Summer Camp: Terrarium Pendants

Summer’s here and with it the challenge of keeping the kids busy. Every age group comes with a different set of challenges but all of them will say “Mom, I’m bored!” I’m no longer the Mom of little ones. In theory, my pre-teens should be more self-entertaining by now. They can be, but sitting at the computer playing games isn’t quite what I had in mind for entertaining! I recently created some LIVE Succulent Living Terrarium Pendants for an event for the Jordan Valley Home & Garden Club and my girls LOVED them. Of course they wanted one but I also knew they wouldn’t take proper care of them. Instead, we compromised, got a little creative and made some “non-living” versions.

Terrarium Pendants

I should probably back up just a bit and tell you who “we” are. I say we because I blog WITH a group (the Club board members) FOR a group (the Club membership, both local and online). I am the creator of the “Jordan Valley Home & Garden Club” which is both a real-world social group (similar to a Garden Club) and an online home & garden DIY blog. As as far as I can tell, we’re the first such group of our kind.
As for my personal skill set, I am trained as a Landscape Architect so gardening is obviously a love for me. I’m also a Wife, Mom and rabid do-it-yourselfer. I decided to combine all of these loves and start some sort of “Garden Club” in 2007 but it took some time to make it a reality. I felt that people, like me, wanted to learn how to maximize the style they could create for their personal spaces within the confines of the homes and budgets they already had- which meant LOTS of help learning do-it-yourself (DIY) skills.
Our Club meets in person once per month and we discuss landscape-related topics like a regular “Garden Club” would.  However, unlike a traditional “Garden Club”, we also have classes on home and DIY topics throughout the year. Our blog is the online version of the Club so those who aren’t local to the Salt Lake City, Utah area can participate and learn right along with us. Our unofficial motto is “Not your Grandma’s Garden Club” as we’re really hoping to update and revive the “Garden Club” concept for a whole new generation of do-it-yourself homeowners! Maybe the idea will catch on and you’ll be able to create a chapter where you live too? In the meantime, you can follow our blog or meet up with us on FACEBOOK.

Now, back to the whole point of this post! Let’s make our own “Faux Terrarium Pendants”, you’ll need the following:


Sculpey Clay
Floral Wire OR Loop Pins
Dried Moss, we prefer Reindeer Moss
Hemp Cording
Vessel, tiny bottle or dome style
Low-temperature “hot” glue gun
The first thing you’ll need to do is get your desired vessel for the pendant because the size, shape and opening size will determine what can be put in the pendant. We’re using some awesome dome pendants that were left over from my class. Now, if you’re working with small kids, you can simply load in some of their treasures- small shells, rocks, a tiny toy etc. If that is the case, it’s best to go with a vessel that’s top loading like a tiny test tube with a cork.
In our case, we wanted to make something fun specifically for the project. I ordered the miniature terrariums in this photo from a fabulous Etsy seller. I used the largest size that Intirado offers. Other stateside sellers are also listed OR you could use some sort of found object- so long as it’s clear with a removable lid, you’re good to go!

  1. Intirado
  2. Goshen
  3. World Glass (if you want to do a ring version instead of a necklace)
  4. DIY Glassy (rings)

The next step is to create the clay inserts from Sculpey (or similar) clay. My daughter created snails, bumble bees, mushrooms and Robin’s eggs. Once the clay creation is sculpted, impale it on the loop pin or floral wire. The loop pin helps anchor the various parts together while providing a means to attach them to the moss base in the terrarium. Bake the clay in a 275 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (or as the package instructions direct) then allow to cool.


Assembling the pendant is actually the quickest part of the whole project! If you’re using a test tube or similar top-loading vessel, just pull out the cork. If you’ve selected a dome-type pendant like ours, you’ll have to pull the pin first. I won’t lie- that part is a pain. I found it easiest to press in on the flat side of the pin with tweezers to give me a larger grabbing area on the opposite ball-side of the pin. Put the pin IMMEDIATELY where you won’t lose it!

DIY Terrarium Necklace Pendant


Once you have your container, you’ll need to prep it. The terrarium findings I ordered are held together by a pin. This part is kind of a pain, but worth it. Once the container is open, you’ll glue on some dried moss as a base. A low-temperature glue will work better when kids are creating. The purpose of the moss is to provide a base to wire into for the clay accents my pre-teens are making.

Faux-Terrarium Pendants


My 13 year old is particularly skilled with clay and made mushrooms, bumble bees and Robin’s eggs. The clay objects are formed around either floral wire or the “eye pins” you can get in the jewelry making section of the craft store. The wire/pins help stabilize the object and make it easier to attach it into the bed of moss. Again, you’ll use hot glue to affix the clay or other objects in the bed of moss. In addition to the clay, we used some thick hemp twine to create a “bird’s nest” for the eggs to settle into as well.

If you have younger kids, you may decide to forget the clay and simply fill the “terrarium” with shells, rocks, or other tiny natural items that have meaning to the child. If you go this route, you will likely not need the moss bed to affix the objects and can forego that step.


Making a Faux Terrarium


Now that your scene is done, re-assemble the vessel. Attach the hemp cording, ribbon or a jump ring and ball chain and you’re good to go!

Faux Terrarium Pendants

This is a fun summer project that you can adjust according to the skills of the children involved. My daughter’s friends all loved her pendant so much, we’re having a little party for them to come over and make one too!

Faux Terrarium Pendant


 Click on the Summer Camp banner to be taken to our awesome Summer Camp series.

Posted on July 2, 2013
Categories: crafting with kids, creative ideas, diy tutorials & creative ideas, holiday awesomeness, summer camp, summer camp

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