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Sand-Art Terrarium

Terrariums are a great way to bring a little green to your indoor space, but why not add more colors of the rainbow? By adding colored sand to the base of the terrarium, you can create even more visual appeal to the bottom layers. The process is just as fun as it was when you were young creating sand-art masterpieces at summer camp.

sand-art terrarium

Photography: Ashley Poskin

Source: Martha Stewart


This idea comes from our friend Ashley Poskin. Sand-art terrariums are fantastic homes for air plants, which can thrive on almost any surface. If you want a terrarium with succulents or foliage, you can do that, too. While succulents don't necessarily thrive in terrariums, they can survive, but your best bet is to choose some leafy greens. A few varieties to consider: friendship plant, air plant, spider fern, nerve plant, and the venus fly trap. For maintenance, water at the base of the plant as needed, or place a small ice cube at the base of the plant to keep the terrarium clean.


  • Glass terrarium (Similar to pictured: Polished Drop Terrarium, $38,

  • Colored sand (Pictured: Sandsational Sparkle Coral Reef Colored Sand, $6 for 1 lbs.,

  • Crushed glass rocks (Pictured: Darice Pink Crused Glass Vase Filler, $2.99,

  • Air plants and foliage

  • Assorted figurines (Pictured: Kolobok Miniature Flamingos, $10,

  • A sheet of paper

  • Tape

  • Small paintbrush


  1. Keep plants in the pots they came in; arrange them in the bottom of the terrarium.

    making a sand-art terrarium
  2. Take a large piece of paper and coil it around the plants like a funnel. Place a piece of tape on the paper to keep it tight, and away from the edges of the vessel. Begin to pour the sand inside the vessel; pour one color on one side, then try alternating colors. (Note: Leaving the sand to pour in one spot for a period of time will create a little mound. Pour an alternating color of sand next to it to achieve variegated layers.) Step back periodically to look at the progress, adding more sand on the sides to make it somewhat level. Once you've filled up your container as much as you like, pull the paper out, exposing the plants. The sand will fill in around the pots nicely, holding them all in place.

    making a sand-art terrarium
  3. Add rocks or sand glass to the top if desired, and brush any sand off the leaves with a small paintbrush.

    sand-art terrarium

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