Hey guys, welcome back to another Bantamarium experience. As usual, I’m pumped up and ready to present my latest offerings to you! Today I’m going to show you how to make your very own glow-in-the-dark terrarium with a complete glamor campsite. If you know nothing about glamping, you’re in the right place… because I don’t either… let’s make a terrarium!
If you aren’t familiar with what a bantamarium is, I strongly recommend you take a look at this deep dive I put together. In a nutshell, it’s a concept I’ve been working on where we bring a diorama to life. The goal is ultimately to make photo-realistic vivariums anyone, no matter the skill level, can make!
Glamour Camping In a terrarium
Glamping is the combination of two words, “glamorous” and “camping” and is basically enjoying the outdoor encounter but with amenities. The traditional style of surviving off of the land is traded in with a more resort-style experience… I tried to capture that in this diorama and made today’s video compliment the vibe I was going for with this DIY glow-in-the-dark terrarium.
Making a Glow-In-The-Dark Terrarium
So we have our work cut out for us with this one. It’s not going to be a challenging project by any means. We are just going to have to take careful consideration about how we prepare things to ensure a safe environment for whatever plants and animals may call this bantamarium, home. Here’s what we will need to create our glow-in-the-dark terrarium.
- 4in Glass Cylinder Vase
- Glamour Camping Set
- Pleurocarpous Moss
- Eco-Complete Aquarium Gravel
- Fine Grit Sand
- Coco Coir Soil
- Live Lichen Mix or Preserved Reindeer Moss
- Birch Twigs
- Matte Acrylic Paint
- Glow in the Dark Acrylic Paint
- Loctite Extreme Glue
- Clear Sealant
Glamour Campsite Decor Construction:
Today we will be working with my glamour campsite set. These are complete with everything needed to make an adorable campground for the chic outgoing. Let’s start by cutting it out of its support frame and assembling it.
This glamping set comes with a few extras so that you can build it the way you envision it. For now, I’m going to walk you through this tutorial the way I specifically used all the pieces. With all the parts separated, let’s set aside the cozy lights for now and work on the large tent.
I start by gluing the wooden deck to the front of the large tent and cut out a few wood beams for supporting the tent on uneven grounds. When the deck is securely dried to the tent, I can flip it on its backside and glue the front rope guard on making sure to offset it down a bit.
Once that’s set, I flip the tent upside down and glue the beams to the bottom. Once that glue dries, the large tent is ready for painting. Since the smaller tents, fire pit, and outdoor chairs won’t need assembly, we can paint everything all at once.
I’m going to start by applying a base color of light brown to everything. I am aiming for an authentic pine wood color for this build. As with my usual builds, this color goes on lightly to reveal some degree of depth with the darker inner portions of the Model.
For my secondary color, a simple white will cover the tents as well as the chairs. I’m applying the same amount of color on these models since I want everything white to look more like a solid fabric material.
The fire pit got a lite coat of grey around it. I neatly filled in the inner pit with dark brown and covered the wood with a solid red color.
With everything painted, we can assemble the cozy lights and get things ready for the glow-in-the-dark effect!
Cozy Lights decor Construction:
I have a very simple approach to how I choose to assemble the cozy lights. Now, keep in mind, it is totally up to you how you want to hang your lights. I chose to mount mine on wooden beams that will drape around the campground. You might want to mount yours between the tents or maybe even the trees.
Using some of the spare wood beams that were cut into half, I glued one string of lights to each pole. This gives me the option later to connect them however they may look best in a terrarium I hadn’t yet built.
Once the glue has dried, I paint the wood beams in the same light brown base color I painted the other models. A tiny dap of white paint is then applied to each light slowly bringing things to life.
Before spraying our models with a protective clear sealant, we will need to cover selected parts with glowing paint. This is optional for those not interested in this extra touch. If opting to skip this step, seal those models and move on to building your terrarium.
Making terrarium decor Glow-in-the-dark:
I found some really cool glow-in-the-dark acrylic paint online and thought it was really cool that it came in multiple colors. This intrigued me but after experimenting with different outcomes, I decided to stick with the neutral-colored paint for most of this.
My strategy was to just cover everything white (minus the chairs) with as much paint as I could get on in one coat. Careful not to get any on the wood parts of the model, I literally saturated the models in one go.
I used a small dab of neon orange for the logs in the fire pit to create a lit fire look when things are dark. This might take the rest of the day to dry depending on how much you poured on things. Once cured coat everything in clear sealant and move on to the terrarium.
The Campsite Terrarium Construction:
For this terrarium, I decided to go with a smaller glass vase this time just to experiment on how the proportions look. It worked really cool and was very noticeable next to my larger setups. Vase size and shape are always up to you so I always push for creativity when it comes to these living dioramas.
Start by pouring aquarium gravel into the vase. You should be aiming for a layer at least an inch deep. This is where all of our excess water will go after each watering or mist. I’m using red aquarium gravel because it looks very earth clay layer-ish.
I recommend using some type of screen mesh to separate this layer from the substrate layer. This helps keep the soil out of the stagnant water. I’m using a small piece of garden liner for this.
Next, we can add our substrate layer. I decided to try something different with the layering of sand and soil. There’s a bit of an illusion going on with this. I only apply the layers of sand on the out rim of the tank to give the effect the whole terrarium is layered. After a couple of layers, I top off the substrate with the intended soil.
Glow-In-The-Dark Terrarium Plants
At this point, I give everything a nice misting and proceed to sprinkle shredded carpeting moss around the whole enclosure. This is going to look phenomenal after a couple of weeks with acclimation.
We can now start to arrange our glamor campsite decor around the terrarium. The first piece going in will be the large tent as it will set the scape for the rest of the scene.
Once the decor is in place, twigs are placed around the background to set up the structure for our wooded area.
The wooded forest is topped off with real tree lichen. This stuff grows all over my neighborhood and really adds a touch of realism to trees. It also grows really slow and pulls its nutrients from the air so I don’t have to water them directly.
Glow-in-the-dark Terrarium Animals
A number of micro critters could do well in this type of terrarium. I’m a huge fan of animals that help maintain the terrarium. Springtails, isopods, or even a small colony of ants would fit this enclosure nicely. For this terrarium, I will be looking to add something unique. Stay tuned for updates on this if you follow me on any of my social media.
Mini Campsite Terrarium Care
As with most of my miniature terrariums, this tank should do well on its own. As things grow in, the natural take over will only further enhance the scenery. If you haven’t already, mist down the scape and seal it with a little plastic wrap. Open it every once in a while so that the lichen can get fresh air. Lichen receives its nutrients from the air so it’s vital it gets a nice breather from time to time.
With things completed, I’m sure you’ve already flicked the lights on and off several times to enjoy the cool effects this unique jarrarium offers. Regardless if you used my decor for this project or not, if you felt inspired enough to create your own DIY glow-in-the-dark terrarium, I’d love to see it so tag me when you post it! Until then, see you all in the next one…
If you’re interested in seeing updates on how this as well as other enclosures progress follow me on social media. If you’d like to get your tall tweezers on one of these limited edition vivarium decors yourself, check them out in our shop.