This faux cactus stone garden is a great project to do with your kids, whatever their age. They are just perfect to brighten up an empty windowsill in your home. And best of all, you’ll be hard pushed to kill these plants!
You can easily make a whole day of this activity by getting the kids out of the house and heading out for a beach foraging mission. Hunting for that perfect stone that will make a really interesting cactus shape is lots of fun.
We spent one whole evening at the beach doing just this, and collected a bunch of different rocks so we could do the project the next morning.
We discovered that the best rocks or stones to find are the smooth rounded flat ones.
And to make it more interesting we collected a range of sizes from big to really tiny. The tiny ones are great for gluing on at the end as little cactus flowers.
I also decided to use a range of terracotta pot sizes to add some interest value. I find the different heights really pleasing to look at.
But you may prefer one big pot with a bunch of rock cactus in it to make up your garden. Or you might like an eclectic range of pots, and teapots to upcycle. Or you could simply enjoy making one cactus to go in its own small pot.
Faux Cactus Stone Garden
What you need
A selection of small, medium and large stones
3 terracotta pots in a range of sizes (very small, small and medium small)
A range of paint brushes (I used a fine brush, a small medium one and a lager one for the pots)
Resene test pots (the colours I used were: Crusoe, Koru, Soulful, Double Alabaster, Irresistible, Pirate Gold and Roadster).
Hot glue gun and glue
What to do
1. Collect a bunch of different sized stones
2. Paint your stones in a base green. The two greens I used were Crusoe and Koru. Make sure to give your stones 2 coats on both sides.
3. Paint your tiny rocks Resene Pirate Gold and Roadster. These ones are for the flowers that will be stuck to the top of your larger rocks.
4. Once all the rocks have two coats of the base green then you can start to decorate them. You will need to decorate one side at a time and let this dry before doing the other side.
5. For the design below, I just used a thin brush and painted thin Koru coloured lines and then added dots in Double Alabaster and Soulful using a toothpick.
6. To create the flower look below I used the pointed end of a toothpick by dotting on the paint and then flicking it out with the pointed part. I then added a small dot of Pirate Gold and Soulful to the middle.
7. For the rest of the stones, I simply added dots and small lines using the toothpick. I also added some dots to some of the tiny stones.
8. Once all the paint is dry, hot glue gun the tiny stones on the top of some of your cactus. The more random here the better. But I found either 1 or 3 small stones works best.
9. Paint your pots in a selection of colours. I painted my in Resene Soulful and Irresistible and I kept one natural as I like the look of them together like that. Make sure you give your pots at least 2 coats.
10. When your pots are dry, fill them with sand and arrange your cactus into their pots. Stand back and enjoy! (no watering cans required)
For hundreds more ideas check out our Creative arts and crafts section.