Easy DIY Wooden Cacti
Do you have a brown thumb? Or perhaps you know someone who does? Then you’ll love these easy, DIY kill-proof wooden cacti. They’re fun to make, look great and you get to recycle a few tin cans too. Win-Win 😀
What you need to make the cacti
For this project you’ll need:
- Clean, empty tin cans
- A piece of scrap wood, at least 4 cm (1.5″) thick
- Pretty paper or you can download the one we used here
- Green craft paints
- Drill and jigsaw
- Sand or gravel
- 18 gauge jewelry wire
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How to make the wooden cacti
Remove the labels from the tin cans and give them a quick wipe to get rid of any dirt. Place the cans on a piece of wood, making sure to line the bottom of the can up with the edge of the wood. Draw different cacti shapes using the cans to judge how big they should be. You can also download this free template as a guide to drawing your cacti. Just resize them accordingly.
Use a jigsaw to cut them out. If you’re not comfortable with a jigsaw, you might want to read this tutorial first. The jigsaw is one of my favorite tools and once you get the hang of it, there are so many beautiful things you can make.
Paint each cactus a different shade of green.
And lightly sand the edges to add interest.
Interesting Fact: The Wandering Devil Cactus, or Stenocereus eruca, moves 60 cm a year.
LOL, maybe I should have washed the paint off before taking the photo. But no-one’s got time for that, right!! 😉 Anyhows, no self-respecting cactus would be seen without a spike or 2. Well except for the Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera) of course.
Adding the spiky bits
For the spikes or spines, drill a few random holes all over the cactus. Cut the jewelry wire in 2.5 cm (1″) bits and bend them in half before gluing them inside the holes. You can also draw the spikes on if you don’t have any jewelry wire.
I added spikes to two of the cacti and for the third, I made a wire flower. In all honesty, I considered making spikes for all of them but after cutting and gluing, what felt like a gazillion pieces of metal, I’d had enough 😀
Once they’re all done, you can get cracking on making a few planters using those empty tin cans.
Tin can planters
I wanted to give the planters an old-world look to “honor” how ancient this plant form is. After searching high and low for antiquey paper, I decided to make my own. If you struggle to find the right print, you’re welcome to download the ones I made here. Depending on the size of your tin cans you may have to resize them a bit. Use mod podge to glue the print all around the cans.
Once it’s dry, mix up a batch of concrete and fill the cans……
…. before planting the wooden cacti inside. Ours are going down to our round holiday home, so I wanted to make sure nobody could accidentally bump them over 😉 If you don’t have any concrete, you can plant the cacti in sand or gravel instead.
And that’s it, they’re all done.
My hubby says the tallest one looks like it’s waving at us 😀 And the little one on the left seems to be jumping for joy.
We added two gorgeous cacti prints from the Graphics Fairy to complete the picture. The prints have been framed in our easy DIY frames. You might want to check out that tutorial too. I love how the wire flower adds a pop of something different to the other cactus.
They make lovely house warming gifts for people with, or without brown thumbs. What do you think? Would you add a few to your decor?
Don’t forget to pin the wooden cacti for later
Oh and if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us make more amazing crafts to share with you 😉
Or if you prefer to buy rather than DIY, then maybe these beauties will appeal.
And as always, wishing you a wonderful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.
28 thoughts on “Easy DIY Wooden Cacti”
So easy and fun! Thanks for a really neat idea…I get scolded often for saving washed out tin cans for crafting. Free craft items like those make so many useful things around the house. Acrylic paint works and you can make it any color you want, a piece of new kitchen sponge applies the paint with a bit of texture. Cut flowers or other shapes out of sponge. Fun to do with the kids too. Thanks for some inspiration to create!
😀 I get the odd look from my hubby too when I save all our tin cans, but they come in so handy. And thanks a mil for sharing some of your ideas Sage ❣
What a great idea! I like to do woodworking too. I might copy these ?
? Thanks so much, Deana. I’m really happy with how they turned out
LOVE these! i saw them on Miss Donna’s Funky Junk Interiors ‘DIY Salvaged Junk Project’ link party in April, and they sparked an idea to use a certain wood object as the basis… took me a long while, but i finally got around to making them, and they worked: i used ping pong paddles, painting one side as cacti – and the other side as pumpkins for fall! i recently shared them on my homewardFOUND decor blog. thanks for the inspo!
You most welcome Deb and just yesterday, by pure chance I popped over to Homeward Found and saw those adorable ping pong paddle pumpkin/cacti. I think they’re amazing and so I’m doubly honored to know that our cacti were the inspiration. ? Thanks so very, very much for letting me know.
I will say it again, you are so creative. I will be adding to my list to make a few these. However, I don’t think mine will be as creative.
? Thank you Debra, that means a lot to me and your stuff is awesome, I’m sure yours will be stunning my friend
These are adorable Michelle! I need some of these, I use to have a green thumb but the last few years it’s been a little brown. The larger one does look like it’s waving, and the small jumping for joy. LOL. Super cute!
So happy you enjoyed the tutorial Linda ? And every now and again my green thumb falls off in the garden too ? but I think it has something to do with our changing climate and just takes a while to readjust
Hahah… couldn’t help but laugh at the brown thumb reference. I am a green thumb girl but would definitely love to make these. They.are.adorable!!! The spikes and the rose are mind-blowing!
? Sometimes even us green thumbs need a foolproof plant or two in our decor ?
OMG, now those are the cutest things ever! Pinned!
Thanks so much Tania ?
Did you say brown thumb? Mine is black so these absolutely would work for my home! LOVE the whimsy of the wooden cacti and the aged vibe of the cans. These would look so cool on my deck. Pinned 🙂
They would be perfect for your deck Marie and I bet you still have some of that beautiful green paint left over too ?
OMG I love these. I’m a huge cacti fan especially the homemade kind. I also love how you made the tins look old too. Brilliant!
Aaaaaa Claire thanks for that ?
It’s fantastic! I love how you add wires to the cactus, especially the flower cactus! Very creative!!
LOL, that flower was such a cop out, but there was just no ways I wanted to cut another spikey job ?
I love them and you know they are meant for me! Michelle I marvel at your patience to cut out all those tiny bits of wire. The paper looks fantastic too and you are upcycling some tin cans. This is a win-win in my book!
? I actually thought about you when I was making them my friend ?
These are awesome. I see them yard size and out in our nasty white winter yard for Christmas decor. That would be so much fun. I really like how you made over the bases as well, very rustic aged looking.
Oh my yes Leanna, big ones would look so stunning against that white, snowy backdrop. Great idea
I love these so much! I manage to keep the real ones alive, but I’ve always wanted to make something like this, just so cool!
Thanks so much Katrin, I’m really happy you like them ?
What an amazing idea, Michelle. I love your wooden cacti!!!! Thank you so much for the wonderful inspiration. Kisses!!!
Thank you so very much Mia ?