12 Tiny Gardens You Can Grow on a Tabletop

Terrariums are trending big-time, and it’s not hard to see why. Requiring very little work, these self-sufficient planters make a beautiful addition to any tabletop, counter, or windowsill. Almost any glass container will get you started. Add some sand or stones, soil, and plants, and you’re on your way to creating your indoor garden—and conversation starter. Gather inspiration from these 12 unique variations on the tiny indoor garden, and get growing.

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  1. A Bright Idea


    Adding a pop of color to your room's garden couldn’t be easier: Just layer a little bright neon gravel with some potting soil in the glass container as you plant, as has been done in this creation from Love This Crazy Life. Insert a few small cacti, and boom! Instant eye candy.


  2. Just Add Water


    Do you have trouble remembering to water your plants? Place a water-loving plant in a fully-enclosed mini aquarium, and you need not worry again, as Allison from Dream a Little Bigger has learned. The fish department at your local pet store should have plenty of water plants to choose from.


  3. Many Facets of a Jam Jar


    No need to go to the store for supplies to bring a little terrarium love to your windowsill. Ruth from The Sirona Springs Blog made her terrariums with recycled jam jars, soil, and sand already on hand, as well as cuttings from the garden.


  4. Hanging In There


    A suspended terrarium is a wonderful design twist on the garden-variety hanging basket. The chain can even provide an opportunity for vining plants to show off. Amanda from Wit & Whistle hung her Score + Solder faceted planter in a sunny window to nurture the plantings and add reflective beauty.


  5. From Trash to Treasure


    From the recycling bin to the windowsill, a recycled two-liter bottle can be transformed into a miniature rain forest with a layer of gravel, charcoal, soil, and small tropical plants. As seen on Juggling with Kids, this recycling craft makes a great rainy day project for both kids and kids at heart.


  6. Mini and Magnetic


    These lightweight terrariums are off the wall—or should we say fridge? Everything you need to build your own magnet-backed planters comes in this mail-order kit from Darby Smart, which makes it quick and easy to add a hit of greenery to the kitchen with an air plant.


  7. Pitch(er) Perfect


    You can save a cracked pitcher or chipped vase from the landfill by building a terrarium out of it. Just layer gravel, soil, moss, and plantings, and almost any damaged heirloom can be reborn, as this glass pitcher was on All Sorts of Pretty.


  8. Tiny Table Toppers


    Make the mini-est of the mini terrarium designs using ordinary votive candleholders. With a ring base fashioned from wood veneer edging, these simple-yet-elegant terrariums on Project Wedding can serve daintily as centerpieces for any event that walks the line between casual and classy.

    Jennifer Kirk for projectwedding.com

  9. Loving Leafy Greens


    Clustered on a tabletop, a collection of thrift store glass gets a new lease on life as an indoor garden. Footed compotes, wineglasses, bowls, and jars all have equal opportunity, as seen on Saved By Love Creations.


  10. Light Bulb Moment


    If a self-sufficient planter isn't enough of a challenge for you, consider a project that requires a little more precision upfront: the light bulb terrarium. After you follow the tutorial on The Hipster Home, this miniature container will bring whimsy to any desktop or windowsill.

    Julie Melton for thehipsterho.me

  11. Shelf Life


    Organize your mail, catalogs, and files amidst the greenery of several small terrarium-like scenes by creating truly unusual bookends like these from Forêt Design Studio. Mount the lids of three mason jars on a salvaged board, fill the jars with moss and foraged elements, and admire your handiwork on your bookcase.

    Forêt Design Studio for designsponge.com

  12. Shaking Things Up


    After you spice up your dinners, bring a little of the same to your shelf through a collection of recycled spice shaker terrariums. Ashley from 7th House on the Left made these for A Bullseye View using empty Archer Farms herb jars—perfect for a quick hostess offering or project with the kids.


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