence with terrariums and it did.



You may be able to find most of the materials (carbon, moss, clay hydroballs and maybe even a container and plants) at your local pet store.
Before you begin, wash and dry your container and rinse the clay hydro balls or pebbles.

Place about an inch of carbon at the bottom of the jar.
Add about an inch of clay hydroballs or small pebbles.
Next you will be adding a couple inches of potting mix. I put the potting mix into a bowl and blended it with a handful of the carbon before adding it to my jar.
It's time to add the plants. This can be a little tricky depending on how wide the opening to your jar is. Take your time and be patient.

Try to position your plants so they are not touching the glass.
I used the end of a wooden spoon to help me dig little holes for the plants and move the dirt around.
Finally, add a layer of sheet moss around the plants.
If you want, you can decorate your mini-world with colored rocks or other small items. I used a little quail figurine.
My daughter added a little Yoshi and some glass gems. He looks pretty happy! We lightly watered our plants and left the lids open for several days.

DIY Tutorial: How to make a simple glass jar terrarium

The trick with closed terrariums is finding the right balance. They need light, but not too much light and moisture, but not too much moisture. Keep a close watch over your little environment until that perfect balance is reached. If you see any mold or excessive condensation, remove the lid and let things air out a bit.

What's your secret for the perfect terrarium?

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Field Trip: Tucson Botanical Gardens

I'm going to take a little break from my normal crafty topics today. Instead of crafting, let's go on a field trip!

When my daughter was much younger, one of the places we enjoyed exploring together was the Tucson Botanical Gardens. The property is beautifully maintained and has a variety of plant life and exhibits that always please. Unfortunately, over the years, hanging out with mom and looking at plants became increasingly "uncool" so our visits to the garden became less frequent.

Now that mini-me is out of the house, my husband and I have had more time to spend doing the things we enjoy, so a couple weeks ago we headed out to the gardens.

Since our last visit, the Garden Railway exhibit has expanded. The mini town is enchanting, especially as the model train zooms by.

I especially liked this little store on main street. Maybe it would be easier to get our husbands to join us at the fabric shop if it was more like this one ;)

We saw some critters throughout the gardens.

Of course I am always on the lookout for project ideas like this beautiful mosaic bench.

But the highlight of our visit was Butterfly Magic in the Butterfly and Orchid (and tree frog) Pavillion.

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

Butterfly Magic at the Tucson Botanical Gardens

 After wandering the grounds, imagine our surprise when we turned a corner to discover...

 I guess it's time to head back to the sewing room and get to work!

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Seven Lucky Fairy Gardens

Container Garden: Create a magical fairy garden with a teapot house and some pixie dustOver the last year I have become slightly addicted to miniature gardening. It all started when I created a small fairy garden with a teapot-like house in a container by our front door. That led me to create an entire fairy village in the back yard. Now, I seem to have little fairy gardens popping up all over the place.

I recently noticed that some of my older gardens needed sprucing up. So, I cleaned out the leaves and debris that had accumulated over the winter and planted a few new flowers to replace ones that didn't survive.

Let me take you on a tour of my newly remodeled miniature and magical communities.

We'll start at the base of my terraced fairy village. This area actually fared pretty well over the winter. The solar lights still glow each night along the path in my tiny neighborhood.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a re-purposed glass bottle

This is the bottle house and was created with a Baileys Irish Cream bottle and some glass paint.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a painted mason jar

Next door is the mason jar house. You may notice this house has changed colors dramatically since it's creation. I'll admit, I didn't follow the most important step in the tutorial I wrote. "Let the paint dry completely before you place the lid on the jar." After a few days outside, all of the paint slid off the sides of the glass and formed a wet, globby clump at the bottom. So, I had the pleasure of repainting the jar and testing my patience.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a re-purposed paint can

Just up the hill is the paint can house.  This is one of the areas that got a new plant, a Petite Licorice. I love the silvery leaves.

Fairy Garden: Create a rustic fairy house with a log and moss

Further up the hill is the rustic log house. One of the Angel's Hair plants got a trim, the other got transplanted and was replaced by a Deep Pink Verbena. I think the flowers add a nice touch to the area.

Fairy Garden: Create a fairy house with a clay pot, crushed shells and grout

The shell house used to be a part of the main fairy village. Unfortunately it became overrun by the Gopher Plant jungle this spring so the house was relocated to create a new beach garden from a vacant, tipped clay pot. My own tiny beach oasis in the middle of the desert.

Fairy Garden: Create an alpine fairy house with a painted syrup bottle

Finally, my Alpine garden made with a syrup bottle house and a little Italian Stone Pine that I received for Christmas. I think they make a lovely pairing.

For now, I'll try to refrain from creating any more miniature landscapes. My family says there's no more room in the yard for fairy gardens, but there's always room for a little bit of magic!

