A great excuse to get your hands dirty and upcycle some plastic bottles into colorful succulent planters at the same time, this craft is a tiny garden that you and your children can create and care for together.
Even better, most items for this craft can be collected around the house. Hold onto those used plastic bottles and make a fun adventure by collecting small pebbles and stones from your backyard or a local nature walk.
Recycled Bottle Terrarium
- Recycled 2-liter bottle, empty
- Rubber band
- Box cutter, scissors
- Small succulent plants under 4 inches wide
- 2 cups non-toxic colored sand
- 2 cups natural stones and pebbles
- 1 cup horticulture activated charcoal, 100% all-natural
- 2 cups potting soil
1. Take the empty 2-liter bottle and place the rubber band horizontally level, about ¼ from bottom of the bottle
2. Use the box cutter and then the scissors to trace the rubber band and create a clean incision, cutting the bottle into two parts.
3. Trim an inch off bottom the top the bottle
4. Fill ½ of bottle bottom with colored sand
5. Add layer of pebbles
6. Add layer of activated charcoal
7. Add 2-3 inches of soil
8. Plant your succulent and add some water
9. Slide your lid over top of terrarium base
Have kids grab handfuls of pebbles and potting soil to pack into the container, just like a real garden. Pro tip: Adding a layer of activated charcoal prevents any molding and odors as well as assists in keeping the soil safe and healthy for your plant.
Make sure to pick out a healthy succulent for your planter. It’s easy to tell the difference: Look for a plant whose leaves feel thick and puffy, not dry and shriveled. Clean out the roots of the succulent and bury it in the soil and sand. The succulent roots should be totally covered with about an inch of soil and sand.
Water plants once a week in a hot and dry climate, and less often in a cooler and damper home. Water the plant with a small bottle by placing the water directly into the soil and not spraying onto the succulent leaves. One trick to check if your plant needs watering is to test the dryness of the soil with your fingers. If the soil is dry to the touch, then feel free to give the plant a little water love. If the soil is damp, then do not water the plant.
Try to give succulents about six to eight hours of indirect sunlight each day. If they do not have enough sunlight, they will start to grow upwards, as if they are reaching towards the light. This is a sign they need more light.
Producer: Annalise Yuri Murphy
Art Director: Tim Sullivan