Introduction: DIY Cup Garden

Picture of DIY Cup Garden

I've started indoor gardening and I must say, it's really addictive! But what's fun in putting all the plants in plain pots? So I decided to make a cup garden. I've been wanting to make a fairy garden for a long time but made something quite similar this time. Might try to make a fairy garden next time.

Best thing about this cup garden is that I used cactus, succulent and wall plants, which require very low water and care. You can take it outside easily for a little sunlight and it's a great candy to the eye!

I'll take you step by step to making a cup garden of your own.

Check out the ible!

Step 1: Materials Needed

To make this cup garden you'll need:

  1. Old cup and saucer
  2. Small rocks and mixed soil
  3. Cactus and succulents
  4. Wall moss and plants
  5. Wooden crafts sticks or twigs
  6. Craft glue or hot glue gun
  7. X-acto knife and cutting pliers
  8. Ruler and pencil
  9. Mosaic stones

Step 2: Collecting the Pot

Picture of Collecting the Pot

You can use any kind of pot you want but lets try something different.

I'm using an old cup and saucer for my mini garden. You can drill a hole at the bottom of the cup for drainage or use another technique, check out the next step to find out.

The size of the cup would depend on the number and size of the plats and accessories you'll be using. The one I used wasn't too big nor too small, worked out perfect!

Step 3: Preparing the Pot

Picture of Preparing the Pot

Gather some small rocks and mixed soil, do not use sand,

Fill the bottom of the cup with the small rocks. Fill one third of the cup with rocks.

Now fill the rest of the cup with the mixed soil. Keep the soil level a cm below the edge of the cup.

Keep the pot aside and lets create the accessories.

Step 4: DIY Mini Garden Accessories

Picture of DIY Mini Garden Accessories

I'm using wooden craft sticks to make a mini bench, ladder and fence. While you're making the accessories keep in mind that the sizes of the accessories should be proportionate to the cup size and plants.

Use cutting pliers or x-acto knife to cut the sticks.

Measure the height of the cup, add 2 cm to that and cut 2 sticks of that size. These are the side rails of the ladder. Cut the rungs as many as you need to make the ladder, I had to cut 6 pieces. Now place the side rails on a flat surface and simply glue the ring pieces on them. Allow the glue to dry.

For the bench you'll need to prepare sticks for the legs, seat and back side. I used 4 pieces for the seat, 4 pieces for the legs and 5 pieces for the back. Cut a small piece of paper and glue the 4 sticks for the seats on it. Now turn it over and glue the 4 leg pieces on 4 corners. Finally make the back and glue it to complete the bench.

I made a tiny fence so so didn't need to cut many sticks. For the fence cut 4-6 small sticks, keeping 2 cm extra with the required height. Place the sticks on a flat surface vertically by keeping even gap between them. Glue another stick on them horizontally and allow the glue to dry.

You can make so many tiny things with these sticks. You may also try making a swing, stool, table, cabin, mail box, birds house and much more.

Step 5: Collecting Plants

Picture of Collecting Plants

Collecting the plants for this garden is really easy. Collect or buy small cactus and succulent plants. These plants require very low water and nurture. If you plants small cactus and succulent plants it'll take years for them to grow.

Besides you can also use wall moss, ferns and other plants, they also require less water and nurture.

Step 6: Checking All the Items

Picture of Checking All the Items

Prepared the pot (cup), made the mini stuffs, collected the plants and also gathered a few more stuffs for decoration. I'm going to place small mosaic stones, clay mushrooms, super tiny snail shells for the decoration.

Once you've collected and prepared everything for the cup garden decide how you want to decorate and place things.

Step 7: Planting

Picture of Planting

Planting these plants are super easy because they don't have huge roots so you don't have to worry messing the top soil.

Use a small stick or your finger to make a hole on the soil, place 2 cm of the plant in the hole from the bottom, fill the rest of the hole with soil. Plant the other cactus and succulents similarly. Try keeping small gaps between each plant and also keep at least a cm of gap between the plants and the cup's edge.

Step 8: Decorating

Picture of Decorating

Lucky me, I found a piece of small flat concrete, just the perfect size and shape. I placed it beside the plants so that I can put the bench on it. You'll need to glue the bench on that concrete piece.

Try too collect vine type small wall ferns, I have loads of them on the walls of my garden. Take a long piece of the wall plant. Push its root in the soil near the cups edge, in front. Now glue the cup on the saucer and then glue the ladder with the cup and the saucer, so that we can climb to the garden from the saucer! Wrap the wall plant around the ladder carefully.

Placed some wall moss beside the concrete piece and filled the rest of the soil top with small flat mosaic stones. Also placed the small snail shells near the plants.

Step 9: Final Touch!

Picture of Final Touch!

The saucer seemed empty and boring so I placed some mosaic stones around it and glued 2 small clay mushrooms near the ladder.

Thanks for checking out my ible and please do try to make one if you're inspired! Share a picture if you make one :)

Ahh, I'm happy with how this turned out!



Little Miss Cutie (author)2017-02-25

Nice. It's cute. It reminds me of a picnic with tea cups in the garden.

This is truly magical.

