Cacti Flowerpot Cuties

Model your own mini cacti in painted pots as a colourful decoration or gift.

Skill Level

Beginner

Time to Make

1 hour + drying time for clay and paint

How to Make

  1. Scrunch up a strip of newspaper or scrap paper and push it inside a ceramic plant pot, filling it 3-4cm from the top. Break off a piece of clay and press it over the top of the paper to make a layer about 2cm deep. Rub some water over the clay layer with your fingers so it doesn’t dry out to quickly.
  2. For making the cactus, break off a piece of clay and shape it into a ball 5-6cm in diameter. Press the clay with your fingers to make a longer, tall cactus shape, or for a round cactus leave it as a ball. To add a smaller piece onto the side of the cactus, quickly score the surface with a modelling tool, rub some water over the top then press another piece of clay on top, blending the edges with a tool.
  3. Use the flat end of modelling tool or a strip of card to press a lined pattern onto the cactus. Use the end of a brush to press a dot pattern into the surface.
  4. Score the clay layer inside the pot with a modelling tool, add some water then press the cactus on top and leave to dry.
  5. While the paint is drying, start working on the flowers. Make 3 small cuts from the edge of a foam flower, cutting towards the middle, peel away the backing film then overlap and stick the petals where they have been cut. Make more flowers in the same way.
  6. When the clay cactus has fully dried, carefully lift it out of the pot, attached to the clay layer underneath and remove the newspaper from inside the pot. Allow the underneath to dry out a bit more if necessary.
  7. Paint the cactus green and the clay layer in a dark colour. Leave to dry.
  8. Paint the pot, covering the outside and inside the top. Leave to dry then add a second coat if necessary. Use different colours to paint stripes and patterns around the pot. Hold inside the pot with your fingers so it can easily be turned for painting. Leave to dry.
  9. Carefully place the cacti back in the pot with the clay layer attached, so it fits neatly inside the top. Stick the flowers onto the cacti. Sprinkle small stones or gravel into the top of the pots.

Top Tip

Wrap up any unused clay straight away so it doesn’t dry out. If the clay starts drying while you are working, add some water to the surface with your fingers. Allow at least 24 hours for clay models to dry thoroughly before painting.