Thursday, April 20, 2017

DIY Terrarium Made With a Candle Jar & A Jewelry Organizer

quick diy open terrarium - made with a cleaned out candle jar and a jewelry or accessory organizer

Earth Day is just a couple of days away. To celebrate and show gratitude for the beauty of our world, I added a happy little piece of greenery to our home. I don't keep many plants in the house. In fact, most of the time we don't have any plants in the house. You see, I'm not good at caring for them. (I forget to water them.) My husband has more of a green thumb, but he over-waters in my opinion. We used to have a few plants on the kitchen counter and I would often find pools of water around them, staining the counter. (He'll deny that.)

I couldn't help but catch the succulent fever that's going around. I see so many sweet little succulents and clusters of succulents around the web - nestled in vintage containers, topping wine glasses and peeking out from glass terrariums.

When challenged some Wayfair Homemakers to show off our green thumbs (ahem) by picking an unconventional planter from the vast array of decor items on their site, I eagerly signed on. I browsed vases, kitchen accessories, sconces and storage containers and finally settled on the Umbra Prisma Accessory Organizer - not just pretty in brass-plated steel, but also a steal for under $20. It's an open jewelry organizer with a fabric-lined bottom, perfect for creating a geometric terrarium.

I knew I would need a closed container in which to plant the succulent. In the spirit of Earth Day, I decided to re-use one of the many empty candle jars that line the windowsill in our kitchen. I always feel guilty about tossing them into recycling, but then these candle holders just sit in the kitchen for months, unused. To clean out your glass candle jars, simply scoop the major part of the candle wax out with a plastic spoon. If it's really stubborn, you can dig at it with a knife. (Just don't slip and cut yourself!)

To remove any little bits of candle wax or debris that remain in the jar, pour boiling water in, filling to the top. Let the water sit in the candle holder for 10 minutes or so until the wax is all loosened. Give the candle jar a final cleaning with some soapy water (and a dish scrubber if needed).

I picked out a very small (but plenty adorable) succulent to peep out the top of my geometric "terrarium." I have no idea what variety of succulent this is - please enlighten me if you know. I found some white decorative gravel in my craft cupboard to provide drainage for the little guy.

All that remained was to pour the decorative gravel in the empty candle jar, add some potting soil (I still need to buy sand to make a better soil for my succulent), plant the succulent and put the whole thing in my new "planter." I also sprinkled a bit of extra gravel around the base of the accessory organizer.

While I was cleaning out the candle jar for the succulent, I decided to clean out a couple more candle holders for the two plants I previously had planted in mugs for our veggie burger bar party. These plants are on the move, I tell you.

I used a large orange jar from a 3-wick candle for one plant and a pretty, dimpled clear candle jar for the other plant.

I'm really happy with the way this quick, diy terrarium turned out. I think the shiny brass is a nice contrast to the natural colours of the green and white succulent.

With the weather remaining decidedly dreary, I created a little area that brings me joy. It's on a long table next to our family room window. Besides this sweet trio of plants in candle jars, I added some vintage Steinbeck books, a lovely antique Ricohflex camera some friends recently gifted us, a diffuser to diffuse cheering essential oils and our Crosley portable turntable. It's a place that I can spin comforting tunes and enjoy a wee bit of plant life with a cup of tea in my hands.

Check out other bloggers' creative planter ideas using the hashtag #PerfectPlanter on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

Questions for you

Do you have a green thumb? Do you keep plants in the house? Are you in the forget-to-water or over-water camp? Have you jumped on the succulent bandwagon?

*This post is sponsored by All opinions are authentic and my own. Thank you for supporting the awesome companies that partner with Woman in Real Life.


  1. I LOVE your terrarium! And yes, completely on the succulent bandwagon, what's not to love!

    1. Thank you Laurie! I think you might actually be pulling that succulents wagon. You're the queen of the succulents. ;)

  2. Fun! I like that it was a jewelry organizer first :)

    1. Thanks Ariel! It's fun to re-purpose things. And who knows, it could be switched to its intended purpose one day. :)

  3. Hi Joann,

    Love, love, love your new terrarium! You did such a fantastic job turning a jewelry organizer into a unique piece.

    1. Thank you Gabriela! That's so kind of you. :)

  4. I believe the succulent is zebra haworthia :)

  5. Thanks for sharing the best information and suggestions, I love your content, and they are very nice and very useful to us. If you are looking for the best Dottir Winter Stories, then visit I appreciate the work you have put into this.