DIY | Etched Terrarium Centerpieces

You may remember this fabulous table number idea from a couple weeks ago. Well, my go to craft-inista Sarah and I came up with a way to take the idea one step further! We bring you terrarium centerpieces and table numbers all in one chic and easy DIY package. There are tons of ways to personalize this idea to fit your wedding style and colors and I am just loving the result! I will let Sarah take it away on how to make one of these beauties!

Happy New Year, lovely readers! I hope you are ready to kick off this year with an fantastic new DIY!

Megan and I have some great ideas in store for all of the creative and budget conscious brides out there (and for the rest of you who just love fun projects and a bargain!). This first project is definitely a budget friendly DIY: Terrarium centerpieces that double as your table numbers! You knock out two projects at once!

Supplies: If you have 10 tables to create centerpieces for, your total cost per centerpiece averages out to approximately $30 each (less if you leave out the orchids or order the bowls in bulk). Each bowl should take about an hour to completion!

  • Large glass bubble bowl (available at craft stores like Michael’s)
  • Armour Etch glass etching cream
  • Contact paper
  • X-acto knife
  • Plastic knife or popsicle stick (something to spread the etching cream!)
  • A variety of succulents, cacti, or air plants
  • Cactus mix soil
  • Plastic planting tray (make sure you can lift it in and out of the bowl easily)
  • Glass marbles, gravel, orchid bark, or moss (whichever you like the best!)

Step 1: Decide how you want your table numbers to appear on the glass bowls. I chose to spell it out in a simple, clean font. Print out different sizes and decide which one will fit best on your bowl. Trace your design onto the contact paper and carefully cut out with an exacto knife. I measured down from the top of my bowl to where I wanted the design to sit, and then applied the template. You may have to trim parts of the template off with an X-acto blade if the contact paper won’t adjust to the contour of the bowl, just make sure to leave enough around the edges so that your etching cream doesn’t bleed over. Press down hard on all the edges to make sure you have a tight seal.

Step 2: Use a plastic knife or popsicle stick to apply the etching cream, making sure to keep it within the template – anywhere it touches it will etch! Apply a thick layer so that you can’t see the glass through it. If you want, use gloves while applying, the cream can cause chemical burns if you aren’t careful. Also, lay down a paper towel if you are messy. It can damage other surfaces if not covered.

Step 3: Consult the instructions on the Armour Etch for how long to leave the cream on. I left it on about 5 minutes to make sure it would etch enough, but I think it only required 1 minute. Rinse off the cream really well, use a paper towel to rub it off if needed. Make sure to rinse it really well out of the sink too…my porcelain sink now has an etched spot because I forgot to wash it off right away! Oops! Then peel off the template and dry well!

Step 4: Put a layer of gravel or glass marbles in the bottom of the bowl, enough to rest the plant tray on.

Step 5: I planted my succulents beforehand, but it’s super simple to make an arrangement. I read up on succulents and found out that they require good drainage, which you won’t get if you plant directly in the bowl. Instead, plant the plants in a shallow plastic dish with drainage holes in it. If you want to incorporate an orchid like I did, hotglue the bottom of a plastic cup into the dish, cut the rim to the same level as the dish and plant the plants around it. Then just put the mini orchid in the cup part, in the pot it came in. This way you can remove and water the orchid separately according to its needs. Put the tray of plants into the bowl on top of the rocks.

Step 6: Add some orchid bark (or more glass beads, or moss, or gravel) around the planter to hide it. You can leave it in to water, since you have some drainage, but I would check and make sure you aren’t growing anything yucky in the bottom every few weeks. I plan to take my planter out to water it, just to keep the bowl clean.

This project ended up being much faster and easier then I expected. I love that it serves multiple purposes, and that it can last long after the wedding is over! Give a few to your bridesmaids or special guests after the reception, or display them throughout your newlywed home!

Have fun and stay crafty! Until next time, my lovelies!