Classic Hacks: Turn A Wine Bottle Into A DIY Terrarium

This is a fun weekend project that also doubles as a fun way to clean up from a Friday night. So grab a bottle, some seeds, ferns and moss and get creating instead of throwing those bottles in the recycling.

Terrarium photo by Shutterstock

In 2009 we posted a recipe for a fairly simple, mossy wine-bottle terrarium from Dr. Vino, and with the recent terrarium craze it seems like a good time to dig (pun intended) it back out:

I first added dirt to the bottle. Then I ripped off chunks of moss, compressed them and shoved them through the wine bottle’s neck with a chop stick leftover from a previous takeout. A few pokes and prods later, I had them all lined up.

Of course the art of creating a terrarium can be as simple or in-depth as you want, so I've expanded on that process so that you can customise your new desk ornament in any way you want.

To begin with, it's best to find a clear bottle so that you can actually see your plants inside, and you should soak it in hot water for a while to scrub the label off. Bottle terrariums look great whether you place them upright with tall, skinny plants inside or on their side with small, shrubby plants and moss. You can even cut part of the neck off with string, acetone and a match for a more premium look.

Image via Thyrza Segal

You want to first layer in pebbles for drainage, then a layer of charcoal, and then your soil. You can use a spoon to fill up the bottle through the narrow neck. Terrarium Man recommends including both seeds and plants, so that the terrarium evolves as it grows. Manoeuvre plants and moss into the bottle with a chopstick, making sure it's all packed down nicely and going to take root properly in your soil.

If you've chosen tropical plants that like high humidity, cork or cap your bottle to keep the air inside nice and moist. Otherwise, try not to fiddle with it too much and water it once a month or if its looking dry.

Lifehacker's Classic Hacks is a regular segment where we dig up the most popular, useful and offbeat advice from our archives and update it for your modern lifestyle.


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