Crystals and terrariums make a natural harmonious pairing.
After all, one translates to “receptacle of earth,” and the other is literally forged inside the Earth. It seems like a good match to me!
Which is why beautiful crystals can be used in a variety of ways to great effect.
Whether you opt to use bright gemstones as highlights in planted terrariums or you prefer to simply show off your favorite healing quartzes – there’s a crystal terrarium setup for you.
Stick with me, because in this guide, all will become crystal clear!
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Crystal Terrarium DIY: 2 Key Approaches
Crystals are dynamic elements that can bring a lot to the terrarium table.
Able to effectively draw the eye to highlight other features, or just themselves. The complex shapes and solid textures are great for contrasting plants and softer elements.
So, depending on what you’re looking to achieve, there are generally two ways to approach a crystal terrarium.
- 1 | You add the crystals to a wider plant terrarium setup. Essentially using them as you would any other type of hardscape material. To shape the scene, highlight key areas, and create focal points.
- 2 | Create a crystal garden in an open terrarium container. A simple and elegant display, using just a few key elements to help accentuate the crystals as the main event.
This guide will cover both, so read on to find out how!
1 | Plant Terrariums With Crystal Hardscape
Naturally, crystals come in all wonderful shapes and sizes.
From compact clusters to spikes and monoliths, the type of crystal you choose will dictate how you can use it in a planted terrarium. Both aesthetically and structurally – i.e., where will it fit and how will it look.
As it’s going into an ecosystem, it’s worth checking to make sure it’s safe to add too. You don’t want anything harmful to plants and animals or chemically unstable, for example.
Personally, I’d stick to quartz where possible.
It’s affordable, comes in all manner of stunning textures and colors, and you know it’s safe to use in terrariums if it’s sold as jewelry and as “healing crystals.”
Just don’t buy anything weird or glowing, alright?
Here are a few examples that we’ve played with and how we’ve used them.
First up, quartz geodes.
You’ll see them as crystals attached to a layer of rock. Sometimes in hollow spheres or often broken out into chunks.
Just like a jagged shard of Dragon Stone, a hunk of quartz is sure to add some texture to a terrarium scene. They can be used in much the same way to create cliffs and mountains (especially if they have the rock part of the geode left attached).
This purple amethyst has a gorgeous rugged surface, but the stone side isn’t quite big enough to become a convincing mountain.
Maybe a cool way to create a canyon/lake effect?
Alternatively, the more shard-like crystals don’t really replicate natural landscape features very well, but not every terrarium is going for that look. They’re a great way to add some unique features and dynamic shapes.
I’ve used them in projects to break up areas that look too soft or empty. Or sometimes to add something eye-catching where I don’t have a feature plant that’ll fit.
Finally, tiny gemstones can be used to great effect in various areas.
You can use them to line little pathways through the scene or a shoreline in a beach terrarium. You could even use them as a drainage layer if you like!
2 | Crystal Garden Terrariums
better different take on the classic crystal garden.
Like a mini zen garden, these use sand and crystals to create a harmonious tabletop design. Of course, they’re not terrariums in the practical sense, but with the right container and accentuating elements, they can become elegant open displays.
Though the crystals are supposed to take center stage here, they don’t need to be the only things in the terrarium. You can still get creative!
For example, we created a crystal air plant terrarium.
The flowing tendrils and leaves of the air plants contrast the rugged, compact shapes of the crystals. Plus, we’ve used a piece of sandblasted Grapewood to pull the whole thing together.
Anything you can find that you can mount plants or crystals to can elevate the look (literally and metaphorically).
Speaking of contrast, I’d recommend using black or white sand as the base layer. The neutrals contrast better with the bright colors of the crystals, really making them pop.
We went with a geometric terrarium, but the smaller designs can be adapted in all sorts of ways. Hanging terrariums are a lovely option for your favorite healing crystals.
In fact, you can buy these as crystal terrarium kits quite easily.
Crystal Terrarium Kit
The crystal terrarium kits I’ve found online tend to be a simpler version of my above project.
Usually, the kit comes with a small hanging globe or bowl, an air plant, and a single crystal of your choice (plus the gravel and basic materials for a terrarium).
What you lose in flexibility, you can likely gain in value.
After all, buying tiny quantities of materials separately often ends up being more expensive (if you can find them at all). So a crystal terrarium kit might be a good option for you.
They make lovely gifts too!
Over to You
There you have it, a geological journey to crystal terrarium heaven.
How have you used crystals in your terrarium? Let me know your favorite kind in the comments.
For more out-of-the-box decor ideas, check out our article What to Put in a Terrarium Besides Plants? 9 Decor Ideas.
Or how about a Fairy Garden Terrarium?