Air Plant Holder Ideas — DIY Tropical Decor

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Air Plant Holder Ideas — DIY Tropical Decor

Posted by: Melissa Franzen Category: How To's

Isn’t there just something so captivating about air plants? It’s as if they have stories they are waiting to tell us. As if they were once sea urchins or sea stars that adventured out of the tidepools and onto the tropical cliffs and into the jungles. That’s why we have created these air plant holder ideas — to inspire beautiful centerpieces and arrangements that honor these majestic “creatures”.

In this “How To” we will be breaking down a two-piece tropical décor arrangement designed to spark your imagination. Feel free to work with us step-by-step, but as always, we encourage you to take the project into new directions.

Project 1: Grapevine Air Plant Holder

For this piece we will be combining our Grapevine Planter and Beach Terrarium Kit to create a vibrant and cozy home for our air plant friends.

Decorative woods such as Manzanita root, driftwood, cholla wood, and grapevine are all common for air plant crafting, but our Grapevine Planter’s unique shape allows for terrarium-like arranging that is sure to charm.

What You’ll Need:

Slide Grapevine Planter Beach Terrarium Kit $62.95 $22.95

Grapevine Planter

Carefully selected pieces of grapevine wood, large enough to be cut and used as a planter. In addition to this air plant terrarium project, succulents and flowers can also be planted into this decorative wood.

Beach Terrarium Kit

Every element you need to create a multi-layered coastal inspired environment. There is more than enough in this kit for this project and then some!

Included in this kit is:

Slide Xerographica Tectorum Ecuador $15.95 $11.95

Air Plants

Of course this project wouldn’t be complete without air plants! From big to small, pokey to swirly, we have many tillandsia to choose from each with their own character.

The air plants we chose for this project are:

  • Xerographica — The “King of Air Plants”, produces a multi-branching red and yellow bloom with violet flowers
  • Tectorum Ecuador — Fuzzy and whimsical, one of the most fun air plants to work with
  • Andreana — Rare and beautiful with green, light leaves and blooms vibrant red flowers



Step 1: Prepare Your Grapevine Planter, Beach Terrarium Kit, and Air Plants

Find a clean, open area to begin your project. Make sure you have good lighting and plenty of space to move around.

After opening the Beach Terrarium Kit, we recommend placing each material on your work surface so that they are all readily available to work with. We took it a further step by emptying the bags of sand, gravel, and sea glass into cups, but small dishes or bowls would also work well.

Once everything is out and in it’s place, you will have a great sense of what you have to work with and can begin designing.


Step 2: Create a Bedding of Sphagnum Moss

Before anything else, we want to create a bedding of Sphagnum Moss that will be the foundation of our planter. The Sphagnum Moss will create height and allow our Air Plants and Reindeer Moss to “pop”.

Sphagnum Moss is also highly absorbent and will help retain moisture around the air plants.

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Step 3: Add a Top Layer of Reindeer Moss

Time for color!

Starting with the Chartreus Reindeer Moss, lightly place tufts across the entire width of the planter. Our Reindeer Moss is very pillowy and can quickly take up a lot of space. Be sure to leave room for the Azul Reindeer Moss and, of course, for the air plants.

Next, fill in the gaps of your chartreus moss with the Azul Reindeer Moss. Grab small and medium sized bunches to spread around and give an organic look.

If you have gathered your materials individually instead of using the Beach Terrarium Kit, then of course you can mix and match any colors you like! The chartreus and azul create a tropical seafoam and aqua theme, which we feel fits air plants beautifully.

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Step 4: Place Your Air Plants

By now your air plant holder should be looking super cozy!

With the Sphagnum and Reindeer Moss, we have made a lovely, cushiony stage to proudly display your Tillandsias.

Keep in mind that Air Plants need space to grow. In our particular Grapevine Planter we had a recessed nook a little right of center along the top that made a perfect spot for our Tectorum Ecuador.

Air Plants do not have roots that need to be submerged, so it is best to place them delicately on top of the moss where they can gather light, moisture, and air-flow.

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Step 5: Decorate with Gravel

Gravel is a commonly used top dressing for potted plants, succulents, and terrariums. It is generally placed on top of soil or substrate to create a decorative and sturdy layer around your plants.

In this project, the gravel is placed more loosely within the crevices made by the Reindeer Moss.

Clump a few stones at a time and place together along the seems of the moss. Placing some of the gravel along the rim of the Grapevine Planter creates a nice, natural texture.

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Step 6: For the Finishing Touch, Add Sea Glass

To continue with our tropical and beach theme, we add Sea Glass amongst the gravel to create a smooth and shiny element.

Since the sea glass is a bit larger than the gravel, you can spend more time hand picking each piece of glass determining which size and color would go best where. Avoid completely covering the moss and try to go along the edges similar to the gravel. Also, you can use the sea glass to keep your air plants snug into the planter, but be careful not to bury their leaves.

When placed in a well lit area, the sea glass will sparkle and your arrangement will surely catch everyone’s attention!

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Your Grapevine Air Plant Holder is Ready for It’s Debut!

That’s it!

With just some simple layers of moss and decorating with gravel and sea glass, you can create a stunning tropical themed air plant holder.

The Grapevine Air Plant Holder makes for a great centerpiece, entry way décor item, or beach themed bathroom piece.

You might be thinking: “Wait, we didn’t use the sand!”. Do not worry! We will be using the sand and more left over materials in the next project where we complete the arrangement in Project 2: Tropical Air Plant Display!

Comments (4)

  • Dina Pielaet Reply

    This is great!!!!!!

    November 13, 2020 at 1:43 pm
  • Gabriel Canaya Reply

    Hello there,
    Do you carry all the materials and supplies and what I need if I start this king of hobbit

    And what website are we talking about

    Thank you

    November 13, 2020 at 4:21 pm
    • Michelle Rosenblum Reply

      Hi Gabriel!

      Yes, we carry everything you need to start this hobby! Every item is linked here and can be acquired right on this site. Let us know if there is anything in particular you are interested in.

      November 13, 2020 at 4:25 pm

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