Creating a hanging terrarium can be a fun and rewarding DIY project. But in order to get the most out of your hanging terrarium, you need to pick the right glass container. The glass container holds the soil and plants in your terrarium and keeps the mini ecosystem contained. So it’s an important part of making your terrarium thrive. Here’s what you need to know about picking the best glass containers for a hanging terrarium.
- Choose clear, transparent glass with an accessible top opening. Ensure a sturdy rim for hanging and a tight seal to contain moisture. Avoid heavy bases.
- Wash thoroughly. Remove any hardware. Drill holes to add hanging apparatus like wire or chains. This allows secure hanging.
- Water carefully every few weeks. Mist for humidity. Trim overgrown plants. Watch for mold and pests. Clean glass occasionally. Allow air circulation weekly.
What Should You Look for in a Hanging Terrarium Container?
When shopping for a glass container for a hanging terrarium, there are a few key features you’ll want to look for:
- Clear glass: Opt for glass that is transparent and not tinted, so you can easily see your terrarium plants and contents. Avoid colored or frosted glass.
- Accessible opening: The container needs an opening at the top where you can access the inside to plant and maintain your terrarium. Some have removable lids while others have wider openings.
- Ample internal space: Make sure the container is tall enough and wide enough for the plants you want to include. Scale up the size from a traditional closed terrarium.
- Not perfectly spherical: Spherical shapes are difficult to hang and view properly. Look for cylindrical, teardrop, or another asymmetry.
- Study rim: There should be a flat, sturdy rim around the opening so you can attach hanging hardware.
- No heavy base: For hanging, opt for a container without a solid base attached to the bottom. The glass walls should extend fully down without a bottom footer.
- Appropriate thickness: The glass should be thick and sturdy enough to hold the weight of soil and plants without cracking but still transparent.
- Moisture-tight seal: The container needs to seal tightly so that moisture stays contained inside the enclosed environment.
What Types of Glass Vessels Work Well for Hanging Terrariums?
You have several options when it comes to the specific type of glass vessel to use to create your hanging closed terrarium. Here are some of the common ones:
Glass Globes or Orbs
Glass globes are sphere-shaped transparent vessels that make eye-catching terrariums. Their spherical shape gives a unique look. You can find small glass globes in craft stores, floral departments, and home décor stores. Look for ones around 4-6 inches in diameter. Remove any attached base or hardware so it can hang freely.
These cylindrical glass jars were originally used for storing medicinal herbs and remedies. But their simple design works great for hanging terrariums too. Look for small jars around 4 inches wide by 6 to 8 inches tall. The straight sides and flat rim allow easy hanging.
Bell jars have a rounded bottom and an open top, creating their bell or dome shape. They were traditionally used to cover food but lend a beautiful look to terrariums. For hanging, look for ones around 6-10 inches tall and remove any base.
For a unique shape, use an elongated teardrop-shaped vase. The narrowed top and rounded bottom mimics a water droplet. Use foggy teardrops for an even lighter look. Just be sure it has a stable rim for hanging.
Give old glass bottles new life as terrarium vessels. Round-bottomed wine and apothecary bottles suit the shape. Remove labels and wash thoroughly. Make sure to use bottles with secure necks and stable bases.
Large Bulb Baubles
For a whimsical take, use large Christmas ornament bulbs. Remove the top hook and hanger. Look for clear baubles around 6-8 inches wide. The smooth round shape adds interest and they allow ample planting space.
Where Can You Buy Glass for DIY Hanging Terrariums?
You don’t have to spend a lot purchasing fancy glassware from specialty stores for your hanging closed terrarium. Many everyday glass items can work with a bit of imagination. Here are some budget-friendly places to look:
- Dollar stores: Check dollar stores for cheap vases, candle holders, glass bowls, apothecary jars, and holiday ornaments.
- Thrift stores: Scan thrift stores for unique glass items like vases, jars, bottles, bowls, and decorative objects to repurpose.
- Garage and yard sales: Keep an eye out for glassware at yard sales and secondhand sales. Bottles, jars, and vases tend to turn up often.
- Home goods stores: Home goods stores like HomeGoods, Marshalls, and Ross have inexpensive glass vases, bowls, and bottles to choose from.
- Craft and floral departments: Hobby stores like Michael’s and Jo-Ann’s have terrarium globes, vases, teardrops, and orbs in their floral sections.
- Big box stores: Check Target, Walmart, IKEA, and hardware stores for basic glass containers and apothecary jars on a budget.
- Online: For specialty shape options, browse sites like Amazon, Etsy, and eBay for affordable terrarium glassware. Read reviews carefully.
How Should You Prepare the Glass Container for Hanging?
