DIY Home Decor: Vacation Terrarium

Create a momento of your latest trip by creating a 'vacation terrarium' using small souvenirs and a glass container - the perfect DIY home decor project!

DIY home decor - a vacation terrarium

My latest vacation terrarium filled with souvenirs from my trip to Savannah, Georgia.

Have you ever come home from a fun-filled vacation with a bunch of souvenirs?  We tend to bring home items that will help remind us of our trips to other places.  Often however, many of these souvenirs are stored away out of sight.

With many of you taking advantage of spring break and escaping winter’s cold grip – creating a vacation terrarium filled with souvenirs of your trip is a fun and inexpensive way to create a fun DIY home decor project while also serving as a way to remember the fun you had.


The beautiful beaches of Tybee Island.

Last spring, I visited Savannah, Georgia and had a wonderful time touring through the historic downtown areas, the beaches and an old, southern plantation.   As a native Californian, visits to the ocean were frequent.  But, there was something unique about traveling to the other coast.  During my trip to Savannah, I drove a little way out of town to Tybee Island and dipped my feet in the Atlantic Ocean.

As I walked down the beach, I stopped to pick up some seashells and also took a little bit of sand with me – they fit easily in a Ziploc bag.

Wormsloe Plantation in Savannah, Georgia

Wormsloe Plantation in Savannah, Georgia

After leaving the beach, I visited the historic Wormsloe Plantation.  As I drove up, rows of trees draped in Spanish moss greeted me.  I walked through the ruins of this plantation, which was built in the 1700’s and is the oldest ruin in Savannah.  During my walk, I collected some Spanish moss from the ground and a small piece of a tree that had lichen growing on it.  Both of these items went into my Ziploc bag along with my sand and seashells.

Souvenirs from Savannah, Georgia

Souvenirs from Savannah, Georgia

After I returned home, I wanted to create something to remember my trip and a vacation terrarium was the perfect way to use the souvenirs that I had collected along the way.

In addition to my souvenirs, all I needed was a glass container.


I poured the sand into the bottom of the glass container then I arranged my souvenirs until I was happy with how they looked.   There is no ‘right’ way to arrange the souvenirs.  Simply put, things where you can see them.

My DIY vacation terrarium sits on an antique bureau in my dining room where I can see it.  Visitors often ask me about the significance of the souvenirs in my vacation terrarium, which is an opportunity to share with them my wonderful trip to Savannah, Georgia.

Vacation terrariums aren’t limited to natural souvenirs like I used.  You can put all sorts of souvenirs in a terrarium – ticket stubs, foreign money, a postcard, a napkin (from a favorite restaurant), a book of matches, a coaster (from a pub or bar), etc.  Kids can also create their own vacation terrarium by filling a glass container or jar with their favorite souvenirs.

This year, I am planning a trip to the upper Midwest and will visit the states of Michigan, Wisconsin and Minnesota.  I can hardly wait to see what souvenirs I will come home with!

How about you?  What places are you planning on visiting this year?  Wherever you travel, be sure to bring home some souvenirs and create your own vacation terrarium.


  1. Joanne says

    Also try attaching a scenic picture to the back. As you look at the sand etc. you also see the sunset or your spouse walking on the get the idea.

  2. Dorothy says

    That’s a wonderful idea. I’ve made several with plants etc. but not of items from a vacation. We’re going this summer and I’m going to do this. Thanks for the tip

  3. Marcia Johnson says

    Love your ideas. I could fill my house like a forest. I love all outdoor findings. I have lots from Sedona and Sannibel Island which are my favorite places for collecting items. I always replace items with something I have for what I take. Thanks for your ideas.


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