Make Fairy Garden Miniature Plants

Create your own miniature cactus garden with polymer clay.

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Photo By: Ruth Meharg

Charming Succulents

Miniature clay succulents are the perfect addition to kid's summer fun. They look great in a doll house or fairy garden, and they are simple to make. These tiny plants do require fine motor skills, so this project is ideal for kids 10 and up. When you run out of space in the doll house, these little plants make the perfect pop of color on a shelf in your full sized house too.


To make your miniature cacti all you need is some polymer clay. Choose any brand and any colors you like. If you want to you can use thimbles as pots and a toothpick or sharpened pencil will make decorating easier.

Making Pots

If you aren't going to use thimbles for you pots, you'll need to make your pots out of clay. Begin by shaping a small amount of clay into a flat disc. Shape the disc around one of your fingers to create a pot shape. You can make the pots as large as you like, we made ours about the size of a thimble.

Creating Dirt

Once you have your pots, you need to fill them. Use a small amount of clay to fill the pots most of the way. Then if you'd like you can fill the very top with small balls of brown clay to create the illusion of dirt or small stones. You can also create texture with a toothpick, or anything else you like.

Shaping Cacti

Once your pots are completed, you'll need to make your cacti and succulents to fill them. To create a pincushion cactus you'll need a round ball of clay for the body of the cactus. You'll want it to be about the size of the top of the pot. You'll also need some flowers. We made ours by gently folding small discs of clay into cone shapes.

Attaching Pieces

When you attach pieces of clay to each other, especially large pieces, sometimes you need to texturize them to make sure they stick. Use a toothpick or other pointed tool to rough up the areas that will touch. Then firmly press the pieces together.

Delicate Pieces

For more delicate attachments you may want to use a toothpick to help you. It's great for getting into small corners or attaching delicate pieces.

Adding Texture

Once all your pieces are together, you may want to add texture. You can create the illusion of a needle covered cactus by covering the body of your cactus with dimples. Gently press the tip of a toothpick into the surface wherever you want a hole to appear.


Once your cactus is complete it's time to bake it. Follow the instructions that come with your clay for proper temperature and time. If you use a thimble for your pot you can still bake it without any problems. Just place the whole thing in the oven.

Euphorbia Obesa

You can create your own version of the unique South African succulent, Euphorbia Obesa, by creating 5 balls similar to your pincushion cactus. A series of tiny balls will make perfect flowers on top.

Finishing Up

Put your pieces together by arranging four of the balls around the rim of your pot and placing one on top in the center. Add your tiny flower balls in rings along the tops of your cactus. Create lines of dots with a toothpick to indicate Euphorbia Obesa's ridges.

Tephrocactus Geometricus

By making slightly smaller balls you can create a fun and funky Tephrocactus Geometricus. To make flowers try rolling thin logs of clay and making small spirals out of them.

Putting it Together

Place your largest balls on the base of the pot, and stack the others on top, with the smallest balls on the very top. Add your flowers to exposed tops for a finishing touch.

Beavertail Cactus

Beavertail cactus is one of the classics, and it looks great in miniature. Instead of using a series of balls, flatten them into thick tear drop shapes of varying sizes. Roll a series of small, thin logs for flowers.


Begin putting your cactus together by placing the largest leaves on the bottom. Attach two medium sized leaves to each large one so they look like mouse ears. Attach two small leaves to the medium ones in the same way. Use the log shapes to create flowers by pressing groups of them together at one end. Let the other end fan out into petals.

Aloe Vera

Create a spiky Aloe Vera plant by rolling lots of fat logs. Make one end of each a bit pointier and narrower than the other.


Place all your spikes together by placing them down one layer at a time. Put the fatter ends in the center with the narrow ends pointing outwards in all directions.

Variegated Snake Plant

Create a Variegated Snake plant with longer and flatter versions of your Aloe Vera spikes. Before shaping your leaves gently mix a couple colors of clay together. Let them swirl without mixing completely to get the striped look.

Put it Together

Place your leaves into your pot with the longer ones in the center and the shorter ones on the outside. Bend and twist the leaves until you like the overall shape of the plant.

Crassula Celia

Crassula 'Celia' is a fun and unique succulent that translates especially well into clay! Create narrow oval shapes bent into v or z shapes. Lots of small white balls with a few yellow ones will make perfect flowers.

All Done!

Look at photos of a Crassula 'Celia' to get a good idea of the interesting layers the plant creates. Copy them by layering up your clay shapes and filling the gaps with little flowers. Once all your little succulents are planted and baked, all that's left is to display and enjoy.

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