Dino Battle, Take Two.

As you might recall from a recent post in which I issued an open apology to our terrarium for, you know, murdering it, things didn’t go quite as well as we planned the first time around. It certainly wasn’t due to lack of effort. In fact, it was quite the opposite. I just loved the dang thing too much.

My quest for terrarium retribution began once again with Sprout Home, but this time I knew the online tutorial wouldn’t be enough to keep me from killing again. Thus, I headed down to the brick and mortar store on a quest for help and answers. Our terrarium debacle had left our sleek vessel with about a 1/2″ of standing water at the bottom, which we needed to remove, while attempting to leave the layers of substrate as visually separated as possible. Little did I know that I’d be heading home from Sprout with all the advice I needed, but making a pit stop for some feminine hygiene products along the way…

So, how does one remove standing water from the bottom of a terrarium without removing the base materials? Tampons. Of course! I feel that the photos speak for themselves, so I’ll simply say that my lady, um, knew what to do, and she let the products go to work.


Oddly enough, this method was really effective. Although, I suppose it’s not really that odd when you, uh, think about it. Okay, anyway! We left them to absorb the water about four or five days. As you can see, they really helped to dry out the dirt in addition to removing the standing water.


After the unusual prep work was complete, we removed all of the “non-organic materials” from the vessel and got to work. V2.0 included our newly revived plant (yup, that’s the same brave soldier who is  now sporting tons of new growth), some newly purchased preserved moss, and a few more dried Billy Buttons. And, most importantly, the dinos. That is, our two freakin’ sweet dinosaurs. 


We thought that working with preserved moss would work out a little better for us this time, since it would leave us with one less thing to worry about (me) killing. We gave it a tiny haircut to remove a few brownish spots and to help it follow the inner curve of our planter. 


Kim’s tiny hands made short work of the arranging, while I gently criticized her placement choices and mess-making prowess. We’re certainly glad we laid out the drop-cloth for this one. I simply carried it downstairs and shook the clippings off in the alley when we were finished.  



And remember the hunk o’ wood my lady mentioned a few days ago? It really works out nicely underneath our newly formed dinosaur battleground, huh? Sort of like an area rug for the terrarium. (Ooh, snap! Like that analogy, Kim?)


I like to think that the Protoceratops is guarding the Billy Button mega forest. That pesky T-Rex is always trying to wreck his party. 


My lady had a heck of a time trying to photograph V2.0 in it’s new resting place with the glares and all (sorry ’bout that), but we love (even more so now) how it looks holding down the corner of the media wall. The addition of Mr. Hunk gives it a more rustic quality and helps to define the white gravel a bit more than the previous spot directly on top of the white shelf surface.


Phew. There you have it. A terrarium re-imagined and El Hunko utilized. So, friends, what do you think? Any other good redemption stories out there? (You know, to help us feel like we’re not the only total black-thumb-vessel-wreckers.)

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  • I think it looks great! I love the Billy button forest, too. Where did you find those? I’ve looked everywhere, but no luck. And, I’m too cheap to pay shipping on dried flowers. Ha! And, I killed my terrarium, too. Though, not from over watering. Ben built a fire and my office was so hot so I cracked the window on a cold winter day. Yep, I froze it, just like Jack in The Shining. I think I’m going to use a different moss and see how it goes. If I kill that one, I’ll probably switch to fake moss to make it look okay. And, I can’t keep other plants alive. Usually, they’re dead within two months. Don’t feel too bad. :)ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.3.11 - 9:31 AM

    Amanda, thank you for the encouragement! Your Jack Frost story made me laugh.

    We got our billy buttons at Sprout Home, but we’ve also seem them at specialty boutique shops around the city. If you have any fancy shmancy flower shops in your area (even if they only specialize in special occasion, they might be your best bet and would most likely sell you a few), I would call around and ask if they have them. I believe the actual botanical name is Craspedia.

    Places in Chicago sell each one for about 2 bucks a pop, and they look the same dry as they do alive!ReplyCancel

  • Two Pitties in the City6.3.11 - 10:19 AM

    It seems so obvious, but I never would have come up with that solution to soak up the water. I’m curious to see what plants you’re going to have on your deck. We have a couple of flowerboxes so we can feel like we’re eating at an outdoor cafe every day, but I always have garden envy seeing how thick and cascading everyone else’s flowers look. We have hot sun in the morning, but shade in the afternoon so we tried going with those types of plants, but still not overflowing and thick. I’d like to see what you guys come up with.ReplyCancel

  • Kim6.3.11 - 10:49 AM

    Hi Two Pitties! We have the same shaded issues as you, so I don’t know if we’ll be of much help. I know what you mean about the cascade envy though. Mother trucker.

    We did, however, just finish up the patio, so look for that post early next week!ReplyCancel

  • aleksandra6.3.11 - 11:23 AM

    holy cow, i love this!! dare i say it’s much cuter than your first one? maybe the first one died for a reason?
    and, i am LOVING the hunk’o’wood as an area rug under it!!ReplyCancel

  • Jen6.3.11 - 11:25 AM

    Looks even better the second time around! Agreed on the buttons, those are great and I need to get me somes!ReplyCancel

  • Scott6.3.11 - 2:50 PM

    Thanks for all the kind words everyone! The dinosaurs seem happy as ever…ReplyCancel

  • Ashley6.9.11 - 7:36 AM

    ohmygosh! i love that! so cute guys!ReplyCancel

  • ok… this is seriously cool!!!! too great! too creative! just amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Stephanie10.19.11 - 7:41 AM

    Your terrarium looks awesome! I hope I can recreate one that looks just like it :) Do you remember where you bought your vase?ReplyCancel

    • Kim10.19.11 - 9:56 AM

      Hi Stephanie, thank you! We purchased our vase at Sprout Home in Chicago. If you’re not from the area, I bet you could find something similar and unique at a TJ Maxx or HomeGoods. Good luck, and we’d love to see photos when you’re finished building yours!ReplyCancel


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