Let’s Dabble: DIY Terrarium Class in Chicago

** I received a Dabble credit as part of the Super Dabbler ambassador program. I was a fan of Dabble before joining the program.


As a self-proclaimed crazy plant lady, I find myself drawn to any Dabble.co class that involves plants. I’ve recently taken an air plant class with LeeLee’s Gardens and loved my creation, so I wanted to try my hand at terrarium making. I selected the Black Thumb: A DIY Terrarium Workshop last week, and I was not disappointed!

The class cost $40 and was held in Sideshow Gallery’s backyard in Chicago. Sideshow carries little trinkets that you can purchase for your terrarium, along with art, antiques, crystals, and many other items. In the backyard was a work station setup with all the materials we would need to build our terrariums: soil, activated charcoal, rocks, sand and more. We did, however, have to bring our own vessel, but we had the option of purchasing one there if we needed one. (I picked up a glass vase at Target for about $5 before class. Fellow class members suggested JoAnne Fabric stores for vessels.)

The instructor, Chantal Johnson, who can be found on Instagram at @iplanthomes, greeted us and offered us beer while we waited for class to begin. She began class with about an hourlong discussion of succulents and how to care for them, and I learned a ton of things I am doing wrong with my own plant babies, as she called them. Her passion for succulents and plants in general was contagious. A nice touch was that she offered paper and pens to take notes on during the lecture. I filled up almost a full page with my notes.

After sharing all the information we needed to know, she demonstrated how to create a terrarium using all the materials we had available. By this time it was starting to become dark as the sun had set (I’m not ready for fall!), but we used lights and candles so we could see. I was eager to get started, and we had about 45 minutes to build our terrariums. I found that it was quite a quick process to make one.

After the demo we walked over to a table with the succulents to pick our new plants. For my terrarium Ichose three adorable succulents (included in the class fee), moss, sand and green pebbles to go along with the other materials. I was unsure about the correct amount of rocks and soil to include, but the instructor walks around and helps you out when needed. She also checks that your succulents are planted well.

I was happy with the way it came out and can’t wait to make another terrarium again soon!

Among some of the tips we learned:

  • Keep a watering log and notes on your plants.
  • Check your soil to see if watering is necessary.
  • Succulents prefer indirect light.
  • Water succulents one or two days before planting.

Considering this terrarium class or another Dabble class? Remember that you can use code MARETTE10 at checkout to save some cash. I do not make any money from your use of this link, but I want to offer you a discount! Dabble classes are available in Chicago, Austin, St. Louis, Seattle and many other cities. (The list is growing!) Also, if you have ever considered teaching your skill to others, you can sign up to host your own classes.

Have you ever made a terrarium? Watch my short video below!

Previous Dabble classes:

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