How To Make a Jar Terrarium

Hi guys! I hope you’re doing well!

Today we’re going to learn how to build a very simple jar terrarium, a really cool decoration for your room!

This very cool and good-looking type of ant nest is perfect if you’re planning on keeping a very small species of ant, like Tetramorium caespitum or Pheidole pallidula, and if you don’t have lots of space to dedicate to more large and complex ant keeping setups!

Let’s see how we can build one of these!

What You Need

For this project we’re gonna need the following materials: a glass jar, some small stones for the drainage layer, a soft mesh, some dirt, a little tree branch, a bunch of moss, and some small plants.

Materials needed for the jar terrarium

To facilitate the building process and to easily reach the bottom of the jar, I’m also going to use the long tools that are usually used for aquascaping, the art of creating the beautiful natural landscapes you usually see in fish tanks.

The main component of the terrarium will be the glass jar. You can easily find one of these in almost every grocery store. If you have issues finding the jar that fits your needs, you can also order it online from one of the many online shops.

The jar for the jar terrarium

For the material, I would suggest you choose glass. However, If you don’t wanna spend too much money or if you can’t find a glass jar that you really like, you can also opt for a plastic one.

Don’t worry if the jar doesn’t have ventilation holes, cause in this tutorial we’re going to build a closed terrarium.

Go pro! 👑

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Cutting The Mesh

First of all, we need to cut the soft mesh, in order to make it fit tightly inside the jar. To draw the shape of the jar on the mesh, you can simply use a marker. Don’t worry if the marker leaves some signs on the jar, we will clean them later.

Marking the mesh for the jar terrarium

Once we clearly see the mark on the mesh, we can start cutting.

Cutting the mesh for the jar terrarium

Here’s the result.

The mesh for the jar terrarium

By the way… If you, just like me, really like these kinds of D.I.Y. projects, I’m pretty sure you’re going to love this other guide too! In this one, I explain in detail how to make another very popular type of ant nest: a wooden nest!

The Drainage Layer

Now we can start creating the first layer of the terrarium: the drainage layer. This base layer is made of stones, and Its role is to hold the water reservoir of the ecosystem.

To create the layer simply place the little stones at the bottom of the jar.

When doing this, make sure to put the stones down very gently, using your hand to reach the bottom of the jar. We don’t wanna break the jar by throwing the stones into it!

The drainage layer of the jar terrarium

Now we can place the mesh we’ve cut before inside the jar. The mesh will separate the drainage layer from the dirt layer, and will block the dirt from covering the stones.

Adding the mesh to the jar terrarium

The Dirt Layer

When the mesh is in place, we can start filling the jar with dirt. I would suggest you use your hand in this step, as we don’t want the dirt to follow to the bottom layer.

The dirt layer of the jar terrarium

When there is enough dirt in the jar, we can use a long tool to move some dirt to the rear of the jar. Doing this will facilitate the observation of the terrarium, and will create a really cool-looking effect.

The dirt layer of the jar terrarium

If you are a beginner and have no idea how to get your hands on an ant colony, I would suggest you check out this other guide! In this one you will learn everything you need to know to catch your very first queen ant, the mother of all members of the colony!

The Tree Branch and The Plants

When ready, insert the tree branch.

Adding the log to the jar terrarium

Now to the fun part! Now It’s time to fill the remaining spaces with the plants and the moss we’ve collected before. This will take some time, but don’t worry: It’s a very relaxing activity!

Adding the plants to the jar terrarium

Here’s the final result! Not bad!

Jar terrarium

Watering The Terrarium

Now we have to water the terrarium. To do this, you can use a pipette or some other type of water dispenser, like the one I’m using.

Watering the jar terrarium

In the very likely case that some of the water has ended up on the jar, we can clean the inside surface with a long tweezer and some tissue paper.

Cleaning the jar terrarium

Make sure to clean all the inside surfaces!

The Final Result!

Congratulations! You’ve successfully built a really cool jar terrarium all by yourself!

Jar terrarium

Now you can place it on a shelf or on your bedside table, it will look amazing!

I hope you have found this guide helpful!

DIY ytong ant nest

If you liked this tutorial and you love making DIY projects, I would strongly suggest you check out this other tutorial! In this one, you will learn how to build a Ytong nest all by yourself!

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