Cute Cactus Decor

Last Friday was the first day of this Cactus DIY journey. Where do I even begin🙈. This cute cactus definitely took me for a spin.  Jumping into this DIY I knew it would be a hard one since I’ve never seen anything like this done before but, I sure wasn’t prepared for all the twists and turns. I think since I was going in blind and pretty much making things up as I went it was way more overwhelming than I intended. Thus my reason for being completely absent online for the past week. Sorry my awesome Insta/facebook fam😣. I hope this makes up for that.😊 Honestly at one point I through in the towel (for about an hour) LOL😂 than my sweet hubby insisted I finish it. Thanks to him this cute cactus was finally completed today.

I’ve seen these pretty giant cacti’s all over pinterest and have always wanted one. When I decided to look into buying one I realized the one I wanted was $299. 😐 LIKE WHAT!! REALLY for a fake cactus. I would think it would cost that much for a real one.

I’m a bit scared to buy a real one. Unfortunately I don’t really have a green thumb. Plus I can’t afford a big one and I’m not willing to buy a small one and grow it because, no plant ever really grows well in my house. Have you ever owned a cacti this big ?  Yes this fake one might be a dust catcher but, I’m not to worried about that because I’ll be dusting it regularly 😉 I’m that won’t kill it.

Okay since I was going in pretty much blind making this cactus it was pretty overwhelming because I was making up things as I went.  I know I didn’t get to document every little bit of this DIY and the video is probably going to look well put together but, I literally had to run to the store 4 times just for this project because,😑 I kept running out of supplies to finish it. First it was the foam spray, than it was the paint I ran out of and last but not least I had to run to the store and buy more brushes.  I’m hoping that since I’ve been through all the bad with this DIY that you don’t have too.  If you follow the directions and supply list you should be just fine.  Okay than let’s make this cute cactus.

What you’ll need

  • Utility knife
  • foam sealant
  • plaster of paris
  • Two dowels
  • 2-3 paint brushes
  •  scissors
  • level
  • terracotta pot
  • tape
  • pool noodle (one big one small)
  • mixing bowl + brush
  • Sharpie
  • Interior paint in dark green and light green. I used glidden samples from home depot.  I got the colors from behir called ” Equestrain Green ( dark green)” and ” Healing Plant ( light green) .”

 

I used two different sizes of pool noodles for contrast. Found them at walmart.

STEP 1 – Installing your pool noodles!

Ok so the idea I had was to have the dowels support the pool noodles.  I first used some tape to support the dowels before using some foam sealant to fill the pot.

I used my level to make sure my dowels were straight.

Than I added some more tape to the bottom and top so it stays still when I spray the foam.

This is the foam sealant I used.  Make sure you don’t fill the pot to the top because the foam expands as it dries.

If you want your cute cactus to have arms add oblong shapes to some saran wrap.

You will need to let it set for about 24 hours before touching it. Here’s what mine looked liked the next morning. It expanded a lot more than I was expecting.

I used a knife to remove some off the top to even out the surface.

Following that to install your pool noodles add a little bit of foam on the dowels and insert your pool noodles onto it.  If you do too much foam it’ll be a big mess. A little goes a long way for this step.  (the blue pool noodle obviously had too much foam sealant on the dowel so it just push all the foam to the bottom) TIP: If this happens don’t bother cleaning it up right away. This foam sealant is easier to work with once dried. It’s super sticky when it’s not dry and won’t come off unless you use super strong chemicals.  I got some on my hands and floor and had to use paint reducer to remove it. Oil didn’t help. Seams like it’s worse than tree sap.  I also added as much foam as possible from the top of the pool noodle. Oh and don’t forget to leave a blog of foam sealant on top. This will help shape the top of your cactus.

If your pool noodle fits tightly onto your dowel you won’t need to add foam to your dowel.

Step 2 – Shaping your cute cactus

Let your pool noodle set for 24 hours. The top of your cactus at this point should look like the photo below.  Use a knife to even out the edges creating an even rounded top.

Like this. (photo below) It doesn’t have to be perfect as long as it looks pretty rounded you should be good to go.

Okay following that you will need to use a sharpie and draw lines about and inch apart from the top to the bottom of your cacti.  They don’t have to be perfectly straight in fact if they’re a little uneven it’ll add more character to your cactus.

Following that carefully use your utility knife to start cutting strips out of your cactus.

You will need to slightly tilt your knife in while cutting into your foam noodles to cut out triangle shaped strips.  If cut correctly your strips should pop right out.

Here’s what it looks like from the top.

 

Step 3 – Smoothing out your Cute Cactus

I decided to plaster my cactus to give it a smooth finish. Mix small amounts of plaster and work fast. This stuff has about a 7 minute work time. If you’re working with plaster for the first time be very careful. Use cold water to mix it and old dishes your willing to toss out if needed.  Once plaster dries it does not come off.  I would avoid rinsing any left over plaster in the kitchen sink or anywhere in the house. You don’t want it to get stuck in your pipes.  Rinse any leftovers outside. I gave my cactus two coats of plaster and let it set for 24 hours before sanding it.

If you’re making cactus arms follow all the same steps to turn your oblong foam shapes into cactus arms.

I was giving up a this point LOL 😂 the dry times were so overwhelming.  I love fast DIY projects!  It’s a pretty time consuming project but, as far as the steps being difficult I would say it’s pretty doable. My sweet hubby helped me sand down the cactus. We ended up using 40 grit sand paper.  Honestly if it wasn’t for him this cactus would probably still be sitting half done.  You don’t have to sand it to a super smooth finish as long as the bumps are gone you should be good.

Step 4- Painting your Cute Cactus

I ended up taking it outside to paint since I didn’t want paint all over my floors. The plaster got pretty messy. I started off by giving my cactus a solid coat of my darkest green.

I used glidden sample size paint from home depot . (it was flat paint)  I ended up running out of the darkest color green and had to go get more.

Following that I used my lighter green color with a smaller paint brush and painted the tips of each of the cactus sections.  I used water to help blend. If you’ve missed the video I show how I did this.

Step 5 – Adding your prickles!

Okay so honestly the prickles were like my biggest debate for this cactus. I was thinking to do toothpicks than I was thinking maybe a broom and finally ended up using a brush.  I feel like toothpicks wouldn’t be as delicate and look unreal because they’re too uniform.  I ended up going through about 3 brushes. To make my prickles I simply used some scissors and cut the brush into pieces.

Than to add my prickles I dotted some mod podge onto the cacti and sprinkled the cut brush.

If you’re adding arms use some hot glue to secure them to the cactus and that’s it!!

 

Here’s the video version of  this tutorial .

Here’s it is !! LOL😂 Every time Tony comes in the house he giggles and says “hun🤔 I think the cactus grew an inch😂! ” HAHA Good one!  I am in LOVE with it! I think it kinda looks real! What do you think?

Here’s a close up on the cactus arms! Not exactly round 😐

I love how it looks in my living room! It almost feels bohemian. What do you think?  Oh btw the cute cactus on the side table is real! 😀

By the way how cute is this map! Thank you Grafomap. Love it!  Currently set up next to my cactus! Simple and clean!  (grafomap sells them in different colors and styles you can get one here.grafomap lilyardor

 

I hope you liked this DIY! Have you ever made anything from pool noodles?

That’s it for this one. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!