DIY Projects with Succulents

Check out our DIY projects with succulents below! Use the Table of Contents to skip to the project you would like to read about.

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DIY #1: Planting Succulents in Glass Bowls

Succulents turn into real eye-catchers in jars. You can find out here how to put the plants in the limelight and properly care for them. This post includes step-by-step instructions on making your own DIY succulents terrarium.

succulents in terrarium
Succulents become real eye-catchers in glass container

Succulents are one of the most popular indoor plants. No wonder – after all, the robust plants have an integrated water reservoir and are therefore wonderfully easy to care for. Since succulents are now so common as indoor plants, it can happen that they do not get their deserved place in the spotlight, but rather become a beautiful ornament in the background.

If you want to show off your plants more, you can use a very simple trick: Planted in a glass, succulents look modern and exciting, so that they quickly become a secret eye-catcher in the apartment. In this article you will find out how to plant succulents in jars yourself and what you need to consider when caring for them.

Which Succulents Can Be Planted in Glass Bowls?

If you want to plant succulents in a jar, the question quickly arises which plants are actually suitable for it. In general, almost all succulents are suitable for planting in jars. However, you should consider the space available – since the vessel in which the plants are to grow is usually not excessively large, it is worthwhile to use succulent species that remain small.

Mini succulents in a jar also have the advantage that you can combine several of them with each other, so that a small succulent garden is created. Particularly popular mini succulents for the glass are Mexican hens and chicks (Echeveria), money trees (Crassula ovata) and the jelly bean plant (Sedum pachyphyllum).

succulents in glass
Mini succulents are particularly suitable for planting in jars

Is Every Jar Suitable for Succulents?

Here, too, the following applies: you can plant succulents in almost any container you like. Succulents can be planted just as well in a mason jar as in a planter or a hanging glass ball. There is only one condition: the glass should have an opening. Succulents in a closed jar die quickly because they cannot tolerate the high humidity inside. Instead of a bottle garden, it is better for succulents to use containers that are open at the top, such as semicircular glass bowls.

Succulents in the square terrarium are also a beautiful eye-catcher. However, it also applies here that this must be open at the top or at least have an opening for air exchange so that the succulents can thrive in it.

What Soil do Succulents Need?

The right soil is a decisive factor when it comes to transplanting succulents into a jar – only with the right substrate will the plants stay healthy for a long time and develop their robust nature. Succulents make special demands on their soil: it should be loose, so that the plant can root it well and good water and air permeability is guaranteed.

In addition, the soil should be able to absorb water again even after it has completely dried out, and it should be adapted to the nutrient requirements of the succulents. These conditions are optimally fulfilled by special cactus or succulent soils that can be bought in specialist shops. You can also make your own succulent soil as shown here.

But not all succulents need soil – in fact, you can keep some succulents in a jar without soil. The Tillandsia, for example, as epiphytes, do not need any substrate and are therefore also referred to as air plants. Placed in hanging glass balls or small bowls, the succulents in the glass give a fascinating picture even without soil. However, they must be sprayed with water regularly, as this is the only way they can meet their fluid needs.

Pro tip: Most orchids (Orchidaceae) also belong to the epiphytes – however, they do not need a substrate, but orchid soil specially adapted to them.

Planting Succulents in Glass Bowls: Instructions

planting succulents in glass bowls
Arrange the plants before planting them

If you want to show off your plants perfectly, you should think about planting succulents in jars. What sounds complicated at first is actually not much of an effort. In fact, you only need the plants and a vessel, expanded clay, succulent soil and, if necessary, decoration. For safety reasons, you should also use thorn-proof gloves for succulents with thorns or cacti .

First, a layer of expanded clay, which should make up about a quarter of the bottom layer, is placed in the glass bowl. This later serves as a drainage layer to avoid waterlogging. A layer of succulent or cactus soil is then placed on top of this. Now you can carefully free the plants from their old pots and carefully loosen the loose soil at the roots. The succulents can now be put in their new place – if there are several plants, it is advisable to first place the plants loosely next to each other in order to find the right arrangement.

Once the succulents have been placed in the jar, gaps are closed with the cactus soil. This is pressed lightly with the finger. If you want, you can also place decorative elements in the glass in addition to the succulents.

