A Crafty Succulent Gift

Scrolling through Instagram (you can follow the adventures of my corgis there @threegratefulcorgis) I stumbled upon this gorgeous photo of succulent wreaths from fairyblooms and it got me thinking.

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I’m a fairly crafty person and I thought I could create a wreath similar to those beauties and make a nice Mother’s Day gift for my mother in law.  The past few autumns I have made something similar but with pumpkins and succulents so I had some confidence and experience going into the project.

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I headed to Michael’s to buy the grapevine wreath (with my 60% off coupon the wreath was less than $2.25) and then to the local garden center to pick out some succulents (which were much more costly than the wreath).  I’m fortunate to have my own diverse succulent garden for cuttings to fill in some of the wreath space but wanted to buy some larger specimens to use as a foundation.  After my shopping expedition I dragged out the dried moss leftover from the pumpkin project, my trusty glue gun and set to work.

As you can see from the pictures, the first thing I did was glue some moss to the wreath.  From my experience the grapevine wreaths aren’t generally symmetrical so I placed the moss in various places before settling on it’s final resting place.  I used the spray bottle to mist the moss a little, giving the plants a damp resting spot.

My next step was taking apart the succulents I purchased.  Most of the plants had more than one specimen in the container so I carefully tried to pry them apart and used the hose to rinse the dirt from the roots.  To make the most visually balanced project I started by hot gluing the larger succulents in various spots on the moss.

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I filled in with some of the smaller cuttings from my garden as well as smaller pieces that came apart when I was dismantling the potted succulents I purchased.

It was a fun puzzle to fill in every empty moss space with the small cuttings, creating an overall design balanced with size, texture and color. After everything was in place (and I ran out of hot glue sticks) I let the wreath dry flat for a couple of hours.

The next part of the project was a good learning experience for me.  With the pumpkin succulent project I have gravity working in my favor, not the case with the wreath.  Once the hot glue was thoroughly dried I hung the wreath on a hook and some of the succulents I thought were securely hot glued into place began to sag.  To solve this issue (and avoid having to drive out for more hot glue) I cut short strands of floral wire and looped them over the base or stem of the offending plants, secured them into the proper place and twisted the wire together out of sight at the back of the wreath.

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I think the finished product turned out pretty well, and most importantly my mother in law was very happy with her hand crafted gift.  With occasional spritzing of the moss (depending on the humidity level at your location) the wreath should last a couple of months.  I live near the beach (humid air), my mother in law in the desert (dry air) so she would need to wet the moss more often than I.  When the wreath begins to fade she can either just toss the whole thing or gently dismantle it and plant the succulents in well draining sandy soil.

I hope you enjoyed my little tutorial and that it inspires you in some way.  Crafting gifts for family and friends is such a thoughtful gesture.  I think this project turned out so well I may make one for myself!

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