How to Make a Holiday Terrarium That Lights Up

by Tonya Staab
Published: Updated:

This DIY holiday terrarium lights up with battery operated lights you can switch off during the day. It’s the perfect addition to your holiday decor.

Disclosure: This post has been sponsored by Consumer Crafts. #HandmadeHoliday14

This fun DIY holiday terrarium is made using craft supplies I picked up from Consumer Crafts recently.

a christmas terrarium with plants, snow, and a house inside

After the holidays I can remove the little house and replace it with other items for a new season or holiday.  I can already imagine bunnies and an egg hunt for Easter.

What you need

  • Glass or apothecary jar
  • Clay pellets (available from hydroponic stores) – or you can use stones
  • Charcoal (aquarium charcoal available at pet stores)
  • Potting mix
  • Succulents
  • Tin house
  • Darice Timeless Minis – assorted. I used mini dollhouse Christmas decorations, painted mini sled with snow, mini rag doll, mini mailbox, mini trimmed Xmas tree, mini snow shovel, and a mini red wagon.
  • Americana Decor Chalky Finish Paint: gray, teal blue, spruce green, and white.
  • DecoArt Snow-Tex
  • Artificial snowflakes – iridescent
  • Mod Podge waterproof sealer
  • E-6000 adhesive
  • Darice round and flat brushes
  • Wood mini block and a small piece of plywood
  • X-ACTO knife
  • Rocks and bark chips – which I grabbed out of my garden
  • Flameless tea light candle
  • Double-sided Velcro tab
succulents in pots with craft supplies to make a terrarium


Place a layer of clay pellets across the bottom of the glass container, and then add a thin layer of charcoal on top. Cover with about 3-4 inches of potting soil.

soil inside a glass bowl with plants next to it

Arrange your plants and miniatures inside the glass. Don’t plant anything though until you know exactly where everything will go.

I didn’t want the house just sitting on the dirt inside the terrarium because I wanted to include minis inside. So, using a small piece of plywood, I cut it a little larger than the house to act as the base.

a tin house on top of a piece of plywood

Using the white chalky finish, the brown tin house was painted white, but leaving the roof black.

a brown tin house being painted white

The wood base for the house was painted using the gray chalky finish. Then a little more color added to the front (for the porch) and a rug next to the Christmas tree. A small wood block was painted in teal and a gold Sharpie used to make it look like a present.

Once dry, Mod Podge waterproof sealer was applied to everything, and then the Christmas tree, ragdoll, and wood block were attached to the base.

Using a paintbrush, add DecoArt Snow-Tex to the house, mailbox, wood base, and a large garden rock and set aside to dry for a few hours.

fake snow being added to miniatures for a terrarium

Now it’s time to add your succulents, house, and other miniatures to the terrarium.

a terrarium with miniatures being assembled

Iridescent fake snow was then sprinkled over the top of everything.

a terrarium with plants, snow, and christmas miniatures

Add a light to the house so it lights up at night. Using a piece of double-sided velcro, attach a small flameless candle inside the roof of the house. At night, lift the tin house, pull the candle out, flick the switch to the ‘on’ position, and light up the house so you can see the Christmas tree and presents inside.

how to add a flameless candle to a terrarium
a small tin house inside a terrarium lit up at night

The kids absolutely love this addition to our holiday decor.

a green chair, sofa, cushions, and a christmas terrarium on a side table

Don’t forget to check out the Consumer Crafts blog, Crafts Unleashed for great project ideas.

**The giveaway for this campaign has ended.

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Danielle November 30, 2014 - 6:25 pm

I love this! So cute!

Kathy Noble Murphy December 1, 2014 - 8:47 am

I would use it to help make an awesome flag/sign for my son’s lego robotics team to carry at the next competition.

CJ Pillow December 1, 2014 - 1:56 pm

I would make birthday cards.

Tonya Staab December 1, 2014 - 10:46 pm

Thank you Danielle


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