Moss Terrarium Tutorial – The Gift that Keeps Giving All Year ‘Round!

Moss Terrarium Gift Tutorial from Shrimp Salad Circus

Hola, and happy Week After Thanksgiving! I’m Lindsay from Shrimp Salad Circus, and I would like to help you out with your Christmas gifting! I have a few people on my list that are nearly impossible to shop for, and I’m willing to bet that you can all relate. That’s why I have a little tutorial to make something in just twenty minutes that will look great on Mr. or Ms. Impossible-to-Shop-For’s desk, shelf, or countertop! This is one of the quickest, easiest gifts you’ll make this holiday season, and it’s probably one of the only things your lucky somebody will receive and still have around for next December!

On an unrelated note, can I please point out how adorable my darling little Mish is?! He has officially adopted the terrarium as his own and will not leave its side!


  • glass jar
  • gravel or small rocks
  • activated charcoal
  • potting soil
  • moss
  • embellishments
  • large spoon
  • ribbon
  • spray bottle of water

  1. Drop a layer of gravel or small rocks into the bottom of your jar. Make sure that you have enough to thoroughly cover the bottom because this will be the source of drainage for your little closed ecosystem.
  2. Sprinkle a few scoops of activated charcoal over the gravel. This will help control the odor inside the jar.
  3. Dump in a relatively thick layer of potting soil with a touch of sand mixed in. Use the back of your spoon to level the little pile out a bit.
  4. Using the lid from the jar as a guideline, press firmly into the sheet of moss with the edge of your spoon to cut all the way around the circle. You want to cut just a little bit extra around the edges because you’ll be tucking it tightly into the jar. You can use any sort of moss; I just pulled mine up from a creek near the house. If you don’t have the right climate to have any growing wild, you can also find it online.
  5. Push your pad of moss into the jar, and firmly press it down all over with the back of the spoon. This is really important to encourage the roots to extend into the potting soil layer to keep your moss alive long past Christmas. Using the spoon again, tuck the edges of the moss under all the way around the circumference of your jar. You want it to be a little bit spherical, with the top higher than the edges. Use a paper towel to wipe the charcoal, soil, dirt, and moisture from inside the jar. You will need to give your moss a few spritzes from a water bottle. In the future, you can spritz it once or twice a week and then replace the lid. If a great deal of condensation builds up inside the jar, leave the lid off until it evaporates a bit. Keep the jar out of direct sunlight, or it will get too hot inside and ‘cook’ your moss!

  1. Place your little decorations atop the moss to add character. You can tailor these to your gift recipient for that extra, personal touch. I used a little set of owls and a daisy, but anything small will work! Now tie a big ribbon around the jar; add a tag with care instructions; and give it to your impossible friend or family member!

Good luck with your gifting, and please do stop by Shrimp Salad Circus for more great tutorials from jewelry to food to repurposed projector slides!