The past six months have been crazy and I’ve been on a bit of a quest to discover some new interests and hobbies as I inch closer to the “empty nest” season in my life. I know horticulture is not on this list based on the demise of countless houseplants over the years. Thank goodness I’ve cared better for my children 🙂 Those who know me well, know I really don’t enjoy shopping much.  Unless you take me to an office supply store.  I will make time for that! I’d rather spend money traveling instead of buying “things”. Alas, we are not in a season of carefree travel and unlimited funds so I’ve turned my attention to breathing some fresh air into our home’s decor while trying to preserve as much money as possible for more traveling adventures.  I mean hey, if I can accomplish this and enjoy it too – does that make it a hobby?

 

Enter DIY projects.

 

I LOVE the idea of having fresh, green plants in the house. I DETEST the idea of having to figure out just the right balance of water to air ratio required to keep said plants alive. Too much and they drown, too little and they wither away and I have examples of both in my office at this very moment.  Sorry, no paparazzi for them.

I saw this lovely faux succulent wreath on the Pottery Barn website and thought it was really adorable.

Then I saw it’s $99 price tag and didn’t think it was nearly as adorable anymore.  I mean, I can catch a Southwest Airlines flight for $99 sometimes!  However, with no immediate travel plans, I wondered if I could DIY something like this wreath for a lot less and still get the look I envisioned.  I searched Pinterest and Google; found a couple of tutorials and set out to make my wreath.  The problem was it took me 3 separate trips plus an Amazon order to find the right supplies (because I’m literally clueless about crafting supplies) and no one tutorial quite spelled it all out for me.  When I posted my finished wreath pictures to Instagram and Facebook (you can see that post here), I had several questions about it and decided to do a tutorial of my own to be sure I dumbed it down enough for someone with very little crafting experience, like me.  Those of you who craft and DIY often will not have any trouble here, I’m certain!

All told, I spent a total of $52.66 for all my supplies.This takes into account that I now have surplus moss to use for an additional project in the future because 1) I bought the wrong type of moss the first time and 2) I didn’t buy enough of the correct moss the 2nd time.

 

Here’s What You’ll Need:

 

 

  • STUDY STYROFOAM WREATH FORM with a flat side.  I ended up finding the one I used at Hobby Lobby. (I mistakenly bought an extruded wreath which was smooth and round from Michael’s which was not the correct form). I used a 16″ wreath form but I’m sure it would be lovely on a 12″ or 14″ as well.  However, do NOT buy an extruded wreath form like this one:
  • MOSS MAT. There is a difference between SHEET moss and a Moss Mat.  Hint: You’ll want to use Moss Mat for this project. It should have some sort of paper or mesh backing which makes it easy to apply to your project.  I ended up ordering this Super Moss Mat from Amazon.  I started out with two of these rolls of moss from Hobby Lobby that were half price ($4.99 each) but I completely used both of them of them and still wasn’t enough.  Lesson:  I should have started with this larger sheet to begin with:

  • FAUX SUCCULENTS:  I found the succulents I used at Michael’s when they were 50% off.  I basically chose 3 larger succulents which were individual pieces and then I purchased several stemmed varieties in different sizes with multiple blooms on stems or mats and cut them apart to use individually.  I selected a variety based on color and texture.  My total for succulents was $25.50 at half off.  Amazon has a nice variety of faux succulent options as well that could likely work too.  Again, I’d split apart those that have multiple blooms or blossoms to stretch things out a bit.

  • Scissors and/or Wire Cutters

Once you have all of these items, you can begin to create your beautiful faux succulent wreath.  Before I began covering my wreath in moss, I first cut apart my succulents and pre-arranged them on my wreath to be sure I’d have enough to cover it as I’d hoped and get an idea of placement.  You can see from this image, there were some long stems on a few of these that I later cut down before permanently attaching them.

I began to cover my wreath using the rolls of moss mat I mentioned earlier.  I cut off strips of the moss and secured them around the front and sides of the wreath with hot glue (you could use spray adhesive instead).  I went around the wreath and then filled in with some more triangular shaped pieces of moss.  The moss is very forgiving and you don’t need to be perfect!

Once my moss covered the wreath form, I cut apart my succulents and laid them out over the wreath before deciding where to place them permanently.  I started with my three largest succulents and then filled in with the smaller ones in between.  Once I was fairly happy with the arrangement, I cut the stems if necessary and poked it through the moss.  Once the hole was poked through, I removed the stem and added some hot glue before reattaching.  I made my way around the wreath filling in with the smaller succulents until they were all attached and then sat in amazement that it actually turned out so well.  My 17 year old daughter said, “I think that’s the craftiest thing I’ve ever seen you do”.  Perhaps she meant, it’s the craftiest thing I’ve attempted that didn’t turn into one of those Pinterest fails 🙂    Now to decide which wall in our dining room will be it’s new home!

My DIY Succulent Wreath

I’d love to hear if you decide to give this a try too!  It’s such a fun way to bring a little green inside without fearing it’s demise!