December is the best time for DIY. From Christmas tree baubles to fun party favours and creative table settings, there’s always an excuse to unpack your crafting station. One of the easiest (but also equally impressive) activities de jour are terrariums.

Perfect for apartments, bookshelves and even office desks, all these mini gardens require to thrive is indirect light and the odd mist of water. A terrarium is your own personal ecosystem. Here’s what you’ll need.

Pick out a glass container in a size that works best for you. It could be a vase, antique coffee pot, tea cup, an old lighting fixture or even a pendant lamp – if it’s glass, it’s probably going to work.

Terrariums can also be closed or open, just remember that sun-loving plants prefer air and natural light while moss and ferns thrive in high levels of humidity and won’t mind being closed in. (Fun fact, sealed terrariums almost never need watering.)

The types of plants which survive best in a terrarium require minimal watering – like succulents! – and moist, at most, drainable soil. This means, you’ll need a layer of rocks or pebbles to cover the bottom of the vessel to create a false-drainage system. This will also prevent the roots from rotting.

Next up, add a layer of activated charcoal. Available from most good garden shops, this should stop mould in its tracks and keep the water you pour in fresh.

Now it’s time to add potting soil… but ask what kind before you buy as you get different mixes for different plant types. This layer should be deep enough that you can plant the plants in it and cover the roots.

The last step is to landscape your mini-garden. Starting with the largest plant first, keep in mind that plants work best with like-minded plants, this will prevent unnecessary overcrowding. Now if you’d like, you can add a thin layer of sand to finish the terrarium off.