Here again all the steps for planting succulents in glass bowls in the overview:

  1. Fill a quarter of the soil layer with expanded clay
  2. Spread cactus soil on top
  3. Carefully remove succulents from their pot and carefully remove soil
  4. Arrange the plants and fill in the gaps with cactus soil
  5. Carefully press on the substrate with your fingers
  6. Decorate if necessary

Maintain Succulents in the Jar

Even if the succulents find a great new place in the jar, every move means stress for them too. For this reason, the succulents should not be watered directly after repotting – the first watering should only take place after a week so as not to put additional strain on the stressed roots of the plants. Once the plants have recovered well, the only thing left to do is normal care of the succulents.

However, you should note that succulents in the jar should not be placed directly in the sun – especially with taller, round jars, this can lead to a magnifying glass effect that can cause severe burns to the plants. Instead, the succulents in the jar should be placed in a bright, shady location.


DIY #2: Easy Vertical Succulent Garden from a Wood Pallet

Do you still have a pallet? Don’t throw it away, because you can do such fun things with it in the garden. From lounge sofas to vegetable gardens: pallets are fantastic! This time I will tell you how to make a vertical succulent garden.

pallet vertical succulent garden

What do you need?

What should you do?

A vertical garden is incredibly easy to make if you stick to the following step-by-step plan.

  1. Sand the pallet and possibly give it a different color. Green succulents, for example, stand out better when the wood is dark.
  2. Place the weed barrier over the pallet, fold it back 2x and cut the cloth. By using it several layers, the weed barrier is firmer.
pallet vertical succulent garden
  1. Staple the cloth with a staple gun. There is no guideline on how many staples to use, but make sure the cloth is secure and cannot tear.
pallet vertical succulent garden
pallet vertical succulent garden
  1. Lay the pallet with the weed barrier on the ground and fill it with soil. Make sure you place the vertical garden where it should be, because once filled the project is almost impossible to move.
pallet vertical succulent garden
  1. Plant the succulents randomly in the planter. Leave the pallet for at least 1 week so that the roots can grow well.
pallet vertical succulent garden

Succulents are very easy to maintain and look great both in the house and in the garden. But you are not obliged to use these plants. It also works well with herbs or other ‘small’ plants.

View the result here!

pallet vertical succulent garden
pallet vertical succulent garden

DIY #3: Drift Wood for Succulents to Decorate the Garden

Add rustic charm to your outdoor table with this succulent DIY centerpiece.

Here’s an original idea to decorate your outdoor space! We already know that you probably don’t think about preparing your garden now but as you can see in the photos this decorative element is suitable for interiors as well.

We’re going to share a centerpiece you can do to decorate your outdoor table.

drift wood for succulents

As you can see the combination of worn wood along with several plants in shades of blue and green, as well as purple looks great. If you like those projects that end up costing very little then this idea is for you.

Succulents require a minimum of water, making them a good plant for this type of application. If you are assembling your own succulent trunk and centerpieces for an outdoor party or wedding, they can be done in advance. Plus, you don’t have to worry about them wilt or dry on a hot, sunny day.

What you need for this project

succulents in drift wood
  • Trunk (degraded or rustic with flat background)
  • Succulents (a variety in different sizes, including sedum)
  • Moss
  • Soil for succulents or cacti
  • Safety lenses
  • Electric drill (with size adjustments based on the diameter of the plants you’ve chosen)
  • Small old brush (optional)
  • Spray bottle with water
drift wood succulents

Start by marking with chalk where you want to drill holes in the wood. Let your plants be the guide. I left room for succulents to grow during the summer, but you may want them to be closer if your centerpiece is for an upcoming party or wedding.

succulent drift wood

Using the drill with the shovel bit attached (using safety goggles, of course), drill holes about one and a half centimeters deep.

Once you’re done, tilt the wood to remove the debris and fill each hole with a little moss, followed by some soil.

drift wood succulents

Cover the roots with a little extra soil, if necessary, taking care not to bury the plants. Gently press into place.

