There’s a common misconception that succulents are low-maintenance and very resilient. And while that’s true to a certain extent, there are still things like the right amount of light, water, and quick-draining soil that these pretty little plants need. Because we tend to use them decoratively, those essentials can be hard to provide so we end up killing them by accident. But fear not! There’s still a way to work them into your home décor without having to keep replacing them. Make your own versions out of felt instead. With a little ingenuity, you can add these faux versions to any terrarium or arrangement without having to worry about the upkeep.
Gather Your Materials
There’s a few ways you can make faux succulents. We recommend using stiff to medium/stiff felt for the most realistic look. If you’re doing a cluster of succulents, work in different shades of green for maximum impact. If you use one color, they'll all blend together. Also, since you’ll be working with and pressing together the leaves with hot glue, be very careful or you could burn yourself! Here’s what you’ll need for this version:
- Green felt (in a few shades of green)
- Stiff paper
- Pen or pencil
- Glue gun
- Small wooden skewers
- Floral tape
- Glass vessel
- Stones or sand
- Larger stones (optional)
Figure Out What Succulents You’re Making
There are a lot of varieties! So figure out based on your vessel what will work best for your needs. Think about using different colors, sizes, and shapes to create visual interest in your arrangement. And the greatest part is that because there’s such a variation in the shape of the leaves, you can go as simple or complex as you want. Don’t be afraid to play! Once you know the shape you want to make, draw them out on a stiff piece of paper until you’re satisfied. You’ll want to slightly vary the size for each shape.
Trace and Cut Out Your Shapes
Here’s the slightly tedious part. Trace all of your leaves onto your felt pieces and cut them out. For the best results, you’ll want to use your sharpest scissors to cut out each leaf. Anything dull will just pull at the felt pieces and make them look bad. Trace and cut all of the leaves first. Once you start using the hot glue, it can get on your hands and you don’t want to have to go back and forth between cutting the leaves out and gluing.
Assemble the Succulents
Start from the inside of the plant and work your way outward. You’ll want to pinch the leaves slightly and then start gluing the pinched leaves on top of one another. You can also work around a wood skewer as a base. We like using the wood skewer because it gives you options on how you use and place the final product too. Vary the placement of the leaves slightly as you go for a perfectly imperfect look.
Stop gluing leaves on when you feel like the succulent shape is full enough. Since you’re placing one leaf at a time, you can really customize the shape as you go. So it’s a lot harder to mess up!
Finish Your Stems
Triple check that all of your leaves are glued together; you don’t want it falling apart later on. Add a little extra hot glue if needed. If you decided to use the wooden skewer you’ll want to wrap it with the floral tape.
Start at the base of your felt succulent and pull and wrap the floral tape, working to the bottom of the wooden skewer. If you don’t pull the tape, it won’t adhere properly. The floral tape gives the wooden skewer a nice, finished look. You can then cut the skewer down to whatever size you need it to be. If you’re using them in an arrangement, you’ll want to keep the skewer long, but if you’re placing them in a terrarium, you’ll want the skewer to be shorter.
Finally! The look and pop of green that plants provide without the worry that they’ll end up dead in a few weeks. While you don’t want to replace all the plants in your home with felt, it never hurts to fill a few small glass vessels with a trio. When they’re this easy and fun make, you’ll find endless uses for them.