Introduction: DIY Felt Succulent Display | How to Make Faux Plant Wall Art
Since I'm the opposite of green-fingered, for me the best kind of plant is a fake plant...hence this project!
I've always liked those 'living garden' DIY projects, and so I decided to make a succulent display using a range of green felts. I'm very pleased with the finished look, and I hope you enjoy this Instructable.
Is cosy nature a thing? Because that's how I'd describe it :)
- Felt; I used wool blend craft felt in a variety of green colours.
- A stretched canvas & staple remover (OR a photo frame); I used a 30 x 30 cm stretched canvas. This is a cheap way of getting a wooden frame for a project.
- Decoupage materials (optional); I used PVA glue, a paintbrush and a brown paper bag.
- Mesh of some kind, or quite a stiff woven fabric; I used fine aluminium mesh.
- Faux grass mat; I got mine from a craft shop.
- Disappearing/magic fabric pen
- Non-stick mat and/or baking paper (aka parchment paper)
- Glue; I used UHU all-purpose adhesive. Something clear and fast-drying is best. Hot glue would work too.
Step 1: Dismantle the Canvas
If you're using a stretched canvas rather than a photo frame, use a staple remover to take out the staples on the back. Discard the canvas or re-use for something else.
This will leave you with a plain wooden frame.
Step 2: Decoupage
To neaten up the wooden frame, I then used the decoupage method.
For this, I needed a paintbrush, PVA glue, and a brown paper bag I had ripped into small pieces.
Simply brush on the glue, add a piece of the paper, and then brush glue over the top of the paper.
Repeat this all over the frame and leave to dry.
It's best to do this on a non-stick mat or baking paper to protect your work surface.
Note: If you want to use a different kind of paper (book pages, sheet music, decorative paper) then feel free!
Step 3: Add a Mesh
Next, some kind of thin structured material needs to be attached to the back of the frame.
I used fine aluminium mesh just because I already had some. A fairly stiff woven fabric would also do the job.
Simply glue a piece onto the back of the frame and leave it to dry.
As you can see in the photo, I put baking paper on top and then some paint tubes just to weight it down as it dried.
Step 4: Grass Background
Cut out a piece of the grass mat to just fit inside the front of the frame.
Glue in place.
Step 5: Plant 1: Paper Template
For the first design, cut out 3 rectangles of paper. These should measure 10 x 5 cm, 7 x 3.5 cm, and 4 x 2 cm.
Fold these in half and draw on the shapes you can see in the photo. The 2 larger pieces have a swirly shape, and the smallest piece has a kind of oval.
Try to keep these as symmetrical as possible, but don't worry if they're not perfect.
Make sure the 'point' of the design is on the opposite side to the fold of the paper.
Cut the shapes out, cutting through both layers of paper. This will give you 3 templates.
Step 6: Plant 1: Cut Out the Shapes
Draw around the 3 templates (using your fabric pen) onto the felt.
You will need 3 of the largest piece, 2 of the medium-sized piece, and 3 of the smallest piece.
Add a line of glue, as shown in the photos, across the middle of one of the smallest pieces of felt. The line should be a slight 'z' shape, but you don't want the glue to go too close to the curved ends.
Fold this shape of felt in half so the curved ends are level but misaligned. See the last photo for help.
Step 7: Plant 1: Attach Everything Together
Now add a line of glue across the middle of the other pieces of felt, and then fold them, the same way we did in the previous step.
Then add a line of glue along the straight edge of one of the smallest pieces, then roll this piece up into a spiral. This will be the centre of the plant.
Leave to dry.
Add a line of glue along the straight edge of the other smallest pieces, then attach them to the central spiral, on opposite sides.
The straight edges should always be on at the base of the plants, and the curved edges at the top.
Then add glue to the medium-sized pieces of felt in the same way, and attach them to the plant, and then the same for the largest pieces.
Try and attach the pieces in an even way so one side doesn't become thicker than the other. Just keep looking at the top of the plant to see if it looks right.
Step 8: Plant 2
This second design of plant is put together in the same way as the previous plant, so I won't be going through all the steps in as much detail. The only thing that changes is the shape of the paper templates, and the number of pieces you need.
So this time, the paper rectangles need to be 10 x 5 cm, 7 x 3.5 cm, and 5 x 3 cm
Fold these rectangles in half, and this time draw a design that has a steeper point and doesn't go in at the sides (see photos). Make sure the 'point' of the design is on the opposite edge to the fold.
Cut 3 of the largest size, 3 of the medium-size, and 4 of the smallest size shapes out of the felt.
Then assembly is exactly the same as before; glue and roll one of the smallest pieces into the central spiral, glue and fold all of the other felt pieces, then glue these pieces to the centre in size order (smallest to largest).