Once you’ve selected the perfect glass vessel, you’ll need to get it ready for hanging. Follow these tips:
Carefully wash the glass container with warm soapy water and rinse it completely. Make sure to remove any dirt, residues, or oils from manufacturing. Washing also helps remove chemicals from new glassware.
Remove any bases or hardware.
If your container has a base or hardware attached, like a holiday ornament, remove these so the glass can hang freely. Use a screwdriver or pliers to carefully detach these.
Smooth sharp edges.
If there are any rough or sharp areas around the rim or opening, use sandpaper to gently smooth these out so they don’t cut your hanging materials.
Make hanging holes.
Use a power drill with a small drill bit to make two small holes on opposite sides of the rim. Place a piece of tape over the glass when drilling to prevent cracking.
Brush a thin layer of clear waterproof sealant over the outside and rim to prevent moisture leaking through tiny glass pores over time. Let dry completely.
Add hanging apparatus.
Thread hanging wire, string, or fishing line through the holes and make a hanger at the top. Or attach S-hooks. Leave a little slack so the terrarium can hang straight.
What is the Best Way to Hang Your Glass Terrarium Container?
You have a few options when it comes to the best hanging method for your glass terrarium vessel. Consider these possibilities:
Hanging wire or string
Thread sturdy wire, jute twine, or nylon string through the holes at the top to fashion a hanging loop. Hang it from a secure hook or nail in the ceiling.
Fishing line is very strong but more discreet than string. It can create a floating look. Just ensure you use a heavy enough line to hold the weight.
Make a macrame hanger out of cotton cording to add boho flair. Tie knots tightly and hang your terrarium container from the center.
Short metal chains with S-hooks on the ends can securely hold smaller glass vessels. Link two together through the top holes.
Adhesive wall mounts with locking hooks can hold the weight of smaller containers right on the wall. Stick them to sturdy surfaces.
Slip your terrarium over the curve of a decorative shepherd’s hook sunk into soil or in a pot for vertical indoor or outdoor display.
Adhere strips of nylon mesh over the holes with epoxy for a safer, more secure hanging system if needed. The strips prevent tearing.
What Plants Grow Well in Hanging Glass Terrariums?
Once your ideal glass vessel is prepped and hanging, it’s time to choose plants! Tailor your plant choices to the environment inside your container. Consider these hanging terrarium-friendly options:
Miniature ferns like maidenhair, button, and bird’s nest fit well and thrive in humid terrariums. Just avoid overwatering delicate root structures.
Mini orchids and moth orchids do beautifully. Look for small orchids and provide bright indirect light. Ensure porous orchid mix.
Tillandsia air plants are perfect as they don’t require soil and absorb moisture from humidity. Affix to inner walls or pieces of wood or stone.
Cushion mosses make perfect groundcovers for tiny terrariums. Peat moss retains moisture too. Plant in thin layers or patches.
Low-light succulents like snaky sanseveria and bushy kalanchoes work well. Choose teensy varieties and well-draining soil.
Mini herbs like creeping thyme, lemon balm, mint, and baby chives can thrive. Trim them to restrain overgrowth.
Trailing petite vines, especially ivies and pileas, drape beautifully along the glass. Prevent them from taking over though.
What Other Decor Can You Put in a Hanging Glass Terrarium?
The plants are the main attraction in your hanging closed terrarium, but you can add some decorative accents too:
- Small stones, marbles, beads, or pebbles
- Thin pieces of weathered driftwood
- Natural moss-covered sticks or bark
- Sand, fine gravel, or decomposed granite
- Crystals, geodes, or small agates
- Seashells, starfish, or other small dried marine elements
- Miniature garden figurines
- Found items like feathers, pods, cones, or nuts
Keep décor natural with neutral earthy tones. Position gently so the glass walls aren’t pressed on. The goal is to decorate lightly and allow greenery to star!
How Should You Maintain and Care for a Hanging Glass Terrarium?
Hanging glass terrariums require a bit of routine care and maintenance to stay healthy and thriving inside. Follow these tips:
- Water carefully and sparingly every 2-3 weeks so soil doesn’t get soggy. Use a mister or syringe.
- Mist the glass walls every few days if condensation dissipates to maintain humidity.
- Prune and trim plants when overgrown. Remove yellowing foliage promptly.
- Transition to brighter light if plants stretch toward the glass seeking light.
- Watch for pooled water, algae growth, or black mold and remedy immediately.
- Clean glass occasionally by gently wiping walls with diluted neem oil or vinegar solution. Rinse.
- Remove dead plant material and debris right away to prevent issues.
- Monitor for pests like sap-sucking insects and treat organically at first sight.
- Add charcoal to naturally absorb odors and improve air quality if needed.
- Leaving the top partially open for a few hours weekly improves air flow.
With the right glass vessel, plants, décor, hanging method, and care, you can create a beautiful and thriving hanging closed terrarium to enjoy!