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Cute Glow in the Dark Lantern Terrarium

Terrariums are making a BIG comeback in home decor! Making a beautiful terrarium used to be just a small hobby for gardeners a few decades ago, but now it is a hot trend.

Glow in the Dark Lantern Terrarium at Night with mushrooms charcoal

Maybe you’ve seen terrariums lately. They tend to be a few green plants and some rocks inside a glass container. And maybe you have thought that’s all there is to the new terrarium craze.

Not so!

There are so many ways to combine the ease of growing plants at home in a terrarium and your unique style. No longer do you have to stick with a traditional terrarium look!

Creative Terrariums

When I received a review copy of the new book, Creative Terrariums, I was instantly hooked. As I scrolled through the pages, I knew that there were a variety of terrariums that I definitely wanted to make very soon!

creative terrariums book

What I love about Creative Terrariums, written by Enid Svymbersky of A Charming Project, is that she takes so many ordinary objects, from baking pans to coffee pots to pencil organizers, and shows you how to make unique living home decor.

You might think that making a terrarium has to be hard or complicated. But it’s not! Especially using the step-by-step methods and photo tutorials in Creative Terrariums.

How to Take Care of Terrariums

This is the beauty of terrariums – they are so low maintenance!

Terrariums are self-sustaining living ecosystems inside a sealed glass container. The humidity that develops inside the sealed container is exactly what keeps the tropical plants alive with little care from you.

While terrariums are low-maintenance, there are still a couple of things to keep in mind.

  • First, you’ll need to mist the plants once a week to add additional moisture. You don’t need to pour water on them, just mist them with a spray bottle.
  • Second, it’s never a good idea to put a terrarium in direct sunlight. The rays of the sun going through a glass container create a super hot atmosphere that will fry your plants.

Glow in the Dark Mushrooms! 

Glow in the Dark Lantern Terrarium with charcoal moss lichens

I asked Fox Chapel Publishing if I could share one of the super cute terrarium ideas that is featured in Creative Terrariums. And they happily said yes! So I’m thrilled to share this tutorial with you for the cutest Green Lantern terrarium.

What I instantly loved about this project is that it sparks creativity and interest in nature. Yet it is “cool” enough that kids will really get excited about making mushrooms and watching them glow in the dark!

This glow in the dark terrarium would be perfect as a gentle nightlight in a child’s room, or as unique decor in a cabin.

Svymbersky says that this Scandinavian-inspired lantern is easy to take care. The lichen used inside just need a weekly misting of water to stay alive. If you forget, you can soak the lichen in water and it will bounce back.

How to Make a Glow in the Dark Lantern Terrarium



  • Lantern shown is a black IKEA UTSTRALNING (11 1/2 inches high X 7 3/4 inches diamater)



Decorative Elements (Mushrooms)

Tools and Materials

  • Paintbrush, makeup brush, or other tool with a rounded top
  • 4 X 2 inch jewelry eye pins (or floral wire)


1. Wash the river rocks in warm, soapy water and let air dry.

2. Mold mushrooms out of clay. To make the mushroom cap, break off a piece that is one-third the size of one brick of the Sculpey clay. Roll the clay in the palm of your hands until you have a ball.

sculpting mushrooms from clay for terrarium

Place the clay ball over the top handle of a brush (or other object) and use your fingers to mold the clay to look like a mushroom cap. Gently remove the clay and set aside.

To make the stem, cut another one-third of the clay brick and roll back and forth between the palms of your hands until you have what looks like a mushroom stem. Use your fingers to flatten the top and bottom of the stem.

Add the mushroom cap to the stem. To secure the mushroom cap and give a way to anchor the mushroom to the lichen when you assemble the terrarium, use a jewelry eye pin or floral wire. Press the eye pin into the stem until you reach the mushroom cap.

Make a total of four mushrooms.

Place the mushrooms on a non-stick pan and bake in the oven according to the label instructions. Average time is about 15 minutes at 275°F.

3. Create the drainage layer. Generally, the layer serves as our water reservoir. However, there is no need to drench lichen with water, which means this will be more of a decorative layer.

glass lantern filled with pebbles for terrarium

Fill with any type of rocks or decorative pebbles you wish. Gently pour rocks into the lantern and then pick up the lantern and give it a good shake to create an even layer.

4. Create a Filtration Layer. Add in your horticultural charcoal so that it just covers the river pebbles.

Glow in the Dark Lantern Terrarium Activated Charcoal

The charcoal will serve to keep the foundation layer fresh and fight off any chance off mold.

5. Add the foundation layer. As with moss, a slightly acidic soil is preferred with the lichen. However, potting soil will do just fine.

peat moss in glass lantern for terrarium

Fill with peat moss soil mix to about one inch in height.

6. Arrange lichen inside the vessel. Lichen generally comes in small mounds. Place the mounds over the soil and arrange them so that there is no space left between them.

lichens in glow in the dark terrarium lantern

Firmly press down on the lichen to avoid any air pockets, which could lead to unwanted bacteria.

7. Arrange mushrooms. Place your clay mushrooms in the scene by pressing the wires and stems down into the forest floor. Add as many or as little mushrooms as you’d like.

clay mushrooms in glow in the dark terrarium
Glow in the dark terrarium with moss and mushrooms

How to Keep the Lights On!

This clay is awesome for glowing in the dark. But it does need to be recharged to keep the lights glowing at night.

Just open the top of the lantern and hold the terrarium under a light source for a few minutes. This can be sunlight or a bright lamp.

glow in the dark mushrooms in lantern terrarium

Adding More Plants to Your Home

Adding more plants to your home not only is beautiful, but it can clean your indoor air and improve your mood! While these plants are enclosed in a terrarium, they can still bring joy with a touch of nature. For more air purifying benefits, consider adding one or two of these best plants for the bedroom.

Wondering how plants can clean your home’s indoor air? Here’s the process that plants use to scrub toxins from the air you breathe.

If you want to buy plants but really don’t want to go to a garden center, you might be surprised to find out that you can buy plants online! Here’s one the best places to order plants online.


Ditch the Toxins in Your Home!

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