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Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to Make a Fairy Garden Beach

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make a miniature beach themed fairy garden. Surf's up!A few years ago I re-purposed a large piece of clay pottery that  was cracked on one side. I dug a slight hole, tipped the pot on it's side and filled it with some desert plants. Sadly, my plants pretty much died out last summer and I haven't had a chance to do anything with the area.

I also recently noticed that the plant located by the shell fairy house I created last year had pretty much swallowed up my previous beach scene.

So, I decided to create a miniature seashore inside of my tipped clay container.


  • large clay pot
  • blue paint
  • paintbrush
  • beach inspired fairy house
  • glass marbles
  • plastic wrap (optional)
  • crushed shells
  • dirt or sand
  • lupinus hybrids


First, you will need to partially submerge a large piece of clay pottery on it's side. I used an old pot that had a crack on one side. The cracked section is buried so you don't even see it.
Since this piece has been in our yard for years, I needed to move the dirt out of the pot before I could paint the inside.
Next, paint the inside of the pot. I like to use materials that I already have available when I can. Instead of purchasing new paint, I used leftover latex paint to coat the inside of the pot. Interestingly, the name of the color was Azure Sky. It seemed like a perfect match for this project.
Once the inside of the pot was painted, I pushed the dirt back in and leveled it out.
Next, you’ll create the ocean with flattened blue, glass marbles.
I placed a piece of plastic wrap under the marbles. It made them easier to spread out and they won't get lost in the dirt.

Once the marbles are spread out the way you like, you can trim the plastic wrap.
Next, place your fairy house. I made this one with a small clay pot, grout and crushed shells. Here's how.

If you don't want to make a fairy house, look at the pet store in the aquarium section. You're sure to find some beach themed decor.
Next, create the beach with some dirt or sand.

Now it's time for the finishing touches. I planted a hybrid variety of lupine because they look like tiny palm trees. Eventually they will make purple flowers that have a kind of tropical look so they will still fit in with the beach theme. I also sprinkled some crushed shells around my miniature seashore and added a larger shell, a few rocks and a couple pieces of bark to look like driftwood. Be creative!

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make a miniature beach themed fairy garden. Surf's up!

I have my own miniature beach landscape right here in the desert. Surf's up!

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Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden with a repurposed glass maple syrup bottle and an Italian Stone Pine treeDuring the holidays I received two gifts that I knew would be great for creating a new fairy garden. The first was a miniature Italian Stone Pine tree (which I may have over-watered a bit because I have a bad habit of thinking water = love with plants). The second was a bottle of maple syrup. Even though I received these gifts from different people, they seemed like a perfect pairing for an Alpine themed fairy garden.

I've been scouting my yard for the perfect spot to create my miniature landscape and finally settled on a large clay pot near our fire pit.



I was lucky enough to get a maple leaf bottle filled with syrup and it was delicious! If you can't find syrup in a bottle like this at the market, you can get the glass bottles on Amazon (one of my affiliates) from the link above.

Tutorial: painted glass maple syrup bottle Start with a clean, dry bottle and fill it with a bit of acrylic paint in your favorite color. I used a red-orange color. Put the lid on the bottle then swirl the paint around until the inside is covered. It's a little tricky because of all the jagged edges on the leaf. You can add more paint if necessary.
Remove the lid and turn the bottle upside down onto a protected work surface like a paper plate. Let all of the excess paint drain from the bottle.
Tutorial: painted glass maple syrup bottle Let the paint dry completely. This is the step I always want to rush, but it's really important that the paint is thoroughly dry before you put the lid back on so I'll say it again.

Let the paint dry completely!

Once the paint is dry you can put the lid back on.
Sometimes you can find these fairy wish doors in the beads and jewelry making section at the craft store. I like them because the doors actually open up.
They are meant to be used as necklaces so there is a loop at the top that you may want to remove with a pair of wire cutters.
Once the loop is removed...
...add a spot of silicon adhesive to the back of the door.
Tutorial: Create a fairy house with a painted maple syrup bottle Then affix the door to your painted bottle. Make sure to leave space between the bottom of the door and the bottom of the bottle because you will want to submerge a little of the bottle when you create your garden.

Let the bottle lay on it's side until the glue is dry or the door will slide off the glass.

Once the silicon is dry, you can head outside to set-up your garden. I used the miniature Italian Stone Pine that was given to me, bought a Fine Gold Leaf Sedum and transplanted some Angel's hair from another one of my gardens. Of course you can use other varieties of plants in your garden. I made a bark path in front of the fairy house and added a medium sized rock from the yard as an accent.

Craft and Garden Tutorial: How to make an Alpine Fairy Garden with a repurposed glass maple syrup bottle and an Italian Stone Pine tree

Welcome woodland fairies! In my next post we'll head to the seashore and I'll show you how to make a miniature beach themed garden.

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