Step 9: Plant 3
This third plant design is assembled in the same way as the previous 2, but this time the paper rectangles need to measure 5 x 7.5 cm, 3.5 x 6 cm, and 2 x 4 cm and these need to be folded and then cut into a rounded oval shape.
You will need 3 of the largest size, 6 of the medium size, and 3 of the smallest size pieces cut out of the felt.
Then the same steps are followed once more to glue them together; glue and roll one of the smallest pieces into the central spiral, glue and fold all of the other felt pieces, then glue these pieces to the centre in size order (smallest to largest).
Step 10: Plant 4: Paper Templates & Cutting
For this next design, we'll be attaching individual 'leaves' together so it's different to the previous 3 plants.
You'll need paper rectangles measuring 5 x 3.5 cm and 2 x 1.5 cm.
Cut out 5 of the large size and 7 of the small size out of felt.
It is possible to use leaf shaped templates instead, but I find it much quicker to cut out rectangles first.
Then cut each piece of felt into a leaf shape as shown. I like to keep a small straight edge on one end to go on the base of the plant.
Once you have cut out one leaf of each size you can then use these as a guide to cut the other pieces into the same shape.
Step 11: Plant 4: Assembly
Apply a small amount of glue to the right-hand edge of 6 (out of the 7) small felt pieces. This line of glue should go from the (flat) base most of the way up the side - but it should stop before the point.
Attach these pieces together as shown, into an arch shape.
Once this has dried, apply a line of glue across the base of each leaf shape.
Roll these leaves up - from either end - into a spiral. This is the centre of the plant.
Then you just need to attach the large leaves evenly around the outside of this centre. Only put glue on the base of these larger leaves - not too far up - otherwise the glue will be seen.
Step 12: Plant 5: Paper Templates & Cutting
This design is similar to plant 4 as it is made up of individual leaves.
You will need paper rectangles measuring 5 x 3.5 cm and 3.5 x 2.5 cm, and 2.5 x 1.5 cm.
Cut 8 of the large size, 4 of the medium size, and 8 of the small size out of felt.
Then cut each piece of felt into a leaf shape as shown. I like to keep a small straight edge on one end to go on the base of the plant. Once you have cut out one leaf of each size you can use these as a template for cutting the rest.
Step 13: Plant 5: Assembly
Apply a little glue to the right-hand edge of 7 (out of 8) of the smallest felt pieces.
This line of glue should go from the (flat) base most of the way up the side - but it should stop before the point.
Attach these pieces together as shown, into an arch shape.
Once the glue is dry, apply a line of glue across the base of each leaf shape. Roll these leaves up - from either end - into a spiral. This is the centre of the plant.
Apply a little glue to the base of each of the medium sized leaves, and attach these to the central spiral. Attach the first 2 on opposite sides of the spiral, then attach the next pair at 90 degrees to those.
The aim of this plant is to make the outer leaves look symmetrical.
Then do the same for the largest leaves by adding them 2 at a time, on opposite sides. You want the last 4 leaves to sit in the 'gaps' of the previous layer. See the last photo for a better idea of how to arrange the leaves.
Step 14: Plant 6: Spiral
You'll need something circular to draw around for this, or you can use a compass.
I used a plastic cup which was about 10 cm in diameter.
Draw the circle with your fabric pen, then cut it out.
Cut this circle into a spiral (I just did this by eye - try to keep the width of the strip as even as you can all of the way along).
Smooth any lumps and bumps on the spiral by cutting them off.
Apply glue along the inside edge, then roll the felt strip into a spiral, starting from the outside of the circle.
Glue the central circle of felt to the base of the spiral at the end.
Step 15: Plant 7: Pom-Pom
This design and the spiral are ideal for filling in smaller gaps in the display.
First, cut out a long rectangle from felt (I cut mine 24 x 5 cm). Apply glue down the centre and about 1 cm away from the bottom edge.
Fold over the top edge onto the glue. You want a single layer of felt along the base, as shown.
Cut slits into the double layer of felt, all along. I just did this by eye, I didn't measure it.
Add glue below the slits, and then roll the rectangle into a spiral.
Step 16: Plant 8: Spiky Leaves
This is a good plant to place at the edges of the display.
You'll need a paper rectangle that measures 11 x 3.5 cm.
Cut 6 of these shapes out of your felt.
Cut each rectangle into a bottom-heavy leaf shape, with a straight edge at the base, as shown in the photos.
Add a little glue at the base of each leaf and pinch the sides together to make them into 3D shapes.
Once dry, attach these leaves together at the base.
I like to attach 3 together side-by-side first, then 2 on top, and then 1 on the back. Whatever you think looks good really!
Step 17: Finished!
All you have to do then is arrange the plants on the display and glue them in place. I ended up doing 2 of each type of plant, so 16 all together.
I hope you enjoyed this project!
Fifth Prize in the
Colors of the Rainbow Contest