Sunday, August 14, 2011

House Warming Gift

My mom could give Martha Stewart a run for her money when it comes to entertaining and hospitality.  She made sit down tea and dinner parties for 60 look effortless and always top notch.  You would have thought they were professionally catered.   My Dad is a retired Navy Admiral and my parents frequently entertained and were invited to dinners with foreign dignitaries and other high ranking military personnel. 

My mom was always one to bring a hostess gift whenever she and my dad were invited to an event at someones home.  I have always admired her graciousness and style and tried to follow her lead. 
This is a hostess gift I gave for a recent house warming party our family attended

The pictures aren't great because I didn't remember to take any till we were getting out of the car at the party address.  Our host and hostess recently moved back to San Diego from Washington DC and they just purchased their first home.  They are expecting their first baby at the end of the month.   I like to give living gifts when possible because I think it brings life into the home. Flowers are nice, but it's not always convenient for the hostess to find a vase to hold the flowers while trying to entertain the rest of the guests.   
I made this simple terrarium that was inexpensive to make and goes with almost any decor.  Our host's last name starts with a 'V.'  I picked up a package of monograms at Big Lots a while back for under $2.  They are printed on nice card stock.  I wrote a note on the back of the monogram congratulating them on their new home and new baby.  I used a  sliver wire curled into a circle to support the monogram in the terrarium.  

This gift will continue to live while flowers die within a week and it's very easy to maintain.  With a new baby on the way, they aren't going to have a lot of time for indoor plant maintenance.  This terrarium will thrive on neglect.

The only thing I purchased was this succulent.  I used three of the rosettes for the terrarium and still have two left over.  I already had the glass vessel, sand, rocks, moss, and dirt. 

I like the gray/blue color of this succulent.

Here's how I made it.  I layered from the bottom up, sand, small pebbles, large pebbles, moss, and cactus soil mix. The layer of moss keeps the dirt from seeping into the rocks when it's watered.  Otherwise your rocks will look "muddy" over time.  I gently pulled apart the succulent cluster and planted three of them in the vase.  Then I added a final layer of small pebbles.  I added a couple shells and a piece of found driftwood.  Easy to make, personalized, and doesn't break the bank.

Do you have a signature hostess gift that you like to give as gifts?
I would love to hear your ideas.

Thanks for checking it out.

To see other terrarium projects I've done click here and here.

Thanks Kelly over at
for the blog love!  Go check out her beautiful blog, she's having a give away!

I linked this project up to

504 Main


  1. I love this idea! It looks so beautiful..I will be making this. Thank you for the idea and would love to share on my blog this coming Monday if that's ok?

  2. beautiful, Shannon. and so thoughtful of you. i bet your friend loved it.

  3. I would love one of these, and thanks to your instructions maybe I'll get off my lazy rear and make one!! I love it and the card!

  4. shan, love this to no end. i still have your monogrammed bucket you gave to me. you, my friend, are now the queen of hostess gifts. johanna has paid it forward and now you take the helm.

    i know your friend loved the terrarium and will never forget who made it for her.

  5. What an excellent idea!
    I have been waiting for my fish to die (terrible I know) so that I can turn my fish tank into a big terrarium, but the hostess gift idea? Brilliant.
    Thanks for the great tips too. Seems like an easy project.

  6. I love this idea! What a beautiful and thoughtful gift. I would love to try my hand at one of these. I love to give books that I know will interest my hosts.

  7. Shannon..posted about you today : )

  8. Shannon, that is very creative and it never even dawned on me that terraiums would be good gifts. I love that!

  9. That looks fantastic..I might even give it a go myself! I normally make up a hamper type gift of cleaning products and essentials using something like a laundry basket or washing up bowl to put everything in.

  10. So creative and clever! I'm sure your friends love it:)


  11. Now that's a gift that keeps on giving. Fantastic!

  12. What a great idea! I can't wait to try it (for myself).



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