For this project, smaller succulents were combined with those that crawl in most holes. Only one larger plant is used. Grouping in 3 works well. Play with an arrangement you’re satisfied with. It’s easy to move them until you look the right way.

succulents in drift wood

Brush excess dirt (with an old brush works well). Use the spray bottle to gently water the soil and spray the plants.

drift wood for succulents

Place outdoors in a bright and sunny place, away from the extreme elements.

drift wood succulent ideas

DIY #4: Succulents in a Bowl

You can do a lot of fun things with bowls. Inside, but of course also outside. These beautiful objects, from large to small, bring your interior and garden to life! A bowl of different materials and structures is completely contemporary. A bowl with a mix of succulents, a mini glass pond with floating flowers: you can come up with anything. We are happy to help you on your way and show you what you can do with bowls.

DIY succulents in a bowl

You don’t need much space for a green eye-catcher . With a bowl full of different plants you can make the most beautiful combinations and bring your home to life. This little happiness fits everywhere. A real happiness in winter!

What do you need?

succulents DIY
  • Medium-sized bowl
  • Plastic bag and scissors
  • 1 bag of expanded clay
  • Cactus potting soil
  • Play sand
  • Glass stones
  • 1 Wood block (fireplace)
  • Tillandsia (this is an air plant)
  • 5 Mini succulents of your choice
  • Mini cacti of your choice

Step-by-step Instructions

First you take the bowl. Put a plastic bag in here, and pour in expanded clay (about 1/3 of the bowl).

bowl succulents
succulents bowl DIY

Fill the rest of the bowl with the cactus potting soil. Next, stick the large log into the ground, just a little bit away from the center.

succulent bowl DIY
how to make succulent bowl

Remove the succulents from the plastic pots and put them in the ground. Just press firmly: make sure the plants are well in the soil. Look carefully where you place what, everything must be connected.

succulent bowl ideas

Take the lying log into account. This one must have the space. Place it on the chosen spot. Press it a little longer so that it is firmly in the sand.

Cut off the protruding piece of plastic. Cut along the edge of the bowl, folding the remaining inch of plastic inward.

succulent arrangement ideas

Cover the plastic and cactus soil with a combination of sand and glass stones. Avoid seeing the plastic and potting soil.

succulent arrangemet
succulent container garden

Is there sand on your plants? Brush it off carefully with a brush, for example.

Finally, add the Tillandsia for the finishing touch.

container garden ideas

DIY #5: Succulent Table

Designer piece instead of simple furniture – we explain how to turn a normal table and a few succulents into an amazing eye-catcher – by making a DIY succulent table.

diy succulent table

Succulents are extremely popular as pretty and easy-care houseplants and are also suitable as pretty decorations for people without green fingers. Meanwhile, the typical small table from the Swedish furniture store can also be found in many apartments. Nevertheless, both succulents and the small piece of furniture are not eye-catchers in themselves, but appear uncreative and boring. However, it looks different when you combine the two: A homemade succulent table not only puts an end to boring flower pots, but also transforms your piece of furniture into a distinctive design object that makes every apartment shine.

You don’t always have to pay a lot for unusual pieces of furniture: With a little bit of craftsmanship, even the widely used Ikea furniture can be made into unique pieces.

What You Need

It doesn’t take much to turn a normal coffee table into an eye-catcher.

In fact you only need:

Making a Succulent Table: Here’s How

diy succulent project

If you no longer feel like having a boring coffee table and instead dream of an individual succulent table, this idea can quickly become a reality. In fact, it only takes a few steps and some manual talent to create a green succulent table.

First, the final planting area for the succulents must be drawn out. In order to obtain the most accurate template possible, it is advisable to work with a measuring tape. We decided on a planting hole with a length of 30 centimeters and a width of 23 centimeters, because these dimensions leave enough space for the plant to be staged, as well as a sufficiently wide margin (for example for placing glasses). Of course, the shape and size of the subsequent succulent bed can be individually adjusted, so smaller planting areas are just as possible as imaginative shapes.

After the drawing, the space for the succulents must be cut out. To make the cuts particularly straight and precise, you can lay out the measuring tape along the interface and fasten it with adhesive tape. With a cutter knife the line can be cut straight like on a ruler. When all four sides of the drawn rectangle have been cut out, you can carefully lift the cut out tabletop with the blade of the cutter and remove it. A honeycomb-shaped cardboard appears underneath: In this layer, too, you move the cutter knife along the sides and remove the cardboard from the table as neatly as possible.

diy succulents

Next, insert a plastic film into the hole that was just created. This is particularly important for the succulent table, as it would swell after a few weeks due to the moisture of the irrigation water and would ultimately be destroyed. Therefore, when lining the hole it is extremely important to make sure that the film has no holes or tears and covers all parts of the hole created. If you want to be on the safe side, you can use a small tub or bowl instead of a film.

