DIY wooden terrarium – #swapitlikeitshot

When I first started blogging in 2013 I was perusing Pinterest one day and I came across some really fun thrift store flips, actually I came across a whole blog hop dedicated to thrift store flips. That was when I  was introduced to #SwapItLikeItsHot. It’s as fun as you think it is!

swapitlikesitshot-2 | VinYet ETC


What is Swap it like it’s hot? Basically the concept is a gaggle of bloggers (that is the technical term) go thrifting, a horrible hardship to ask of any blogger really… haha Then we buy an item or items for less than $15.00 in total, we send our purchased item(s) to the next blogger in the participants list, this time around there are 29 blogging friends playing along for this year’s #swapitlikeitshot. It’s a week-long blog hop, that’s insane and so much fun. This concept was the brain child of one very awesome lady, Charlotte from Ciburbanity. If you do not know Charlotte, you really should visit her blog, she is so energetic, fun and a very sweet person plus I adore her colourful decor style.

My thrifted treasure

As I mentioned above we all send our thrifted treasures off to a “lucky” fellow blogger… my loot arrived from the darling, Bee who blogs over at Windgate Lane. If you are visiting for the first time from her blog, welcome I sure hope you enjoy what I’ve hatched up from the items she sent to me?!

I have to be honest here… when I signed up for this challenge I was so excited but when the package actually arrived I was scared to open it! I mean what the heck did I get myself into now? Thankfully Bee sent me reasonable items! PHEW!


Bee sent me 3 things…

mysenttreasures-before - swapitlikeitshot | VinYet Etc

Even though I was not mortified when I opened the package, I had zero clue about how I was going to flip these thrifted items! I finally came up with a couple of ideas, I ended up flipping the accordion frame and the basket. I am even using the plastic napkin holder, but I did not change it’s appearance, just it’s use.

I started with the accordion frame.

accordion-frame-before - swapitlikeitshot | VinYet Etc

I’ve been seeing these cute little terrariums online with succulents or air plants in them, I think they are sweet and since I did not have one I decided to make one or a version of one for myself.


swapitlikeitshot - after - terrarium | VinYet Etc


Materials you will need:

Your preferred brand of white (in my case) Chalk paint

E6000 glue

Sand paper (120 grit)

White latex caulking (paintable)

Wood filler

Reindeer moss

Decorative rocks

Pretty succulents or air plants



steps-1-vinyet-etc - #SwapItLikeItsHot | VinYet Etc.

Take the frames apart removing the glass and set aside, keep one of the photo backing pieces too (as noted above), you will use this as a “floor” for your terrarium later. Unscrew all of the hinges from each frame (I came unhinged… hahaha I’m sorry, could not resist). I saved all of the hinges and tiny screws in a ziplock bag, I wasn’t sure if I was going to reuse them and wanted to keep them corralled, I didn’t end up needing them for this project but now they are tucked away in a ziplock bag in my project supply hoard.

sand-and-clean-prep-for-paint-vinyet-etc | VinYet Etc.

Sand the shiny varnish off of the frames, wipe clean making them ready for your paint.


Paint all of the sides of each frame, I ended up doing 2 whole coats. Hindsight being 20/20 if I were to make one of these again I will use spray paint. There are some brush marks where I’d like it to be a little less rustic.

Let all of your paint dry completely.


Clean your glass and glue a small dollop of glue in each corner on the inside of each frame. Place your glass in the frame (on top of the glue) like you would normally when cleaning the glass in a store bought frame and gently press the glass into the glue.


Once your glass is securely glued into place lay out a shape you are happy with for your terrarium, having only 3 sides (3 frames) it kind of locked me into a triangle… but if there are more than 3 in your accordion frame you will have more options, you get the gist!

caulking-swapitlikeitshotGlue each corner together, this glue is magic!!! I did not clamp, or tape, I just made sure that the glue was touching and the frames were laid straight and left this to dry, I left it over night. Once your terrarium is glued and secure caulk the seams with latex caulking, let dry and retouch with paint.


I decided that I wanted the triangle to stand up like a tent once the sides were glued and secure, I used one of the backing pieces I saved and removed the gold clasp repaired the hole with wood filler and painted it white. All of the sides have glass and this backing can be removed if I want to remove the temp floor and lay the triangle on it’s side for future use.

It was such a simple little project… What do you think?

swapitlikeitshot- DIY Terrarium - VinYet Etc.


Now on to the simple refresh of the basket that was also in the #swapitlikeitshot package I received. I was going to add some handles with jute, but when I tried that it was so silly looking, like it was trying to hard…




After painting it white I thought it looked just fine as is.


So I decided to use it as a catch all… It looks so fresh and much brighter, isn’t spray paint magic?!

Are you wondering at all who I sent my thrift store items to? I’ll not keep you in suspense any longer!

Thrifted items I sent:


I found these items thrifting and thought that my new bloggy friend, Stephanie at Casa Watkins Living would do something very creative – actually going through a thrift store buying for someone else can be a little intimidating, I ended up just shopping the thrift store and picked up some items I wouldn’t hate.   😉  I’m sure Stephanie will transform at least one of these thrift store goodies!

Oh my goodness, this has been so much fun, I can not wait to see how everyone else has flipped their thrift store items, go check them all out. It’s so interesting to see how other creative friends rethink a thrift store treasure, I’m sure this group will have you looking at all of the items on the thrifting shelves a little differently!




Windgate Lane

Vin’yet Etc.

