Flowers are starting to bloom and the weather is getting nicer, which means spring is almost here! Every year I get spring cleaning fever, and not only clean my apartment from top to bottom, but also go through all my belongings to see what I can get rid of. This year, my kitchen needed the most help, so I started there. Digging through to the dark corners of my cabinets, I realized that I had a lot of unused kitchenware. Did I really need all this stuff? Nope.
I filled a box full of unwanted things, and as the pile grew, I wondered if I could repurpose some of these things instead of donating or throwing them all out. We all have kitchenware stored away that is outdated, broken, or never used. Instead of throwing it out, let’s repurpose it. But what could I repurpose these things into? The first thing that came to mind was terrariums. They’re easy to maintain and add a natural element to your home or office space. Plus, terrariums are fun and inexpensive to make!
Selecting a Terrarium Container
A terrarium is essentially just a glass container used to grow and display plants. When looking through your kitchen for something to repurpose into one, the possibilities can seem endless. Glass canisters, jars, water pitchers, glass cookie jars and old drinking glasses all would make wonderful new homes for a plant.
For my terrariums, I used a Bodum French Press and an old Mr. Coffee decanter because they are interesting shapes. I challenge you to find a unique piece of kitchenware to repurpose, as it will make your terrarium really stand out.
Gathering the Supplies
I went to a local floral shop for advice (I lack a green thumb) and learned that there are several types of terrariums to choose from. I decided to make both a ‘moist’ terrarium and a ‘dry’ terrarium because their environments fit the types of containers I was using.
For moist terrariums, you’ll use an enclosed container and plants that thrive in humid or wet climates. I used the Bodum French Press for this terrarium because it has a lid to keep the humidity in, while being deep enough for a sufficient layer of dirt.
Moist Terrarium Supplies:
- Pebbles for drainage
- A tropical plant
- Decorative items (mushrooms, crystal)
For dry terrariums you’ll use an open container, like my Mr. Coffee decanter (I took the handle and lid off). Air plants work well in this environment and are easy to take care of. Because they don’t have roots, you won’t have to plant them and won’t need dirt.
Dry Terrarium Supplies:
- Air plants (Tillandsia Ionantha)
- Decorative items (Lichen, colored pebbles, driftwood, citrine, amethyst)
You can use anything small that you find in your home as a decorative item, like toys, trinkets, figurines and gemstones. You can also pick up decorative items from the outdoors, like pebbles, rocks and driftwood.
Layer, Plant and Landscape
Putting your terrarium together is easy. You’ll work in layers, starting from the bottom to the top. I’ve ordered the supply lists by layer, so for the moist terrarium you’ll start with the pebbles and work your way up to the decorative items. For the dry terrarium, you’ll start with sand and work your way up to the decorative items.
Moist terrarium care: Only open the lid when there is a noticeable amount of moisture on the glass. Remove the lid to let the moist air out, then replace the lid. Supplement water about 1-2 times a week, dropping in only a few tablespoons at a time. Keep your moist terrarium out of direct sunlight.
Dry terrarium care: Indirect sunlight is best. Every 10-14 days you will want to take your air plants out and soak them in room temperature water for 30-60 minutes. Dry them off, making sure no water has collected on the leaves, and then place them back in your terrarium.
And there you have it! You now have a cute terrarium for your space, and more important, you’ve saved an unwanted piece of kitchenware from sitting in our landfills. Have you repurposed anything in your home? Let us know!
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- Recycling & Composting: Are You Doing it Right? - April 18, 2016
- The Art of Repurposing, or How to Make a Terrarium - March 11, 2016