Naht8888 (author)2016-10-04

Do you have any recommendations on where the best place to get mini plants are? I wanted to make this as a b-day gift, but I can't find the plants anywhere.

ElectroFrank (author)2016-07-26

One little bit of info might be useful to you - cacti & succculents like hot, dry bright conditions, but some mosses like shade & cool & damp, and will die in bright sunlight. (I speak from experience of moss gardening !)

The fern (?) with tiny leaves used as a tree behind the bench works
brilliantly - but I have never seen one like it. Do you happen to know
what type it is ? Thanks.

Thanks for the suggestion, I have never had moss or fern in my mini gardens so that was experimental. You're right, the moss wasn't a good idea for this garden. The plant with small leaves grow all around my garden and concrete walls, so I thought it might a kind of moss.

EmmitS (author)ElectroFrank2016-07-26

That's not a fern. It looks like thyme, which is a fine leaved herb that likes hot dry conditions.

Pavithra Arunkumar (author)2016-07-25

Excellent work ! Very beautiful :)

Thank you!

lindarose92 (author)2016-07-26

Amazing! I love it!

Thanks Linda!

S189 (author)2016-07-27

Love this! Really clever and looks amazing. Only recently discovered these succulents and air plants so it's great to come across this when I'm trying to think of ways to display them.

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)S1892016-08-20

Thanks! Glad to know my ible was helpful, hope you have fun making one :)

Natalina (author)2016-07-29

I love this!! Great way to make a tiny planter into something magical :)

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)Natalina2016-08-20

Thanks so much! obsessed with miniatures!

Rawa Khalil Ibrahim (author)2016-08-02

thank you its very nice idea, i will try it indeed.

laith mohamed (author)2016-07-31

Nice touch .

tariq sadiq (author)2016-07-29


thundrepance (author)2016-07-28

ha-ha! LOVE the TINY LADDER!! x^D

AlexanderTRU (author)2016-07-28


awil (author)2016-07-28

cool project

majids16 (author)2016-07-27

tank you

Amit_Jain (author)2016-07-25

Amazing, stupid question, how would one maintain ? watering / plant growth etc

EmmitS (author)Amit_Jain2016-07-26

Once you have a drainage hole drilled, just water like any other pot. Don't put any cactus or succulent plant in a pot with no drainage hole. Don't forget to fertilize during the summer months. Cacti love tomato fertilizer. Keep your plants cool and don't water more than once a month during the winter.

Thanks! these plants require very low water, I usually water them 2-3 times in a month! Use a dropper to water.

Marysia_Too (author)2016-07-26

The author mentions in Step 2 to drill a hole in the bottom of the cup.

EmmitS (author)Marysia_Too2016-07-26

I use second hand cups and mugs from the Salvation Army or Goodwill stores for cactus plants all the time. Drilling holes is easy. You can get diamond drills cheap on EBay. turn the cup upside down and fill the depression in the bottom of the cup with water, then drill with a regular drill press. I use regular cactus soil. There is no need to put pebbles in the bottom of the pot if you have a drainage hole drilled. Just put a piece of paper towel over the hole to prevent the soil from washing out.

M L G (author)2016-07-26

instead of moss you could use thyme or camomile, both smell lovely and like dry conditions, I have a preference for camomile as it both smells nicer so could be kept on the windowsill in bedroom and in the evening could be nice as you go to bed as has a calming effect. also can be kept more trim and close cropped than thyme. Lovely project though, hope I get the time this summer to help my sons make this?!

M L G (author)2016-07-26

OMG this is adorable! An easy project to do with my sons this summer, they always get so bored when I ask them to help and get frustrated because they arent really strong enough to do some of the things I need help with or like footing a ladder can be pretty dull while dad trims the hedge! this could be something they could make and treasure as their own, Thank you so much for the inspiration?!

KarenH114 (author)2016-07-26

I Love this cute little Garden made with a cup & saucer! I'm definitely inspired-I have these hanging around the house & I am running out of room for them-but they'll make great gifts; esp. for Mother's Day, Birthdays & even Get Well or Cheer Up Gifts. I just hope I am as good at making those cute ladders, bench's & things as you are! Great Job-It looks Fabulous!

GuppehsWorld (author)2016-07-26


deluges (author)2016-07-26

This is beautiful but might not be sustainable given the different moisture requirements of various plants, as mentioned by frank.

If the fern dries out or the cacti drown, maybe cut out a plastic slice to separate the moss from the cacti ? Also, I would have used a dremel diamond bit to drill a couple holes at the bottom of the cup to allow for drainage/oxygenation of the roots.

I love the concept though !

bobc47 (author)2016-07-26

You can buy diamond glass cutting bits on ebay for just a couple of dollars, they won't bore many holes but would be perfect for something like this.

Jaidagp (author)2016-07-25

Beautiful, stunning

SKYuvraj (author)2016-07-25

Nice and Beautiful......

Muhaiminah Faiz (author)SKYuvraj2016-07-25

Thank you so much!

About This Instructable




Bio: Hey, I'm Muhaimina! A crazy craft addict! Obsessed with swirls and polka dots... Love green craft and rustic home decors... and Instructables is pretty ... More »
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