Jack and I recently made a trip to Anthropologie to pick out a dress for my birthday. When I’m there, I like to scour their homewares section for ideas — not for stuff I can buy, necessarily, but for stuff I can recreate myself on the cheap. Anthropologie and Urban Outfitters really never disappoint in this department. I’ve already blogged about a jewelry stand project I borrowed from UO, and I found some great instructions a while back for making a DIY Anthro endtable out of a set of IKEA small storage drawers and some Home Depot molding. Beats spending $698!

As I’ve been on a gardening kick lately, the new terrariums at Anthropologie caught my eye. I’ve been noticing terrariums on design blogs for a while and they just seem so enticing. Like if you look closely enough at the miniature world behind the glass, you might be rewarded with a tiny unicorn sighting. Or something. Err… anyway, I was ready to grab a bell jar and plant away. Here’s Anthro’s version:

At 12″ high, it’ll cost you a cool $168. Jack and I spotted a much smaller version in the store for $38 — still unjustifiable, if you ask me. So I took a cue from an equally overpriced book they were selling on the “Thrift Store Chic” design aesthetic, and took my business to my local Red White and Blue. It didn’t take long to find a little glass bowl with matching lid for 99 cents. I took it home, scooped some gravel out of my aquarium, borrowed some dirt from the veggie garden, and I was ready to plant. It’s been so wet out lately that I had no trouble finding enough moss to carpet my tiny ecosystem.

After that I added a few… well, let’s be honest, they’re weeds. Two kinds: one that looks like a mini tomato plant with green and pink leaves, and one that looks like a teeny vine with some purple polka dots.

I put the terrarium in the kitchen by the window where the little globe fogged right up. The whole project was less than a dollar. And I like it enough that I think I’ll make a matching one for my bedroom. I just spotted a similar bowl with a stem and foot like a wine glass at a different thrift store…