Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight

Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight 2,328 views

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Project Time:30 minutes

My daughter is currently obsessed with all things related to the beach, and in particular, turtles. Her bedroom has been aqua, grey, pink and purple for the past couple of years but apparently now it has to become blue, silver, aqua, and white. And beach themed. Of course, I’m all about the DIY to keep costs down, and we are taking our time changing it by doing just one project a week. This week’s project was a beach themed nightlight that had a very personal element to it.

I wanted to use things that we already had, along with shells she had collected on our summer vacation to Florida, incorporate a photo, and a succulent (which she loves right now). I wanted this to be a project that had memories attached to it too, something that she could look at what was inside and remember, like when we walked to the top of the lighthouse, and fed turtles in a pond (where we purchased the turtle for her), and collected shells on an island – some of her best summer memories.


  • HP DeskJet 3755 Printer
  • HP 4×6 Photo Paper
  • 2 glass jars – 1 large for the terrarium, 1 small for the succulent
  • Acrylic frame
  • Terrarium filling – sand, rocks, shells, sea glass (whatever you want for the theme you choose)
  • Nightlight or battery-operated tea lights
  • Twine (optional)
  • Scissors


  1. Start by planting your succulent. Put a few rocks in the bottom of the jar for drainage, and then add your succulent to the jar. By doing this you are keeping most of the sand out of the succulent plant, and also keeping the water in so that the entire terrarium doesn’t get wet … and also because I have a black thumb so will probably need to replace the succulent in a few months. Place the succulent jar into the bottom of your larger terrarium jar.
  2. Layer rocks, shells, sand, or sea glass into the bottom of the jar surrounding the succulent. You may just want to use sand or rocks, depending on your theme. Just keep in mind that sand will sink, so you can add a little to the top at the end, but it will fall through the cracks of rocks and sea glass unless you put a sheet of cardboard or something between the layers to keep them looking nice.
    Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight
    Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight
  3. Print a photo for the size of the acrylic frame you purchased. I found a 3.5 x 5″ frame was the perfect size to fit in the jar. Cut out the photo and place into the frame, and into the jar. I used a few extra shells and rocks to prop it up so it wouldn’t fall over if the jar is knocked.
    Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight
    Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight
  4. Add in your nightlight. You have a few options here. We popped Bob the turtle into our jar. Bob was purchased at a souvenir store on one of our summer adventures where we fed turtles, but you could simple add in battery-operated tealight candles, or put a light into an aquarium themed trinket they sell in pet stores unless you have a little lighted ornament like we did.
  5. I wrapped a little twine around the top of our jar too, but that of course is optional. And there you have it, the perfect nightlight terrarium to help your kids fall asleep at night, and that has many wonderful memories attached to it.
    Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight
    Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight

Note: This project cost under $20 but I did have the rocks and sand on hand already.

Watch the video below for the full tutorial.

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Beach Themed Terrarium Nightlight

Contributed by:

Tonya Staab

Tonya is a freelance writer and the creative mind behind the lifestyle Learn More

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