Monday, December 29, 2014

DIY Project #1 - Open Terrarium Workshop

C, Mel, and I signed up for this Terrarium Workshop with Green with Envy at Giving Gifts & Company. I wanted to buy one of these terrariums before but they were expensive ! So when I heard I could spend $40 to make my own customized one, I had no hesitation but to attend ! 

I didn't know anything about these terrariums prior to the workshop but have learned a whole lot after :D So basically, a terrarium is a mini ecosystem of suitable plants and mosses. They are trendy, LIVE ornamental items that's similar to a mini aquarium. There are usually two types of terrariums - open and closed. Closed Terrariums can be sealed and the plants inside do not need much air circulation to survive as long as the transparent glass can provide enough heat and light. The sealed environment also allows a humid and sheltered condition that resembles that of the tropics, hence tropical plants such as mosses and ferns are suitable to be kept in a closed terrarium. 

Our workshop was for open terrariums. They are more suitable for dry plants such as cactus and succulents. These plants cannot be kept in closed terrariums as they are more adapted to drier climates and needs to openness to rid excess moisture. But before I start, I should introduce the venue a little : 

The workshop was taken place at Giving Gifts & Company located on Main st. It's a unique space shared by several small local businesses. The vendors are mostly part and full-time artists that sell their own handmade goods, ranging from potteries, soaps, perfumes, to knitted decors, and flower bouquets. 

The workshop was in one of the small rooms in the venue. The host, Jennifer, provided drinks and cookies as we waited for everyone else to arrive. 

All the materials and equipment were already provided. we need a nice open top glass container, suitable potting soil, river rocks, terrarium plants, and small decors. Now let me show you step by step how my beautiful terrarium was put together : 

Step 1 : Pick your container. 
There were many different choices to fit each person's preference and I picked a very typical ball-shaped vase for mine.

Step 2 : And your base layer - fill your container with rocks and potting soil
Use small rocks, grave, or course sand to be your base layer. This is mainly for drainage purposes so you'll need an even layer of approximately 1" depends on the size of your container. Then top the rocks with a thick layer of appropriate potting soil. Depends on the look you wish to create, I filled mine to about 1/3 of my vase.

Step 3: Add your plants 
You need to sort of have a plan of how you want the overall look to be like so you can arrange and put in your plants accordingly. Be careful while holding cactus, they can really hurt you ! :( Also, when you remove plants from their original pot, be gentle with the roots as you will need them to root into your terrarium. This step is harder than I imagined because it wasn't easy to place plants through the small opening. When placing the plants, dig a small hole and bury the base of the plant tightly with soil so that it doesn't wiggle around. You can use a small brush to brush off dirt that gets on the leaves when you are done.

Step 4 : Add the decors
Just add the decors of your choice and you are done ! Isn't it easy ? Look at how nice mine looks, I swear it looks better than the ones available to purchase in the market. 

Thank you for viewing through my 500 pictures that look exactly the same. What's great about this workshop is also the fact that everyone was so in love with her own project, and everyone thought hers was the best looking one, haha. This adorable bias is not something you can buy from a florist :)
I hence highly recommend you invest your time and effort in some DIY projects, you will love and treasure it much much more. 

Below are C's (left) , Mel's (right) and mine (middle). See how everybody used the same resource but created such different looks :

AND MINE AGAIN, hahahaha, at least this time with a different background :D The after care is so easy, these terrarium plants are super low-maintenance and requires minimal watering. It's perfect for someone like me as I'm horrible at taking care of live plants. All plants, in my hands, will dieeee. But my terrariums have been beautiful and healthy until now :D

After the class, I purchased a huge vase and tons of suitable plants/soil/moss/decorations myself. And I made this ! My very animated Cactus Sheep Farm ! The best thing about taking classes is being able to do something with it after :)

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