Categories: Party Plans-Published On: September 20, 2023-

Host a Budget-Friendly DIY Terrarium Luncheon

the DIY terrarium party space with the place settings ready

Host a Budget-Friendly DIY Terrarium Luncheon

Hosting DIY parties has been a highlight for me over the last several years. I love the idea of gathering friends and spending time talking, laughing, and hopefully recharging, but for the longest time it eluded me how to create an environment that led to my idyllic vision. I basically wanted to host a party, but doesn’t a party need a purpose. Sometimes the answer is so obvious and staring you right in the face, and for me, it turned out to be coordinating a DIY craft. If you’re not crafty, what do you like to do? If you like to read, maybe host a book club like my bestie, Ana. If you like to cook, maybe host a dinner club or progressive dinner. If you like sports or outdoor activities, host a mini-tourney or coordinate a group activity with refreshments at the end. There are so many ways to fellowship with friends, and it’s the most fun sharing something you enjoy with others.

bowl of white rocks for top decoration

Like all of my previous DIY luncheons, I get an idea and just go with it. Sometimes something for the party decor will inspire me to create a whole theme around that item. Sometimes I’ll stumble upon a dessert recipe or craft on Pinterest that I want to share with others. And depending on what you enjoy doing and want to share with others will help lead you through the planning process. Unlike a major holiday or birthday, DIY parties can be done at your own pace without a looming deadline. I like to plan my party, gather supplies, create decorations, and test out recipes long before I set the date. It has also helped to text out a save-the-date so that I can accommodate as many guests being able to come as possible.

charcoal, soil, and rocks

Keep in mind that not every party needs decorations or invitations. I do those things because I love doing them, but sometimes I don’t. I’ve done very simple and even sort of impromptu parties without decor or formal invites. There’s something so special about just making a pot of tea, buying a baked good from the grocery store, and catching up with a friend. It doesn’t require a huge undertaking or effort, and it can be a wonderful time. I love having a crafting element because I usually make things all by myself. And while my introverted self loves time alone, I also enjoy creating with others and seeing just how creative God made His people. For this DIY terrarium luncheon, I started with the decor and kept the food simple. Afterall, school just started, and the holiday trifecta is approaching.

terrarium globe, instructions, and tools on a tray for the DIY project

Sometimes I like to create a lovely centerpiece on the table, but for this party, it made more sense to use the DIY terrarium supplies as the centerpiece. In the past, I have also set up a separate table for the DIY craft if I don’t want the supplies anywhere near food (i.e., resin crafts). I started this centerpiece by building a wooden riser using scrap wood, then I used chicken wire to create a trough shape. Gathering all the moss I had on hand as well as buying an extra bag of Spanish moss, I covered the chicken wire and riser with various colors of moss and created a boat-looking feature to hold the containers of terrarium supplies. I also made some containers using cement, but that project isn’t sharable yet, I was just experimenting. Below is a photo of the riser and chicken wire with some moss wrapped around the edges but without the other stuff covering it. This structure is totally unnecessary, but it was something I wanted to create.

the centerpiece under construction

Once I decide on what the DIY craft will be, I make a list of the supplies needed and price it out to make sure it’s an affordable craft for me. In the past, there were times that I charged a supply fee for crafts that were on the spendy side, and anyone who really wanted to create that particular craft (with friends and refreshments) signed up and paid the fee. I worried that people wouldn’t want to pay, but I was pleasantly surprised with the high-level of interest and participation. Since then, I’ve tried to keep the crafts simpler and budget friendly so that I can skip the supply fee. But I have considered starting a DIY craft club with a fee. Here’s a list of links to some of the terrarium supplies that I found great deals on.

air plant

If you enjoy crafting yourself, you probably already have a lot of useful supplies at your disposal. I searched my home for things that would make the party easy and cute. For instance, I had these stainless-steel trays from a different party, and I thought they’d be great at containing the mess made to build the terrariums. Terrariums aren’t a new concept by a long shot, but that doesn’t mean everyone knows how to construct one. So, I found some images online and created a picture of the layers/process. This way, I didn’t have to give instructions, and everyone could go at their own pace and still chitchat. Not every DIY lends itself to self-direction, but this one did, and it was great!

party space decor with moss, faux mushrooms, and nature

I like to plan my DIY parties in the late morning if I’m serving a light refreshment, or in this case at lunchtime since I was serving a simple lunch. You know this isn’t a cooking blog, and if it were you’d be disappointed, but if cooking is an area where you shine or feel confident, go all out. If you’re like me and feeding others is quite stressful and adds pressure, I’m here to tell you that you can feed people very easily without the stress. I served chicken salad sandwiches on croissants, Kettle chips, and a small bowl of fruit. That’s it, and it was good and just enough. I also love to start the party off with some non-alcoholic spritzers. It gives people something to do with their hands, the sugar gets the blood sugar going, and they’re so tasty! For this party’s spritzer recipe, I used white grade sparkling cider, lemonade, and frozen grapes with a sprig of mint for the garnish. I love freezing fruit to keep the drinks cool and then they don’t get watered down. A pitcher of water was also nearby.

After every party I host, I usually have a regret if not several, we can call them learning moments if you want, but I regret not getting a photo of our desserts. I hope this taught me to take photos of my recipe testing time since apparently, I get so caught up in the festivities that I forget to get all the photos for the blog. Sorry, y’all. However, I found this amazing and easy strawberry mascarpone trifle recipe on Pinterest, and you can see all of Emily’s photos on the recipe post. The only thing I would change on my end is that the recipe says to use the cream cheese at room temperature, but when I tested it, I didn’t, and it blended perfectly with the cool mascarpone and cool heavy cream. But when I did use room temp cream cheese the day of the party, it didn’t blend perfectly with the other chilled ingredients. This didn’t affect the flavor, but it did change the texture a bit which I wasn’t as happy with. Anyway, use all chilled ingredients and blend well. I used a lemon pound cake and cookie cutter for the pound cake layer – it was so delicious. I prepped each layer ahead of time and the diced strawberries got a little too oozy with the added sugar, so I would recommend pouring out extra juice first. I also piped in the mascarpone layer and used 8-ounce mason jars. I don’t know if these could be made ahead of time or not. The cheese layer may not soak into the pound cake, I’m just not sure. But it was simple enough to assemble them right before serving. And did I mention they were light and delicious?

the drink station for the spritzers
the party guests visiting
Amy and Lisa
Jeanette assembling her terrarium
Carolyn and Johnna
group photo with the finished terrariums

Aren’t my friends lovely? They’re so much fun too. Thanks so much for checking out this post. I hope you got some helpful details and inspiration to host your own DIY terrarium luncheon! If you noticed the little faux mushroom decor and want to know how to make them, check out this post. I hope you have a wonderful day and be sure to sign up for my free email list for more DIY and decorating inspiration.

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