Make a living succulent wreath
Hello Creative QB’s,
DIY CREATIVE PROJECT
Approx making time 2-3 hours
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Connecting with the joy of making helps us all de-stress, unwind and enhance our personal wellbeing. Working on a creative DIY project is just one way to connect with your creative spirit and to see creativity, as its own reward.
Quick DIY snapshot:
- Gather your supplies
- Make or buy a vine wreath
- Soak the sphagnum moss
- Roughly layout your design
- Take your plants, snip ends and have them ready
- Glue and secure the moss to the wreath
- Add the ‘old mans beard’ to the wreath
- Plant the succulents into the moss and secure them in place
- Complete your design
- Spray with a water spritz
- Hang and admire
⇓ See the full details.
How to make a living piece of art, a beautiful living succulent wreath.
Earlier this year, Cate made a beautiful living wreath, we loved it so much she promised to show us how to make one for ourselves. Cate’s wreath is a simple round vine with an air plant, called old man’s beard (spanish moss), hanging around the bottom of the vine. It looks rustic and beautiful in her front entry hall and always brings a smile to our faces when we are greeted at her door.
While Cate was showing us how to make one, we decided to get more creative by adding a few extras touches of living plants and make it into a living work of art. Indoor plants are such a joy to have in your home, plus, they are great for helping to cleanse the air we breathe, especially during winter.
We love this kind of project because it’s something you could do in a few hours on a weekend. It doesn’t take any real creative skill, just the gathering of a few supplies and a willingness to get your hands dirty whilst experimenting with what plants look best and trusting your eye for layout.
We have broken down the steps as a ‘How To’ guide. Experiment with your own ideas and express your own creative style and flair.
Gather your supplies You will need:
- 1 store bought vine wreath or make your own (instructions to make in step one below)
- 1 packet of sphagnum moss (we sourced some at our local nursery)
- 1 small coil of wire (we used copper wire)
- 1 can of spray adhesive
- Pair of scissors
- Pair of wire snips
- Hot glue gun
- Floral pins (we didn’t have floral pins so we used hairdresser pins instead)
- A selection of succulents (see below for the succulents we chose)
You may already have some plants growing at home you can use, or you could always snip off some succulent cuttings from a friend, relative or neighbours garden. Gardeners love sharing. For our project, we choose a selection of succulents that had a variety of shape, colour, texture and size. This is will give your wreath scale and interest. From the nursery we purchased:
- 1 Aloe plant
- 1 Red echeveria
- 1 Jelly bean plant (this one was not as successful as we had hoped. The jelly bean leaves fell off, so we suggest something equally as small, but more robust, like a small jade leaf plant)
- 2 garlands of old mans beard (also known as spanish moss)
From Amanda’s garden we cut
- 1 small clump of Zebra-Haworthia
- A few sprigs of sedum
- Senecio serpens (mandraliscae) – Blue Chalksticks
Step One: The wreath Making your own wreath base: We are using a piece of willow branch Cate found on her property. A few points to consider if you are keen to forage and find your own branches are:
- Cut a branch that is still green from the tree (meaning it’s alive!).
- Cut a long branch approx 3m long.
- The thickness of the branch should be between 1.5 to 3cm thick.
- To make the shape, Cate twisted the vine around itself until it formed an approx 30-40cm circumference circle. The longer the branch you choose, the bigger you will be able to make the wreath.
- Secure the branches with a piece of wire, or twine at the top so it also forms a hook to hang from.
Using a store bought wreath base:
- Some plant nurseries sell the vine wreaths already in shape. You can use a store bought wreath, like this one at www.feather.com.au or like this one Vine and Bower on Etsy.
- Or you can find thinner willow vines wrapped around each other for thickness.
- Ensure the wreath has space to plant the succulents into. Vine is ideal because it forms natural little pockets for the succulents to nestle and grow.
- Layout all of your supplies on the table.
- Take a generous handful of sphagnum moss and soak it in a bucket of water. The sphagnum moss is what the succulents will grow in, a substitute for soil. When it is soaked through, wring the moisture from it and place aside.
- Lay your wreath flat on a table. Take your chosen plants and roughly arrange them into a balanced design. This will give you an idea before you permanently affix them to the wreath. We focused our design on the right hand side of the wreath so it forms a nice garland wrap.
- Now you have an idea of your design, remove any store bought plants from the pots, shake off the potting soil and cut off any roots so you have a nice clean stork about 1cm long.
- Trim down any succulent cuttings from your garden and lay them out, ready to plant into the sphagnum moss.
- Spray the adhesive onto the part of the wreath where the sphagnum moss and plants will be placed.
- Take the sphagnum moss you previously soaked and push it into place around the wreath where you sprayed the adhesive. It helps to use the natural hollows that are formed from twisting the vine, to push the moss into. The sphagnum moss will adhere to the glue and form a base for your planting. Alternatively, you can use wire to secure the moss in place.
- While the spray adhesive is sticky, start placing the old mans beard (spanish moss) around the areas of planting. You want the old mans beard to sit underneath the succulents rather than on top.
- To plant your succulents into the sphagnum moss, take a pair of scissors and use the end to make little holes in the sphagnum moss. Place your succulents by the stem into each of the holes, arranging your design as you go.
- To secure the succulents in place, you can use a variety of methods.
- Use the wire or hair pins for the larger plants and use the hot glue gun for the smaller ones. The hot glue gun is great for storks that need to go deeper into the moss.
- Play around with the design, move plants or add some more. Go for balance and interest.
- When you are complete, give your wreath a spray with a water spritzer bottle, then every few days give it another spritz prevent it from completely drying out.
- Hang it somewhere with ample light, admire your work and watch it thrive!
EXTRA note – You will notice a little extra addition on our wreath. Cate made this gorgeous tassel out of cord. Stay tuned for her next DIY project, where Cate will show you now to make these super easy tassels.
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I’m Amanda, eldest of our trio of sisters, founder and Creative Director of Creative Queen Bees. Being creative and seeing the creative spirit come alive in other people brings meaning and purpose to my life. I work with people, both in life and business to harness the power of creativity for personal and business growth. With 20+ years working in the creative industries I specialise in creative thinking for brand, graphic and web design, marketing and innovation. READ MY FIRST BLOG
I’m Belle, (affectionately known as Binny) I’m the second sister of our trio. After 22 previous years in aviation and tourism, I’ve decided it’s time to start living an authentic creative life. A life which I had always dreamed, and am now pursuing here with my sisters in Creative Queen Bees. I live on a rural property in the Hunter Valley and most days you can find me illustrating my Australian life, complete with ‘blue cows’, ‘mustard goats’ and ‘green wallabies’. READ BELLE’s FIRST BLOG POST
I’m Cate, the ‘can do’ girl and youngest in our creative trio. I wear the handy lady pants and there is not much I won’t try my hand at. Over the years I have learnt to balance thinking logically and creatively and recognise this as a strength in myself. I chose a career in primary school teaching where I can bring this strength to life. I love play and a lot of the time you will find me tinkering amongst my many projects where I wield a pretty wild hammer.
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