Craft a DIY Lantern Terrarium with IKEA Lanterns

IKEA lanterns are more than just chic lighting fixtures—they’re the perfect canvas for creating your own lantern terrarium. A lantern terrarium is a self-sustaining miniature garden, and with IKEA’s simple yet elegant designs, you can easily craft a living piece of art.

This guide will illuminate the virtues of IKEA lanterns for terrarium-making, detail the customization process, list the necessary materials, and provide a step-by-step tutorial. We’ll also offer maintenance advice and plant recommendations to ensure your terrarium thrives.

Eager to add a dash of green to your decor with a personal touch? Let’s dive in and transform IKEA lanterns into beautiful, blooming ecosystems.

What Makes IKEA Lanterns Ideal for DIY Terrariums?

IKEA lanterns are super handy for terrarium projects. Their sleek design means they look good anywhere and invite all sorts of creative ideas. With different sizes available, you can go small for your bookshelf or larger for the coffee table—there’s a size for every space.

The glass is clear and lets in loads of light, helping your plants thrive. Also, doors meant for candles are now awesome for planting and upkeep. Basically, IKEa lanterns make building a terrarium a breeze—easy setup, low maintenance, high reward. They’re a DIY dream for adding that green touch to your digs.

Why Choose IKEA Lanterns for Your Terrarium?

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IKEA lanterns are the perfect pick for terrariums because they’re stylish yet simple, making them a great match for any decor. With doors that open easily, they’re a cinch to plant and maintain. Plus, they’re built to last, standing up to the humid conditions that terrarium plants adore. In short, IKEA lanterns are convenient, durable, and just right for housing your mini-green world with ease.

How Can You Personalize an IKEA Lantern Terrarium?

Sprucing up an IKEA lantern into a personalized terrarium is all about fun touches. Choose a theme that excites you—desert scenes or mini jungles—and layer in pebbles, soil, and charcoal. Pick plants that fit your style, like quirky succulents or airy ferns.

Then, add some flair with fairy lights, colorful pebbles, or cute figurines to make your terrarium uniquely yours. With IKEA’s lanterns, you’re free to mix, match, and let your creativity run wild.

What Materials Will You Need for Your IKEA Lantern Terrarium?

To create an IKEA lantern terrarium, you’ll need the following materials:

  • IKEA BORBY lantern
  • Kwik Seal adhesive sealant (waterproof)
  • Ferns and/or other small shade-dwelling plants
  • Live moss
  • Potting soil
  • Approximately 8-inch square of screen
  • Pea gravel
  • Spray bottle or mister
  • Charcoal for decoration (optional)

With these items, you’ll have everything you need to turn your IKEA lantern into a lush little ecosystem that adds life to any room.

How Do You Craft Your Lantern Terrarium: A Step-by-Step Guide?

Crafting your lantern terrarium is a fun and rewarding process. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you assemble your miniature garden inside an IKEA lantern:

Assemble the BORBY lantern.

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Seal the gaps at the bottom and corners with the adhesive sealant and smooth it out with a plastic spatula. Any excess on the glass should be scraped off after it dries. Wait for the recommended duration as mentioned on the sealant packaging before continuing.

Create a drainage layer.

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Lay down a thick, flat layer of gravel inside the lantern up to the door frame. Place the square of screen over the gravel, ensuring it’s slightly smaller than the lantern’s base to keep it concealed.

Add soil and plants

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Pour a thin layer of potting soil over the screen. Position the plants, except for the moss, inside the lantern, away from the door. Mound the soil around the plants without letting it get too high near the door.

Cover with moss and decorate.

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Place the moss over the soil, tearing it to fit as needed. Add any decorative rocks or charcoal. Finally, mist the terrarium thoroughly and place it in a cool spot in your home, away from direct sunlight. Enjoy your terrarium!

Remember to check on your terrarium regularly, ensuring the plants are thriving and that the interior isn’t too humid. With minimal maintenance, your IKEA lantern terrarium will be a captivating focal point for a long time.

What Are the Best Maintenance Tips for Your Lantern Terrarium?

Keeping your lantern terrarium in tip-top shape is pretty straightforward, and with a few simple maintenance tips, you’ll enjoy your mini-garden for a long time. Here’s how to keep your IKEA lantern terrarium looking great:

  • Water Sparingly: Terrariums need very little water. Give them a light misting every couple of weeks, or whenever the soil looks dry. Avoid overwatering; standing water can lead to mold and plant decay.
  • Avoid Direct Sunlight: While plants love light, too much direct sunlight can turn your lantern into a sauna, which can harm the plants. Place the terrarium in a spot with indirect sunlight.
  • Prune When Needed: If you notice any dead or overgrown foliage, snip it off with scissors. This helps prevent disease and keeps your terrarium looking neat.
  • Check for Condensation: A bit of condensation is normal, but if your terrarium walls are constantly wet, leave the lid ajar to air it out. This helps regulate moisture levels and prevents mold growth.
  • Keep It Clean: Wipe down the glass on your lantern from time to time for clear viewing and to prevent any potential pests or diseases.

By staying on top of these simple care points, you’ll ensure that your terrarium remains a healthy and beautiful display in your IKEA lantern. It’s all about the balance—too much water, heat, or overcrowding can throw it off, but with a little attention, you’ll have it just right.

What Plants Are Best Suited for Your IKEA Terrarium?

Picking the right plants for your IKEA lantern terrarium is key to creating that pint-sized green haven. You want to go for plants that love a humid environment and don’t grow too tall. Here’s a lineup of some plant pals that would be super happy to set up camp in your terrarium:

  • Succulents: These little guys are tough, low-maintenance, and come in an array of shapes and sizes. Just remember, they don’t like too much water.
  • Ferns: With their lush green fronds, ferns bring a cool, woodland vibe. They’re all about the humidity, which makes them perfect terrarium tenants.
  • Air Plants (Tillandsias): These quirky plants don’t need soil to grow, so you can tuck them in among the rocks and moss for an airy, minimalist look.
  • Mosses: Whether you go with sheet moss, cushion moss, or any other type, they’ll lay down a green carpet that’s both pretty and practical.
  • Fittonia (Nerve Plant): With its vibrant, vein-patterned leaves, this plant adds a splash of color and drama to the mix.

These plants are not just survivors; they’re miniature stars that’ll turn your IKEA lantern into a lush little world. Just remember, like any good relationship, it’s all about finding the right match. So, choose plants that’ll love the terrarium life as much as you’ll love having them around.

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Image Source: Instagram


Transforming IKEA lanterns into DIY terrariums is a simple yet impactful way to add a touch of greenery to your home. By following the steps outlined—selecting the right lantern, layering materials, and choosing suitable plants—you can craft a sustainable and stylish ecosystem.

Remember to maintain your terrarium with light watering and periodic cleaning to keep it thriving. Now, it’s your turn to embark on this green journey. Gather your materials, unleash your creativity with IKEA lanterns, and share your terrarium masterpiece with us using #IKEALanternTerrarium!

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  1. Stephanie Brown wrote:

    Wonderful! Thank you for this post! I saw the same lantern on IKEA’s website, and wondered if it could be used as a terrarium. You not only answered that question, but also showed how to go about it! Thanks a lot! 🙂

    Posted 8.5.15 Reply