The Five Dollar Butter Dish Terrarium

The butter dish was five dollars, and the moss was collected for free from an abandoned parking lot. The Hatiora cuttings were taken from my balcony, and the white piece of coral was just found on the beach, also a freebie. The whole project cost me five dollars and only took about a minute to make, but the end result is in my opinion, a miniature work of art. Here's how I did it.

I was strolling through the grocery store the other day and came across something I hadn't seen for a long time: A butter dish. You know I'm a really hardcore gardener, because the first thing I envisioned inside wasn't butter at all, but plants! Doesn't it just make the perfect terrarium?

How to Make Your Own

First I pulled up some moss clumps from an empty parking lot. I then broke them up into smaller pieces and fit them snugly into the butter dish in a pleasing arrangement. I've found that it looks more natural if the pieces of moss are laid at an angle.

Next I tucked in some of my trusty epiphytic cactus cuttings and a sunbleached piece of coral to resemble a little coral reef. If you're using coral or seashells, make sure they're thoroughly washed clean of any salt residue from the sea.

When you place the lid over the moss garden, the edges of the moss might get flattened. Don't sweat it. Since moss prefers to breathe most of the time, leave the lid off of the dish every now and them. Keep the dish just watered enough that the moss stays moist without water collecting at the bottom.

That's it! Have fun, let me know if you have any questions and be sure to tell me about your own interesting terrarium projects!

With lid

Without lid


  1. That's just too adorable and absolutely the right price. I wonder if the Dollar Store carries glass butter dishes? (Or something similar.)

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  3. Holy cow, what a great idea! I can see some succulents in there! Hmmmmm!

  4. Penny: I'm sure the dollar store has plenty of terrarium supplies! The only problem with cheap glass is that it distorts the contents. :(

    Candy: That's a great idea!

  5. Hello from Orlando,
    neat idea, perfect to keep at a desk at work. I'll copy it :-)
    I enjoy your blog very much and have added a link to my link list

    Happy Gardening,

  6. so when you say "a cutting" does that mean no roots are necessary?. This is so adorable, I need to do it! Thanks!


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