Cute and easy felt cactus DIY

11:01 AM

These felt cacti will not take more than 20 minutes of your time to make and kids can help.
There has been a serious case of cactus fever going on at home (scratch that, it is still going on). With the imminent arrival of the monsoon, my energy to get involved in DIY and home decor project has been renewed.
And, because it is still a school holiday, I needed an easy DIY project so that Ishita could participate.
This is were this really cute and easy felt cactus project comes in (cue drum rolls...bada bing cha ching!)

For this one, I got heavily inspired by the ladies at "A Beautiful Mess" as they have more than one cacti themed project on their blog.

I started with this one:
A cute project to turn those cat food tins into cute little planters for artificial plants and cacti
And, YES! If you follow me on Instagram, you've already seen it. And if you have not, time to go follow me already!
I tested the waters with this little one. I had one sheet of green felt at home, and I figured out I might want to first do it myself before we launched ourselves in a felt cactus creation spree.

I used a small empty thin can (cat food can if you must know) to make the planter. I believe in upcycling things in craft project. As I said once, there is a treasure trove of free craft supplies in your own home.

make several of these cute cacti and arrange them in a group to create an interesting vignette
The project was amazingly quick and easy to pull (if you are a grown up) and I found myself wanting to make more the next day.
We took off to the local craft supply shop to raided their felt shelves. There wasn't much green felt left, and we took it all (I have about 7-8 sheets left to use).

Then, we went back home and got to work.

You really don't need much in matter of fancy supplies to begin with. These round little cacti will demand very basic hand stitching skills as well.

Here is what you'll need : 

- Green felt sheets (I used A4 size ones)
- Pink felt for the flower (or another colour if you hate pink)
- Pillow stuffing (or surgical cotton from the chemist)
- Strong thread (I used some thin kite flying thread we had left over from a school project)
- Green wool
- A sharp pair of scissors
- A long sharp needle
- A hot glue gun or some quick fix glue
- Empty tin cans or pots 
- Brown craft paper and cardboard
- 3D Gold paint (Because Cyn is 3D liner paint addict!)
- Things to decorate the "pots" (Optional)

1) The first thing you need to do is trace circles in your green felt. Keep in mind that the finished cactus will be about half the size in diameter, so think big. 
I used big cereal and serving bowls to trace mine.

2) Cut your circles of felt and start stitching a simple point on the perimeter of the circle. Use a strong thread for this. The idea being that you will pull it like a coin string purse. I used a similar needle point on my "PJ pants bolster pillow" tutorial.

3) Once this is done, start pulling the two extremities of your thread to form the "coin purse". Stuff it with some cotton or pillow stuffing. You won't need much of it if your cactus is a small one. 
Don't put too much stuffing in, you don't want the cacti to be a rock hard solid ball. 
Pull the strings until you have a nice round cactus shape. 

It is OK if some stuffing  still shows, you don't want to tie this "coin purse" shut. 

4) Once that is done, take your green wool and start creating the grooves. You start at the bottom, near the edge of the green felt and go back in the felt at the top, in the center of your cactus shape. Then loop the thread again to the top a little further apart from the first thread to create a certain amount of sections. 

5) Take your tin can and cardboard and craft paper. First, cut a small strip of cardboard (or take a toilet paper tube), make sure that the height if that strip is just slightly less than the height of the tin can. If you are using a strip of cardboard, roll it on itself to make a ring and glue it at the bottom of the tin can. Then add more glue to the top edge of the ring and paste a circle of brown paper craft of the diameter of the tin can on top of the ring. 

Voila! Your pot is ready to welcome in the felt cactus!

6) Using the same glue (quick fix or hot glue gun), apply a generous dot of glue on the bottom of the cactus and glue into place in the pot. 

7) Cut some flower shapes out of your pink felt and glue it on the top of the cactus. 

8) Use the 3D liner paint to make a few "spikes" on your cactus (or an interesting doodle like on Ishita's one) and let it dry. 

If you like, you can decorate your pot with paint, stickers or washi tape. 

I know it seems like a complicated thing since there are lots of steps in my tutorial, but believe me, it takes less than 20 minutes to make one cactus

Yes, it is THAT quick a project! Now of course if you plan to make several of them, you will find yourself busier. 

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  1. This is brilliant and it looks so cute too! I'm definitely going to have to try this, especially as it'll help me with my sewing skills (I'm not the best!). I've got cactus fever at the moment too - if I could each surface in my room would be covered in them. - Tasha

    1. I'm not the best when it comes to sewing, and I don't even have a sewing machine :-)

      I always loved cactus and succulent, but I am a notorious brown thumb, and I kill them just like I kill any other plants. These little felt ones are just perfect for me and will last a very long time :-)

  2. I had a pincushion cactus like that once.
    I wonder if you could put pebbles or dry rajma in the bottom container so it'd be like a paperweight?

    1. I think you can do it :-) I thought of using lentils to make some fake soil, and remembered the monsoon and how everything organic gets mold and I decided against it :-)

    2. Anonymous10:23 AM

      Many happy returns of the day.



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