Do-Lit-Yourself: Literary Terrariums

August 25, 2015

It seems like everyone and their Uncle now has an apartment full of succulents and air plants. It’s no wonder: they’re almost kill-proof – requiring little water – and pretty, besides. In an attempt to green up our HQ and pay homage to some of our favourite books, we’ve created literary terrariums (terraria?) for you to enjoy, and furthermore, emulate with our step-by-step instructions.

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DoLitYourself

Do-Lit-Yourself is a column for book lovers with a crafty streak. This pinteresting monthly is penned by LPG Education and Engagement manager Lauren Perruzza.

It seems like everyone and their Uncle now has an apartment full of succulents and air plants. It’s no wonder: they’re almost kill-proof – requiring little water – and pretty, besides. In an attempt to green up our HQ and pay homage to some of our favourite books, we’ve created literary terrariums (terraria?) for you to enjoy, and furthermore, emulate with our step-by-step instructions.

To build a literary terrarium, you’ll need:

  • materials_sm

    glass container
  • rocks, gravel, or glass stones (but really, anything that is waterproof, hard, and granular)
  • soil (especially succulent/cactus soil, if you can get it)
  • an array of succulents, moss, air plants, and/or cacti
  • props

 

Instructions:

  1. terrariumbuild_sm

    Lay down a cut-open garbage bag or tarp over your work surface so that you don’t get dirt everywhere.
  2. Put a layer of stones at the bottom of your glass container, at least an inch deep (maybe more if you have a really big one!).
  3. Layer soil over top of the stones until about half of your container is full.
  4. Start filling it in with plants: use your fingers to make a hole in the soil, and gently place the roots of your succulents inside. If you’re using cacti, wear gloves. Fill in open spaces with moss, wood chips, stones, or gravel.
  5. Add in some props to reflect your favourite book; we’ve got some #terrinspo for you below.
  6. Only water with a light misting when your plants start to look sad (but this ALU staffer has had one on her desk for a month without watering once, and they’re actually growing).

 

Literary Terrari-Mania

Here are the planters we came up with; we'd love to see what you try!

 

nunami_terrarium

Jules’ Tools for Change columnist Julia used torn pieces of cotton ball and a moose figurine to evoke Barbara Landry’s nunami (Quattro Books), a book of Arctic Poetry.

 

aroundtheworld_terrarium

 

Our Chappy Hour mixologist Tan made her terrarium in a coffeepress: all the better to keep her awake when she goes Around the World on Minimum Wage like author Andrew Struthers (New Star Books). Her terrarium features a jade elephant, foreign coins, and the world, of course.

 

bunnyshark_terrarium

 

ALU blog editor Tanya made this stunning diorama for Alisha Piercy’s Bunny and Shark (BookThug): her island oasis has a shark looming on the horizon and a sailboat, not to mention a discarded teeny gold bikini.

 

apocalypsewehopedfor_terrarium

Blog writer Lauren got apocalyptic in her terrarium: the plants surrounding (read: taking over) her plasticine city evoke Al Rempel’s This Isn’t the Apocalypse We Hoped For (Caitlin Press).

 

One thing’s for sure, the oxygen levels in ALU HQ have never been better.


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