DIY Succulent and Cactus Projects You Just Have To Try

Succulents can be used to make modern but earthy decor. Here's how to get creative with these drought-tolerant plants by using them in everything from wreaths to hanging wall art.

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DIY Succulent and Cactus Decor Ideas

Bring new life to an indoor space or create an outdoor garden with these DIY succulent project ideas. We show you how to use cactus and succulents in hanging planters, wreaths, ornaments and centerpieces. Is your thumb less than green? We've even got ideas for making fake plants out of felt or polymer clay that look cute and need no help from you to thrive.

Stick around until the end of the gallery for tips on choosing and caring for the plants you use in your project.

Get the How-To: How to Create a Succulent Wreath

Vintage Camper Planter

Summer vacation starts now. Make this charming vintage camper planter with HGTV Handmade's Crafty Lumberjacks. They cast it out of quick-setting concrete and added fun details like cloth curtains and rubber wheels. They used fake plants in theirs, but you can easily substitute live ones.

Watch the Video: DIY Concrete Vintage Camper Planter

Book Planter for Succulents

If you love books and plants, you'll love this DIY succulent planter made from an old book. Just cut out a well in the pages, line it with plastic, and add soil and plants for a tabletop garden. I can't think of a better gift for a teacher or a better use for Dan Brown books.

Get the How-To: DIY Succulent Book Planter

Vertical Succulent Planter

Show off your succulents in a vertical planter you can hang on the wall like a piece of modern art. Just print out the template and follow our instructions for building the wooden planter, filling it with succulents and hanging it on a sunny wall. Wire holds the plants in place, so they appear to defy gravity.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Cactus Cut-Out Vertical Garden

Tree Branch and Succulents Centerpiece

Make an earthy centepiece by turning a branch into a planter full of succulents. You'll have a piece of living decor that brings the outdoors to your tabletop.

Get the How-To: Plant Succulents in a Log for a Fresh Fall Centerpiece

Pumpkin Centerpiece With Succulents

There are succulents for every season, so incorporate them into your tablescape with a living centerpiece. Want a summer look? Use a melon instead of a pumpkin.

Get the How-To: Craft a Succulent-Topped Pumpkin Centerpiece

Hanging Mini Succulent Planters

Make modern-looking, geometric planters full of succulents. The wire gives them a cool, industrial vibe that works with the angular, rugged succulents. Hang your little gardens in the window of a loft to bring the green indoors.

Get the How-To: Father's Day Craft Idea: Geometric Succulent Hangers

Succulent Wreath

Bring the garden to your door with a wreath made of living succulents. Plant them into a wire form filled with soil and moss, and hang them on a garden gate where they'll get morning sun. Water it weekly and your wreath will live all season.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Living Succulent Wreath

Succulent Pumpkin Planter

Nothing says "I'm all over the living decor trend" like a ghost pumpkin-succulent centerpiece. You can make this one with a pumpkin, a glue gun, moss and succulent cuttings in less than an hour.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Succulent Pumpkin Arrangement

Succulent Ornament

Bring your garden indoors with this lovely succulent ornament. You can make and hang it in a morning. Suspend it from the ceiling in front of a sunny kitchen window for a mini hanging garden.

Get the How-To: Make a Succulent Christmas Ornament

Dinosaur Planters

What's cuter than plastic toy dinosaurs stuffed with plants? Turn playthings into planters by cutting a hole in the dinos, coating them in metallic paint and filling them with succulents. They look great in a kids' bedroom or a playroom, but they also work in a rooms for grownups.

Get the How-To: How to Make a Metallic Dinosaur Planter

Cactus Dish Garden

Create a sleek, modern, and drought-tolerant cactus dish garden for your tabletop. The key is picking out cactus varieties that work well together in shape, size and color.

Get the How-To: Make a Cactus Dish Garden

Mini Succulent Terrariums

Share your love of gardening with these miniature take-home terrariums that you can use as place settings at your next dinner party. Place one at each seat to give your guests a gift that grows.

Get the How-To: Make Miniature Terrarium Place Settings

Vintage Birdcage Succulent Planter

Turn a vintage birdcage into an upcycled planter for succulents. The key is finding a stylish bird cage. We found our Victorian one at a garage sale, filled it with plants and put it on the porch for a summer full of cottage-themed greenery.

