How To Make a Fairytale Terrarium

How to Make a Fairytale Terrarium_ My Little Bookcase

I’ve been coveting terrariums for some time now (These ones from Frog, Goose and Bear and Pollyposs are particularly beautiful), but I’ve been far too afraid to try one myself. You see, I am NO green thumb.

But I just knew they’d make perfect gifts for my mum and mother-in-law who both love their gardens.

Cammy and I took on this little project and, not only are we a little obsessed (wait until you see how many we’ve made!), but we love our creations almost too much to give them away. Oops!

Fairytale Terrariums

Fairytale Terrariums_My Little Bookcase

Our terrariums have a fairytale twist. Cammy loves her fairytales so she was really engaged and involved in the project, and it was a great way to help Cammy consolidate her understanding and comprehension of the fairytales and their settings.

Not only are these terrariums absolutely beautiful (I smile every time my eyes are cast upon them), but they actually make beautiful and natural play scenes. Making the actual scenes was hands-down Cammy’s favourite part of the project. We made a range of terrariums to give as gifts but you could make just one and change the scenes regularly.

What you need to make a fairytale terrarium:

How to make a fairytale terrarium_My Little Bookcase

The majority of these items can be found at a discount store, making the terrariums quite affordable to make. The most expensive items are the plants.

  • Glass jar or vase
  • Stones/crushed rock/pebbles (They can just be from a path- they don’t need to be fancy)
  • Activated charcoal (From a nursery or pet store)
  • Potting Mix (To suit the types of plants you will be using)
  • Moss or plants (Use plants that like similar conditions. To be safe, we bought plants specifically for terrariums)
  • Polymer Clay (Only if you want to make your own figurines)
  • Water spray bottle

How to make a Fairytale Terrarium

1. Choose a fairytale and discuss its setting, story and symbols

2. Decide and purchase figurines that will help create a scene for this fairytale (You may already have some in your toy box)

3. Make your figurines if you have chosen to make them yourself (Read the instructions on your clay packaging).

DIY clay figurines for a fairytale terrarium_ My Little Bookcase

4. Visit the nursery to purchase plants and other items you may need for your terrarium (potting mix, activated charcoal, pebbles)

5. Clean your glass jar before beginning

6. Create the following layers in your glass jar (Sprout Home provides great instructions and explains the purpose of the layers).

  • Stones/crushed rocks
  • Activated charcoal
  • Potting mix

Make your own fairytale terrarium_ My Little Bookcase

7. Plant your plants (Make sure your soil layer is deep enough to cover the roots of your plant)

Make your own fairytale terrarium_My Little Bookcase

8. Decorate with figurines

Make your own fairytale terrarium_My Little Bookcase

9. Spray lightly using a water spray bottle (We added a tag to create the perfect Mother’s Day gift, with care instructions on the rear)

10. Spray your terrarium regularly (but don’t overwater)

Caring for your fairytale terrarium_ My Little Bookcase

Gift for Nanna #1: Little Red Riding Hood Terrarium

Little Red Riding Hood Terrarium_My Little Bookcase

●Pebble path ●Wolf  ●Picnic basket for Grandma ●Axe and wood

Gift for Nanna #2: Hansel and Gretel Terrarium

Hansel and Gretel Terrarium_My Little Bookcase

●Witch’s house ●Witch’s broom ●Pebbles

A terrarium for us to keep: Snow White Terrarium

Snow White Terrarium_My Little Bookcase

●Seven Dwarfs ●Pick ●Diamond ●Forest friends (deer, rabbits, bird)

A terrarium for Cammy’s writing station: Rapunzel Terrarium

Rapunzel Terrarium_My Little Bookcase

●Tower ●Blonde plait ● Forest friends (owl/bird)

Tips and Tricks

I’m surprised how easy these terrariums were to make, and how successful they were. But, each time we made a new terrarium we improved our processes and decisions. Here are a few of our tips.

  • Purchase plants and figurines first, then find a glass jar large enough (We had trouble fitting out scenes into the jars we bought)
  • Buy a glass jar that has a large opening for little hands (The openings in our jars were a little narrow, making it tricky for us to place our figurines without upsetting the plants).
  • Set out the scene before planting so you don’t over-handle the plants (We kept changing our minds).
  • Choose plants that like similar conditions (Originally we planted a fern-like plant that shriveled very quickly in our terrarium when others were happy).
  • Make sure you make your layer of soil deep enough to cover the roots of your plant.

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About Jackie Small of My Little Bookcase

How To Make a Fairytale Terrarium


  1. Kate said: On April 30, 2014

    What beautiful little treasures, all with a little story to be told. I adore these and would no doubt be a lovely gift for someone.

  2. They are lovely Jackie. I may just make one for myself for Mother’s Day. And great tip to get the plants first! I would have bought the bowl first and then probably would have got stuck too!

    I love the Snow White one and the one for Cammy’s writing station. I think it is so nice to have little plants dotted around our children’s play spaces.

    • Thank you Kate. It is new for me to have plants in the house. I don’t seem to have a green thumb. But Cammy is not like me and she is very keen to look after them. It makes me happy to have them around the house. I’ll be sad to part with two of them on Mother’s Day.

  3. Clare said: On May 1, 2014

    Oh wow – I love this idea! I saw a post about making a fairytale garden but I didn’t think about bringing the magic inside with a Terrarium. I’m going to share this on my FB page if that’s ok and I’m also inviting you to come link up at my party –

  4. Looks like you all had lots of fun! Such a beautiful idea, I can’t wait till my little girl is old enough to help me make one of these. x

  5. Jackie, they are adorable. Such a special gift but I’m not sure I could part with them :) I love having plants in the house, but at the moment I only seem to have cuttings of herbs on the windowsill.

  6. Jackie – your terrariums are gorgeous! We had a possum magic party over easter – very much inspired by yours!! I’ll post about it this month sometime and let you know. I can’t seem to find your email address anywhere. The one on your about me page doesn’t seem to be working, but I was wondering if you’d like to be involved in a little party series I’m going to do on the blog starting in a few weeks time. Email me at if you’d like some more info. emma xo

  7. These are completely magical… I adore them! What a great idea.

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How To Make a Fairytale Terrarium

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