Casa Watkins Living




Confessions of a Serial Do-It-Yourselfer

Addicted 2 DIY

Restoration Redoux

I Am a Homemaker

Maggie Overby Studios

PMQ For Two


Two Thirty-Five Designs

58 Water Street

Create & Babble

Dogs Don’t Eat Pizza

Gourley Girl and Guy

The Charming Farmer


This is our Bliss

Southern State of Mind

Two Purple Couches

My Life From Home


Erin Spain

Copper Dot Interiors

Prim and Propah

Sweet Tea Refinishing

Eveys Creations

On Fern Avenue

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  • Reply Bee October 17, 2016 at 7:53 am

    Amazing!!! I love what you did to both but especially those frames! Great idea! Xo

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 6:59 am

      Thank you Bee, I absolutely love how the terrarium turned out! Your projects turned out so good too! This has been so fun, can’t wait to see what everyone else does too.

  • Reply Charlotte Smith October 17, 2016 at 9:32 am

    Laurie, The terrarium is PERFECTION! That’s something you can keep for ages! I always struggle to make things that are legit useful and not just a fun project! Nicely done, lady! xx

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:01 am

      Thanks Charlotte! 🙂 I always try to make things I need or want around the house, it is a bit of a challenge sometimes. I love the little terrarium so much so that I am now hunting for more of those accordion frames! 😉 I mean you can hang them on the wall, lay them flat, the possibilities are endless! xo

  • Reply Thalita October 17, 2016 at 10:14 am

    Are you freaking kidding me with that terrarium?!?!?! And the basket is perfect. No jute anything necessary. I’m not surprised you made these pieces THIS amazing, but I am forever in awe of you!

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:03 am

      You my dear made tears jump up into my eyes with the comment, thank you SO much! You are so sweet and coming from you I take this as a huge compliment, made my week! xoox

  • Reply Becki October 17, 2016 at 11:50 am

    Omg that terrarium is amazing! What a great idea!

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:05 am

      Thanks girl, I LOVE it, so many possibilities, I may be scouring all of the thrift stores now for those ugo frames… hanging on a wall, in a macrame hanger, laid flat, painted copper!!!!! OMG !

  • Reply Kimm at Reinvented October 17, 2016 at 1:02 pm

    Holy cow, that terrarium is genius! I bet those frames had no idea that they were destined for greatness! Love! Oh, and the basket is cute too, so fresh. 😉

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:06 am

      Hahaha, thanks Kimm! I really have a mad crush on how the terrarium turned out, I’m so glad you like it too! xo

  • Reply Stephanie @ Casa Watkins Living October 17, 2016 at 1:59 pm

    Oh my gosh! This is insanely creative! I love it!!! Great job reinventing the frame. Super cute and now I just want one. lol.

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:06 am

      Thanks Stephanie, I want more… so many possibilities! xo

  • Reply Stephanie October 17, 2016 at 2:04 pm

    Awesome job with the terrarium! It turned out so good!

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:07 am

      Thank you so much, I love it! 🙂

  • Reply Karen @ Dogs Don't Eat Pizza October 17, 2016 at 9:19 pm

    I love that terrarium! So cute! And I like the basket how it is – painted white – too! So creative!!

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Thanks Karen, I was not sure what that basket was going to end up being… I’m so glad the paint performed the magic it needed. 🙂

  • Reply Emily October 17, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    Your terrarium is amazing!!! What a clever idea!! I agree on the woven tray – I think it looks perfect with a fresh coat of paint 🙂

    • Reply Laurie October 18, 2016 at 7:08 am

      Thank you Emily! I love how everything turned out!

  • Reply Ariel October 18, 2016 at 9:02 am

    That terrarium is genius! What a cool project, and very “you.” I know what you mean with the basket, although I think Bud’s idea for a tissue box cover would have been equally funny 😉

    • Reply Laurie October 23, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      hahaha… he’s brilliant! thanks for popping in! xo

  • Reply Christy@Confessions of a Serial Do-it-Yourselfer October 18, 2016 at 6:02 pm

    Oh my gosh, I LOVE your terrarium! What a clever idea for those frames! XO

    • Reply Laurie October 23, 2016 at 1:26 pm

      Thanks Christy, I’ll be hunting for more for sure, I love that way it turned out.

  • Reply Joan Clanton October 18, 2016 at 11:02 pm

    the little carved wooden box looks like the one my dogs’ cremains are in. she came back from the vet in that box. weird, huh?

  • Reply Amy @ My Life From Home October 20, 2016 at 8:10 am

    This blows my mind! It couldn’t be any cuter! Great job.

  • Reply Joann @ Woman In Real Life October 20, 2016 at 10:09 am

    What a great concept! And what you did with the accordion frame is amazing! Very creative. Everything looks lovely actually.

    • Reply Laurie October 23, 2016 at 1:30 pm

      Thanks so much Joann, I love those terrariums, any excuse to make one… and succulents! 😉

  • Reply Lynn Fern October 21, 2016 at 12:45 pm

    Oh my goodness…amazing! Love it!

    • Reply Laurie October 23, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Thank you Lynn! 🙂

  • Reply Erin Spain October 21, 2016 at 1:06 pm

    SO creative! Love what you did!

    • Reply Laurie October 23, 2016 at 1:31 pm

      Thanks Erin! 🙂

  • Reply Sarah October 24, 2016 at 10:58 am

    Love that terrarium! What a great way to repurpose a tired-out object!

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