Wednesday, April 25, 2012

DIY Mermaid Sea Terrariums

Thank you for your thoughts on my post on Monday.  I always love hearing your wise words and I'm working on responding to the comments (something I fail miserably at everyday).  I briefly mentioned the craft the kiddos did and I thought I'd share a few more about the details that went into it.  My goal with this craft was for the kids to have fun first and foremost, but also not to send the kids home with just more stuff that their moms would have to find a place for.  Hopefully these little mermaid sea terrariums will be on display for some time.  I also have a grown up, more sophisticated version of the sea terrarium up at Making It Lovely.  Please go check it out if you have a chance.  So here is what you'll need if you want your kids to make their own sea life terrariums.

Supplies: Sand (I used play sand that's you get in a 10lb bag at the hardware store for $5 - it proved to be the perfect consistency and really looks the most like ocean sand); succulents that remind you of seaweed and sea-life; succulent type ground cover to represent algae; some sea shells and pretty rocks and stones (I found all of mine at Michael's in their floral section.  Each bag was under $4), and if you wish, these fun miniature mermaids that are actually cocktail drink markers.  What?  Don't judge, you try finding miniature plastic mermaids that would have been suitable.  They come all colorful and bright, and I made a deal with Taylor that I could spray paint half of them white and leave the other half the cheery bright colors.  It was a hard sell but I achieved it. Oh, and you'll need mason jars of course for the vessels!  I used quart size with the wide mouth so the kids would have an easier time reaching in.
Pretty much just let the kids go at it, filling their jars with sand and gems.  I did have to provide some assistance with tearing off bits of the succulents to place in the jars, the girls really didn't want to harm the mermaid's future home you know. 
It was such a fun and sweet craft.  Each girl carefully chose her mermaids and shells/rocks and carefully placed them inside the jars.  They worked hard getting the succulents to fit in just so.  And the best part is, the moms didn't mind bringing them home because it wasn't just more junk to clutter up the house.
Now I do want to talk practically about these terrariums.  For succulents to truly survive they need organic rich matter to root in.  Sand will not be enough for them to grow and flourish, and eventually these will die.  For ease of the craft we just had the kids use the sand, but if you really wanted your terrariums to survive, you'd need to add some cactus soil to the mix.  I talk about this more in depth over at my MIL post.  So just beware that these will not last forever.

So far they're doing great though and both Syd and Taylor have theirs on display in their rooms. We've long been fans of succulents and if you'd like to see some of my other work with them, see this post about succulent planting tips and this post for creating your own succulent centerpiece.  And here's a sneak peek at the grown up version I created over at MIL.

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