Planting the Succulents Correctly

succulents diy project

After the space for the plants in the table has been prepared, you can start preparing to repot the succulents. First, fill the hole in the table with expanded clay balls (aka LECA). This improves the drainage properties of the later substrate and thus ensures that the risk of waterlogging is reduced. This drainage layer is particularly important when planting a succulent table, because there are no drainage holes through which excess water could run.

Next, fill to about half the hole with cactus soil. In contrast to normal potting soil, this is more suitable for the cultivation of succulents, since it is better adapted to their soil and nutrient requirements and thus offers them a more optimal environment for growing.

diy succulents

Now the individual succulents can be carefully removed from their old pots. Remove the old soil which sticks to the root ball of the plant, but the fine roots of the plants should not be damaged under any circumstances. The plants freed from their pots can now be arranged in their new home – once the right arrangement has been decided on, fill the remaining gaps with cactus soil and lightly press on in. Excess soil on the table can only be carefully removed from the edge by hand or with a damp cloth.

succulents diy

How to Properly Care for Your Succulents

succulent diy ideas

After the succulent table has been completed, proper care of the plants is particularly important, as repotting is a major burden for them. For this reason, the plants should not come into contact with direct sunlight during the first week, as this will stress the plants. In addition, succulents should only be watered a week after repotting to relieve the weakened roots.

Once the first few weeks have been successfully completed, the succulents prove impressively why they are so popular: If you offer them a bright, sunny place, the robust plants hardly need any maintenance. In fact, excessive watering can even harm the plants, which is why you should always make sure that the plant substrate is completely dry before each new watering.

Succulents love brightness and therefore need a location with a lot of light. If the plants stand in a place that is too dark, they will etiolate. This means that the succulent forms long and very thin shoots in order to receive as much light as possible. A location directly at the window or in a light-flooded winter garden is ideal. If it is not possible to find a place for the succulent table with enough light, a special plant lamp can be set up for additional light.

Even in winter, a location with lots of light is essential. It is also an advantage if the succulent plant is in a cool place. For example, stairwells, unheated winter gardens or bright places in the basement are ideal for wintering. Overwintering at normal room temperature is also possible, but it is essential to ensure that there is sufficient distance from heat sources such as heaters. Otherwise the succulents could dry out. It is particularly important that the watering is restricted in winter. The root balls should never dry out completely, but the soil should not remain moist for a long period of time. In general, the cooler the location of the plant, the less water the succulent needs.

Give it a Try

Why not try making a DIY succulent table yourself? Have fun!


DIY #6: Vertical Garden from Succulents in a Picture Frame

A picture frame with succulents is perfectly suitable as an eye-catcher. Here you can find out how to make the small DIY vertical garden with succulents yourself.

If you only have a small apartment with little storage space, you are often restricted when choosing your house plants. Nevertheless, you don’t have to do without the green roommates – by creating vertical gardens, you can not only plant houseplants in the smallest of spaces, but also put them in the spotlight. How about a picture from succulents, for example? These robust plants are perfect as roommates due to their easy-care nature and can become a living work of art in the vertical garden. We have put together all the tips and tricks for you to keep in mind when planting succulents in the picture frame.

Which Succulents Can Be Planted in a Picture Frame?

Unfortunately, not all succulent species can be used for planting in picture frames. Plants, which usually grow long and upright, are particularly unsuitable for vertical gardening with succulents because they do not find enough stability. Even deep rooters are not happy with the limited range of substrates. Smaller, more herbaceous or creeping succulents are better.

Houseleek (Sempervivum), for example, is particularly popular because it is not only extremely robust, but also varies greatly in growth form and leaf color depending on the species, making it wonderfully versatile. Also, the Echeveria (like the Echeveria agavoides) is wonderfully suited with its splendid colors and its low stature. Not only that, some types of stonecrops (Sedum) such as the Purple Broadleaf Stonecrop (Sedum spathulifolium purpureum) also feel comfortable as succulents in a picture frame.

