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A DIY Tropical Air Plant Terrarium

Today’s DIY project is filled with color and tropical style! If you’re looking to add a dose of vibrancy to your work area, tabletop or bookshelf, this radiant air plant terrarium is as easy to maintain as it is to create. With a few basic supplies and a little bit of imagination (of the beachy kind), you too can craft a neon terrarium in less than an hour!

And if you want to create a no-maintenance variety of the project, simply leave out the air plant, as shown below! Keep reading for all of the colorful details…

Tropical Air Plant Terrarium Supplies

Here’s what you’ll need to get started…

  • a glass globe (a globe made for air plants is ideal)
  • sand or gravel
  • seashells
  • colorful rocks and stones
  • an air plant
  • a drink umbrella

I had craft sand on hand, as well as aquarium gravel and pearlized rocks in a shade of aqua. I also gathered seashells, most of which I’d previously purchased at craft stores. Special shells from trips to the beach are also perfect for this project!

Not to mention, I love collecting small marble tiles from stores like Floor & Decor (sometimes they let you keep small marble tiles that have fallen from the larger flooring sheets), as well as mineral samples and stones from Etsy shops such as One of a Kind Stones by Curtis Bort (check out the green stone below):

Project Steps

Ready to get started?! Below you will find a few easy steps for creating your own air plant terrarium with tropical style…

Step 1: Begin by placing a layer of gravel at the bottom of your glass globe.

I opted for a two-tone effect, created with white and neon pink aquarium gravel:

Step 2: Have fun arranging your project supplies into a variety of vignettes, experimenting with different possibilities for the finished product.

You can even create patterns using supplies such as colorful stones! As you can tell, I had a little too much fun arranging the tropical items involved in this project:

Let your imagination run wild, allowing yourself to create a visual representation of your perfect day at the beach. Here are a few more breezy tropical shots:

Step 3: Select your final design, and have fun styling your air plant terrarium!

The best part about this project: It can constantly evolve as you add special details and items you collect over time. If you get tired of one design, change it up for a fresh look!

Step 4: Don’t forget to top it all off with a tropical umbrella!

You can place your umbrella through the loop at the top of the glass globe, or you can add it to the inside. I even stuck mine through the hole in the side of the globe to avoid disrupting the arrangement! I made sure the umbrella was closed as I placed it through the hole, then unfolded it once it was inside the globe.

As mentioned at the top of the post, there’s no rule saying you need to include an air plant in your terrarium. If you have a large shell to serve as a focal point, more power to you!

May your terrarium take you away to a sandy beach with turquoise water. Sometimes it’s the little things that help us de-stress, right?!

Happy crafting!

Kate Simmons

Kate Simmons is a freelance writer and design blogger with a love of all things decor. She spent her childhood writing stories and working on interior design-themed DIY projects. Kate’s published writing reflects her special interest in how design has changed through the decades. Her blog Mirror80 ( http://mirror80.com/) explores the fashion and [...]

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