If you can’t tell by now, I really enjoy Halloween projects. Today’s goal will be to use Halloween terrarium decor to make a spooky graveyard moss terrarium. I absolutely had Tim Burton vibes with this one, so you are not crazy if you find yourself thinking about Beetlejuice while making this bantamarium.
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!
A Cemetary Themed terrarium
I made a quick two-minute video of this build for those looking for visual inspiration on how they might consider constructing their very own graveyard terrarium. I chose to make this video fast-paced and focused more on the entertainment factor. Let me know in the comments there if you like it shorter or prefer the longer more informative stuff.
Making A Mini Graveyard Mossarium
I honestly learn better when I can read tutorials at my own pace, which is why I will continue to provide detailed step-by-step guides like this. Now let’s get into exactly what you’ll need to recreate the mini graveyard terrarium you just saw in that video!
- Bantamarium Jar 8″ x 6″
- Graveyard/Cemetary Set
- Sheet Moss
- Black Gravel
- White Sand
- Coco Coir Soil
- Aquascaping Tool Kit
Get The Complete Kit
This project is now available as a complete kit! Check out available sizes:
Halloween Terrarium Decor:
At the time this tutorial was written, I offered these models unpainted and unassembled. we are proud to announce that our terrarium decor has been improved since then and is now available completed with color. If you so choose to add personalized details, these models are still paintable. Just remember to properly seal them with an aquarium-safe sealant and allow it to cure before use.
The tombstones will still need to be cut free from the support tree. They are sold this way for the easy organization during shipment. I like to use a Xacto knife for detaching miniatures like this.
A Graveyard Terrarium Construction:
Now that the decor is prepared and ready for use, let’s set up a mossarium really quickly. I’ve always been a huge fan of cylinder-shaped terrariums because it offers a clear view of the habitat at any angle.
Using the 6-inch cylinder vase, I fill the bottom with about 3 inches of aquarium substrate. I like using eco-complete because it’s really healthy and already has beneficial bacteria in it. You’re more than welcome to use any type of gravel though, just make sure it is coarse enough to allow water to easily fall to the bottom.
I like to create slops when I terrascape the base layer to add depth to the overall terrarium. This is going to really make things look more interesting later when we make our graveyard.
Next, I add small bits of pillow moss to form random hills. I try to pack the moss consciously, keeping in mind the creases between each moss might make ideal areas for the gate, roads, and fences later.
Once we are satisfied with the position of everything, we can add our decor! This is the most exciting part for me because things really start to come to life. It’s kind of hard for me to make terrariums now without some type of miniature in them because of the impact they have with such little effort.
It’s looking incredible all ready huh… Just wait before you add those tasty pictures to Instagram and tag me.. we are going to level it up a bit more! Pour a small line of sand in between the crevices of moss to make the patches of moss seem seamless.
Follow that by sprinkling small bits of coco coir soil over the sand. Spray water over the sediment to help it fall down between the cracks of moss. Finally, use tweezers or a toothpick to draw a line through the soil to create the little road. If done correctly, the soil should push off slightly toward the sides and reveal the sand.
Now let’s take this graveyard terrarium to its final form with some trees. This part is totally unnecessary at this point, but I really love how it turns out. I found some dead twigs from a bush out front of my house.
I trimmed it down to my preference and stuck it into the tank. I shredded a small dead leaf and sprinkled it around the trees.
Now that you’re ready for the gram… Keep in mind, that it may not be ready for you! Show me what you got, because this is what I live for…🤤
Mini Terrarium Animals
As for appropriate critters that could thrive in a terrarium like this… I’d recommend isopods or springtails. These guys make a great clean-up crew, eating decomposed plant matter and keeping things fresh… To fit the theme, you might even go as far as adding a worm, millipede, or maybe even a jumping spider if you aren’t already freaked out from your uncanny enclosure.
Mini Mossarium Care
One of the greatest things about moss terrariums is their extremely low maintenance requirements. These things practically take care of themselves. I like to cover the top of my moss terrariums with a sheet of plexiglass to help retain moisture. Once you add a little bit of distilled water to the base layer, sit it in a well-lit room and enjoy it!
This graveyard terrarium was a really fun project to make. The amount of detail that the Halloween decor provides really takes things to the next level. I hope you all enjoyed this bantamarium project as much as I did. November is a week away and boy do I have a cool one coming up next!!
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.