The Right Picture Frame

Basically, any deeper picture frame that is relatively stable is suitable for the design of a succulent picture. You can use old or cracked picture frames particularly well. Since the cover glass for the picture frame with succulents is not required, picture frames whose glass is broken or has disappeared, but which are otherwise in good condition can be recycled. Ideally, the picture frame should have a depth of three to four centimeters, as this means that more substrate is available for the plants. However, it is important that especially large picture frames are not too deep (maximum five centimeters), otherwise they will quickly become too heavy and can no longer be securely attached to the wall.

Which Soil Do Succulents Need in the Picture Frame?

Succulents are considered particularly robust, but have very special demands on their soil. In the case of succulents in the picture frame, it is particularly important to use a suitable substrate, since the plants have little soil available. And this should therefore meet the demands of the succulents as much as possible. This includes that the soil is loose but stable in shape, has good drainage capacity, but can also absorb water even after it has completely dried out.

In addition, the nutrient requirements of the succulents in the picture frame should be optimally covered by the soil. Normal potting soil unfortunately does not meet these requirements – instead, one should use special cactus or succulent soil such as this best soil for succulents, which is adapted to the needs of the plants.

Planting Succulents in the Picture Frame: Instructions

Planting succulents in the picture frame sounds complicated, but it’s not that difficult. In fact, only a few household products and a bit of manual skill are required to create a succulent picture.

For Succulents in a Picture Frame You Need:

  • Deep picture frame
  • Rabbit mesh or a fine-meshed metal grid
  • Wire cutters and staplers
  • Wooden nails and hammer
  • Moss
  • Succulent soil (buy them here)
  • Succulents
  • Plant stakes or chopstick

First of all, the selected picture frame must be freed from its glass pane and the rear wall and placed face down on the table. Then cut the rabbit mesh carefully to the size of the frame so that you can staple it on the inside edge of the frame. Once the mesh has been cut to size, you can cut off any excess edges.

Now place the moss plates on the picture frame with the green side down. You have to make sure that all edges and corners are well covered and sealed. In the case of smaller holes or uncovered areas, you can simply shred a moss plate appropriately and fill in the areas.

Next, spread cactus or succulent soil over the moss until the frame is filled to the top. In order to achieve an even result, shake the frame gently during this stage. After that, cut the back wall – or, if it is damaged, a piece of chipboard, to size – can be reattached to the picture frame. Hammer in small wooden nails at regular intervals. Alternatively, you can attach the back with a good wood glue or anything similar. Once the back is properly attached, you can turn the picture frame over so that the green side of the moss is facing up.

Now it is time to plant: Remove the succulents carefully from their pots and their roots from the soil. With a plant stake or chopstick, make a hole in the moss at the desired spot and press the roots of the succulents carefully into the soil. With larger plants, it may be necessary to enlarge individual wires of the mesh with scissors in order to place the plant appropriately. Press the plants in well, and, if possible, slide individual leaves under the mesh, so as to create a better hold. You should repeat this step until all plants are inserted accordingly.

Here are All the Steps for DIY Succulents in a Picture Frame

  1. Remove the glass and the back of the picture frame
  2. Cut the mesh to size and fasten it from behind to the inner frame
  3. Remove excess mesh
  4. Place the moss on mesh without gaps and with the green side down
  5. Fill the picture frame to the brim with cactus soil
  6. Fasten the back with nails
  7. Flip the photo frame over
  8. Pour succulents from their pots and carefully remove the soil from the roots
  9. Use a plant stake to poke holes in the moss at the desired spot and place the plant in it
  10. Press the plant well and slide individual leaves under the mesh for a better hold

Maintain Succulents in the Picture Frame

Succulents need a slightly different care in the picture frame than what you know from typical house plants. The plants need special attention especially in the first few weeks. In order that they maintain their hold in the substrate and do not simply fall out of the moss, you should first keep the succulent picture lying flat for two weeks until the succulents are rooted sufficiently. During this time, they should be placed in a bright area, but without contact with direct sunlight.

After hanging the picture, you can water with a spray bottle. For this purpose, spray the water directly onto the moss every ten days (if possible without wetting the succulents). In addition, liquid fertilizer can be mixed into the irrigation water once a month in the growing period. In winter the watering intervals can be extended.