So excited to show you how I made this cute DIY cactus garden with help from SolarCity.
I remember being a small girl living in Utah and driving out to Fairview where my Grandparents had some property. It was so desert-ish. Cactus (or is it cacti?) were everywhere. Pea gravel garden beds framed the house and they had metal owl wind chimes. In fact my Grandma had owl everything! Salt and pepper shakers, dish towels, plates…all covered in owls. Funny how things come back in style huh? I used to not think that cactus plants were cute. Now I seriously cannot get enough of them. Especially the little mini ones. Again, everything is cuter in miniature. We’ve established this.
SolarCity is all about harnessing the power of the sun, and so when they approached me about doing a fun DIY that incorporated the sun, I immediately thought of doing something with a cactus. It’s just too cute not to! I went to the store and found these three little cuties and decided that I couldn’t just pick one, so this little cactus garden was born!
DIY Cactus Garden
- cactus plants
- 1×4 lumber cut into the following measurements: 2- 20″ boards, 1- 18.5″ board, and 2- 3.5″ ends.
- paint in your choice of colors
- stencil, or you can hand paint it
- wood glue
- fast dry spackling
- moisture control potting mix
The first thing we need to do is build the container. I went with a plain simple box. They’re easy to build, even for beginners and make a great centerpiece since they don’t take up much space, or super cute on a mantel, windowsill, or countertop. I purchased one 1×4 piece of lumber and cut the boards myself.
Next, put the box together. This is pretty self explanatory, the shortest of the long boards is the bottom of the box, the two shorts are the ends. I glued all the pieces and then using my nail gun secured all the pieces. You could also just use a hammer and some shorter skinny nails. whatever you have!
I then patched the holes with some fast drying spackling to give it a finished look.
I whitewashed the sides and top of the box with a white stain next.
While that was drying, I created my stencil on my digital cutting machine.
I wanted a gradient look for the letters so I got four different colors and four different brushes.
To do the letters I just painted with the stencil brushes and started with a new color half way through the letters. I wanted most of it to be the blue and then just go into the brighter colors a bit.
Peel off the stencil immediately.
You probably noticed the stencil brush made it a little bumpy. I used some sandpaper once it was all dry and sanded them all smooth. This also makes it look like the letters are part of the wood. Love how it turned out!
Now it’s time to plant the cactus garden! I took all of my little babies out of their pots and only got one needle in my finger! I think that’s pretty good! I spaced them all out evenly.
The next thing you need to put in the container is a layer of pebbles. The cactus don’t like their roots sitting in water, so the pebbles give it some drainage, and I don’t need to worry about putting holes in the bottom of the box.
Next, add your moisture control potting mix. Succulents are super easy to take care of, but you can still overwater them, and I don’t want to hurt these little cuties…as much as they tried to hurt me!
I did another layer of pebbles on top to give it a cleaner look, but just a thin one so I could still feel the soil when I need to. You should only water them when the soil is dry.
Of course cactus love sun, but they don’t need to be put in direct sunlight. They are really adaptable, as long as they get to say hello to the sun once in awhile, they’ll be happy.
This little box is going to be making a rotation through my house and yard this summer I can already tell!
This guy is the one who poked me with his needle, I still have a soft spot for him though.
Love this little cactus garden!
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