• 2-liter soda bottle ( a smaller plastic bottle could work as well)
  • Soil
  • Small plant or seeds
  • Sharpie marker
  • Rocks, pebbles or marbles
  • Sharp scissors
  • Water
  • Garden trinkets (optional)


1. Turn a coffee mug upside down and rest your sharpie pen on top.  This will help you draw a straight line around the 2-liter bottle.  As you place your bottle next to the sharpie, spin the bottle around slowly to draw the line.

2. Take some sharp scissors and cut along the line. ** Adult help may be needed. Later you will be putting the top half of the bottle back onto the bottom half of the bottle, so to make the top part fit better we cut a little over 1-inch slit down the side of the bottom bottle.

3. Fill the bottom of the bottle with some small rocks, pebbles or marbles.  (The purpose of the “pebbles at the bottom allow excess water to flow to the bottom of the bottle. This will prevent it from soaking the soil and making it muddy”).

4. Add some soil.  How much soil you put in depends on if you are planting a plant or seeds. If you are planting small plants, you don’t need to put much in.  If you are planting seeds you will want to fill the soil so that there is about an inch of space left to the top.

5. Next add your plant, and add some more soil to fill in the spaces.  If you are planting seeds…the Terrarium Man recommends planting “6 to 10 seeds and later as they grow you can pluck out some of the weaker ones and leave the 2 or 3 best ones”.

6. Next water the soil so that it is moist.

Children may add decorations drawn on the outside of the bottle, or add trinkets/ small items from nature or from around the house—acorn tops, a nice rock, small toy or figure, etc.  After that, just place the top half of the soda bottle back on.

The Terrarium Man’s advice on how to care for your terrarium:

There are two important factors you have to consider when it comes to your terrarium: the amount of sunlight it gets and the amount of water that is inside.

Once the plants have sprouted you should make sure it gets sunlight but do not leave it in direct sunlight for the entire day. It is a closed environment and it can get very hot inside.

Water – Look carefully at the soil in the terrarium. It should look moist but not soaked or too dry. Beads of water should form on the top inside near edge and these will drip down the sides and continue to water the soil. If it appears to be too wet you can take the top off and leave it uncovered for a day or two.

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