Hands On!

DIY Minimalist Terrarium

The minimalist style looks set to be a perennial home décor favourite! It is easy to see why. A fan myself, I join legions of others who like the pared down, unfussy elegance of the style!

However, decor options for the home can present a challenge. Finding the right piece is not easy. Many shops tend to stock up on fussy bits and pieces. And, often minimalism comes with a maximal price tag as the really nice ones tend to be exclusive designer pieces.

Hold that sigh, fret not! With some research on the Internet and a little creativity, you can make use of common items and DIY them into something spectacular without spending too much.

Previously, I wrote an article on how you can create a luminary by using off-the-shelf photo frames. We are going to transform the same luminary to a mini terrarium. 🙂

Materials used for this project:

Main Body

1. Glass container
To make this you can get 4 photo frames and stick them together using strong bond glue. For more instructions, please follow the steps in this article.


As this container does not have a base, we will need to build one so that it can hold the contents and be easily transportable.

2. Fibreboard
I am using a medium/high density fibreboard so that it can withstand the weight of the terrarium when I need to move it around. You can get this from a thrift shop.

3. Contact paper (Optional)
As I wanted a more ‘premium’ look, I decided to cover the board with marble contact paper, bought from an online store. Contact paper is decorative with adhesive on the other side. I chose marble as this finishing is in trend now, but you are free to choose other textures like dark wood.


4. Perlite soil
The amount of perlite required depends on the size of your container. I am using about 1.5 to 2kg of it.

5. Fake mini plants
Practically zero maintenance required. 🙂


6. Scissors
7. Hard card

Step 1: Build the base

Contact paper usually comes in long rolls, so just measure how much you need using the board as a guide. Remember to leave an allowance of at least 2 cm.

Step 2: Stick the contact paper

Start off by peeling down the backing, exposing around 3 to 4 cm of the adhesive side. Align the board and press it down after confirming the position.

Flip over and continue peeling off the backing slowly.

Tip: Use the hard card to glide over the surface as you stick to prevent air bubbles.

Step 3: Cut and fold the excess contact paper

Make 2 cuts at the edges so that you can fold the excess to wrap the back of the board. Stick down the excess to the back of the board.

And the base is completed. Looks great, right? 🙂

Step 4: Choose your plants

As I do not have ‘green fingers’, I reckoned that it would better to use fake plants instead. This also saves me the hassle of having to water them. For this project I chose the Japanese pine.

If you decide to use a real plant, I would recommend succulents as these do no need much watering. If you have extra succulents to spare, you can consider planting them in wine cork magnets. 🙂

Step 5: Fill the container with perlite soil

After placing your container over the base, fill it with some perlite soil. Place your plant in and continue to add in the rest of the soil.

And there you have it – a minimalist terrarium!

Share your creation with us by tagging #MyNiceHome on Instagram. If you have other crafty suggestions, do let us know via mynicehome@mailbox.hdb.gov.sg or via our Facebook page.

By LF Shen
April 06, 2017

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