Get the How-To: Upcycle a Vintage Birdcage Into a Cute Succulent Planter

Mini Clay Succulents

OK, so living plants aren't your thing. We get it. Make fake ones out of clay that won't need any help from you to stay green forever. They look great in a doll house or tree house, and they can provide a pop of color in a full-sized house, too. This is a great project to do with children.

Get the How-To: 13 Fun (and Functional) Oven-Baked Clay DIYs

Succulent Table

Succulents are so sturdy that they'll grow almost anywhere, even in a piece of furniture. We planted succulents on the lower level of a glass-topped end table. Put it on a patio or in an outdoor room and you can see the plants when you use the table, while the glass lets sun shine on the plants. It's a living table.

Get the How-To: Make a Succulent Table

Succulent Sphere

Make a hanging garden by planting an orb of succulents. Hang the succulent sphere from a tree in the yard, from the ceiilng of the patio, or bring it indoors and suspend it from the ceiling of a sunlit kitchen or bathroom.

Watch the Video: DIY Succulent Sphere

Succulent Chair Planter

The Junk Gypsies upcycle an old chair into a planter filled with succulents. This is a great way to reuse a chair headed for a landfill. Fill it with plants and put it on the porch.

Watch the Video: Upcycled Succulent Planter

Succulent Sand Art Planter

Groovy sand art meets succulents in this colorful dish garden. To make it, put layers of colorful sand in a glass bowl and plant live or faux plants on top for a fun, low-maintenance indoor plant.

Get the How-To: This Colorful Succulent Garden is Super Pretty and Never Needs Water

Succulent Care Tips

Now that you've planted those architectural and oh-so-trendy succulents in a bowl, a book or a chair, learn how to keep them alive. The key is to play by their rules by giving them the right amount of light and water, and keeping them in the right temperature.

Learn More: How to Care for Succulents

Succulent Tip: Go Easy on the Water

Succulents store water in their foliage and stems so they don’t need as much water as other plants do. Too much water will rot their roots and turn them into a squishy mess. Overwatering kills more succulents than underwatering, so be stingy with the watering can.

Tip: Once a month, place your wreath or orb into a bowl of water for an hour or so and let it soak up water into the moss or soil around the plant roots. You can spritz your succulent creations with water, too.

Learn More: 10 Secrets for Super Succulents

Succulent Tip: Keep Them Comfortably Warm

Unlike their cactus kin, succulents can’t take extreme heat. Most succulents do best with moderate temperatures between 70 and 90 degrees, so put them by a window indoors, or outdoors on a covered patio.

Learn More: 10 Secrets for Super Succulents

Succulent Tip: Don't Ignore Them

Succulents are tough, but they still need a little love from you. During the spring and summer, they’ll need water about once a week. Check them regularly for aphids, spider mites and mealy bugs that will make a meal of your precious plants.

Learn More: 10 Secrets for Super Succulents

Succulent Tip: Get the Light Right

Succulents need a 50-50 mix of sun and shade. A quick rule of thumb is that green, yellow or variegated succulents like more shade. The red, gray and blue ones, or the ones covered in spikes, like more sun. If you’re growing succulents indoors, put them by a south-facing window to get the light they need to be healthy.

Learn More: 10 Secrets for Super Succulents

Succulent Tip: Take Them Outside

Even houseplants need a vacation. Give your succulents some time outdoors in the spring and summer. Let them get rained on because rainwater contains oxygen and trace minerals a plant can’t get from chlorine-laden tap water. They’ll benefit from air circulation they can’t get inside, too. Do not put your indoor succulents in full sun, though, because sudden light change can burn their leaves.

Learn More: 10 Secrets for Super Succulents

Succulent Tip: Feed Them

Fertilize them once a month from spring to early fall, their growing season, with a 10-10-10 organic fertilizer diluted to half strength. Don’t fertilize them in the winter when they’re dormant.

TIP: Soak a succulent wreath or orb in a bucket water mixed with a few tablespoons of liquid plant food. Or spray succulents with a mixture of water and liquid plant food.

Learn More: 10 Secrets for Super Succulents

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