DIY Etched Glass Terrarium

Terrariums are great for showing off different types of plants. But if plain glass containers don’t really fit with your home decor, there are ways to customize them so that they stand out a bit more. Glass etching is a popular method that creates a sort of frosted glass effect. It’s perfect for terrariums because it allows you to add some interest and texture to the glass without completely covering up what’s inside.But how to etch glass?

etched glass terrariumView in gallery

DIY Etched Glass Terrarium Supplies:

  • glass container
  • painter’s tape or stencils
  • etching cream or glue
  • paintbrush
  • seeds and soil

Step 1: Prep your glass.

diy terrariumView in gallery

For this project, you need to start with a clean glass surface. It’s also much easier if you complete the glass etching customization before adding anything to the inside of your terrarium. The photos here show a terrarium that already has growing plants, but that makes it more difficult to maneuver the glass and clean the inside.

Step 2: Create a pattern.

painters tape glassView in gallery

Use painter’s tape or some kind of adhesive stencil to create a pattern of your choosing on the glass. You should leave at least half of the glass surface uncovered so that you can easily view the plants inside. Thick diagonal stripes like the ones shown work well. But your pattern could depend on the shape of your glass as well.

Step 3: Apply Etching Cream.

glass etchingView in gallery

Etching cream is a product you can find at most craft stores. The terrarium shown actually uses plain white craft glue. Glue doesn’t create as much of a “frosted” look, but it does still add some texture and allows for a little more visibility through the glass. You can use either product for this project. Just use a paintbrush to apply a liberal amount over the areas not covered by painter’s tape or stencils. If you use glue, definitely do not rinse it off – just allow it to dry completely. The directions on most containers of etching cream do suggest that you wash it off after several minutes, but I have actually had better results just letting that dry completely too.

Step 4: Remove Tape.

glue glass textureView in gallery

Once the glue or etching cream is completely dry, you’ll need to carefully remove the tape or stencil.

striped terrariumView in gallery

Your terrarium should look pretty finished at this point. So make any last minute touch-ups if necessary. Then you’ll need to add the soil and seeds to the inside of your terrarium and let the plants grow. Then just enjoy your new customized creation!