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Use Glass Christmas Balls to Make Miniature Terrariums for Living Plants

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Cleaning and Finishing a Miniature Terrarium
Clean the inside of a miniature glass ball terrarium using a cotton bud on the end of a straw.

Clean the inside of a miniature terrarium made from a glass ball using a cotton bud on the end of a flexible straw.

Photo copyright 2009 Lesley Shepherd, Licensed to About.com Inc.

Cleaning a Miniature Terrarium Small glass ball terrariums can be cleaned with a damp cotton bud. You may need to bend the bud to get it into all corners of the terrarium to wipe down dirt or marks. Change buds as needed.

For larger glass ball terrariums, tape a cotton ball to the flexible end of a plastic straw, dampen the ball and insert the straw into the terrarium to wipe down the walls.

Decorating a Miniature Terrarium A week or two after planting you can decorate the inside of your terrarium if you wish. By now, the terrarium should not be overly damp, and the plants will be starting to grow. Add any decorative items well clear of the plant or they will soon be covered by new growth. When the interior decorations are added, you can re attach the top of the glass ball. Do not glue it in place. Some glass balls have slightly flared necks which allow you to glue a ribbon in place to the top as a hanger. If your ball has such a flared neck, run a bead of low temperature hot melt glue around the neck of the ball and glue a ribbon tightly in place to the neck of the ball. Knot the ribbon in place and make a ribbon loop to hang the ball.

Add Exterior Decorations Once the terrarium is cleaned, and growing, you can add stickers, lines of glitter or flocking, or painted decorations to the outside of the terrarium. Try not to block too much light from the plants. Use decorations which will not come off when the terrarium is handled for watering.

These little terrariums can make interesting gifts, either decorated, or for the plants alone. If they are not too large and heavy, they can be used on a Christmas tree, although you need to make sure the terrariums get enough light to continue growing.

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