DIY Terrarium for under $10

DIY Terrarium for under $10



After saving this page from the April 2010 issue of Country Living, I’m finally getting this project done in April of 2013! I had even been saving the supplies I bought 3 years ago with every intention of building it then…

It was the perfect “date night project” because there was some manly drilling and screws involved, so my Honey got to show off his workbench and his strength…we only needed a little strength because we put some machine screws to use that we had on-hand instead of wood screws for some of the joints.



1.  Frames: the original project calls for eight frames (four 5×7, two 8×10, and two 11×14), however I couldn’t find all those at the dollar store when I went (3 years ago), so we made do with six frames (all 8.5×11)

2. Screws and drill

3. Hardware: two 1″ utility hinges, 2 corner brackets (if following original design, you would also need 2 2″ mending plates)


Step 1. Remove backs and glass from all frames. Lightly sand each surface.


Step 2: Align two frames into a corner. Drill one hole near top and one near bottom, through one (larger if using different sizes) and halfway through the other, screw together. Repeat with two identical frames.



Step 3. Arrange the two L’s you’ve created as shown and attach them to each other using the same method. This forms the base!



(Note: My Honey marked holes that were supposed to match up with screws so as not to forget which frame and end of the frame was going to be screwed to which one. This proved very helpful since every hole was not in exactly the same spot.)


Step 4. Align the two frames to be used as the top and attach corner bracket inside each end of the eave by drilling pilot holes and securing with screws.

(Picture below: I sat in the car during most of the drilling and relaxed while my Honey showed off his skills 😉



We actually power-drilled all our pilot holes in the garage because our little girl had gone to bed, and then we put in the screws with a screwdriver after coming into the air-conditioned house.

I included photo below to prove I did some screwdriver work!



Step 5: Line the resulting roof up with the base. Place two 1″ utility hinges, spaced evenly apart, over the joint where the pieces meet. Drill holes and screw together.



(We skipped adding sides to the roof, but you can probably find that info somewhere online!)

Step 6: I chose to paint a base coat of antique white (craft paint), then a crackle medium glaze, followed by a layer of ruddy brown. I finished up with a light sanding, using very fine sandpaper, mainly corners and edges.


Step 7. This is it! Carefully place the glass back in, using tabs to hold in place after hot gluing the corners of each pane.



One response »

  1. Pingback: Little Boy Baby Shower | Whimsy in Love

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