If you read my blog, you already know me – I am a cactus lover. So, don’t be surprised if I offer you a lot different cactus projects to create interesting decorations for your home, office or home office, of course. This easy idea is great also for teachers, who are looking for something easy and colourful to attract children’s minds.
The other good news is that for this project you can recycle a lot of the cardboard box pieces you have at home. You know I believe in recycling and I also believe, that the rich nations are the nations which recycle. The same with the wealthier families. If we are not wasting resources (and money to buy materials that we already have) we will have more in our bank accounts and more to invest in a better future. If you are thinking about some ideas of how to save money on craft materials, maybe my article about Capsule craft collection will be of interest to you.
If you want to go deeper, I share my past bad experience and eventual reform as a time and material waster in my book “The healing of a craft hoarder”.
But not to move too far from the present! How to make this colourful cactus…
Paper is important
First, you need a piece of paper, which you were planning to throw in the recycling bin. Fold it as shown and draw the shape of the future cactus “leaf”. Folding it will help you to make your cactus shape symmetrical.
Then you need thin cardboard or thick paper, which is not by itself “presentable”. In this project, I used a piece of watercolour paper which I’d used for trial stamping. This actually gave me the idea of how my cactus will look. Draw the cactus leaves on it.
Then cut and fold them. The more you make the more realistic your cactus will be.
Colouring the cactus leaves
Now for one of my favourite techniques – marker watercolour. You can see in many articles here how I use this in different projects. Draw with some water-based markers and then spread the colours with water and a brush. Here you can see exactly what happens.
Do the same with all the leaves. I coloured them in the same style, but you can mix the colours and make them absolutely different. Leave your children to do this “job”. I am sure they will create amazing colour combinations. Children are very talented with colours.
Create an inspirational reminder
In this next step there are many opportunities to make your cactus truly individual. You can simply stamp your cactus leaves as I did. But you can also stamp them with a lot of different images, not only one style.
You can also write messages with wonderful wishes on them and later use this cactus as a greeting card.
Or you can write inspirational words or quotes, and this can be your office desk reminder that you can achieve each of your dreams… Cactuses are an amazing combination of beauty, cuteness and awareness. And also – a unisex decoration, so you can give this inspirational cactus to anyone you love…
You could also write on the leaves the important days of your calendar – something you want to remember or something which will happen. Maybe birthdays, special family plans or deadlines of important projects…
If you want your cactus to have a bit of a shabby look, blend the edges of the leaves. In my project I used simple black ink, but you can use even white. Everything depends on your ideas and how you realize them.
When all the inks and paints are dried, it is time to put our cactus together.
First you will need to glue the leaves. And after that, in the small tunnel hole, which will appear in the middle, you have to put a wooden stick.
This wooden stick will hold your cactus in its cactus pot, no matter whether you put soil, little stones or sand.
The final-final step is to make little flower and to glue it on the top of the cactus. Of course, you can make a lot of little flowers and glue them all around your plant. Use your cutting machine to save time. I used my Sizzix Big shot machine and the first flower dies and punch I bought years ago, when the card making passion first took possession of me. I also used the marker watercolour technique to colour the petals of the flower and blended the edges of these petals with the same black ink.
Of course, you can use already prepared flowers or a paper flower mold. The good thing in this project is you can repurpose materials and use what you have at home, you don’t need to buy anything new. Of course, if you need something new – grab it and enjoy the moments of using it. Just keep in mind the difference between “need” and “want”.
Happy crafting! Be safe and inspired!
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If you are passionate about paper flower making, maybe my new flower tutorial on Etsy will be interesting for you.