Last week Kim and I had another Play Date together to create a few Faux Cactus Rock Gardens! This was an easy project and I think the results are pretty darn cute.
I love succulents and cacti – they are plants that almost anyone can keep alive and they have such interesting, sculptural shapes. But let’s say that you really do not have a green thumb… well I’ve also been seeing a lot of faux versions too using materials that are usually hanging around and easy to get… like rocks! Yes this is a good old painted rock project – suitable for all ages and skill levels :)
Our materials were: rocks (variety of shapes), 3 colors of green acrylic paint, paintbrushes, Moonlight white opaque ink pad, my Embroidery and Fan-fare rubber stamp sets, a pink archival ink pad (Cactus Flower is a great color), gravel, and a few small terra cotta pots. We also wound up using yellow paint, old newspaper and a glue gun.
The process is pretty easy – just paint your rocks different colors of green using acrylic paint. We found that higher quality paints like Golden and Liquitex covered better and were more vibrant. Those rocks suck up the paint like a sponge.
And no matter what, you will have a green thumb when you are finished this LOL. Keep some wipes handy or wear gloves even to avoid painty fingers.
We painted a bunch of rocks, and we also made some small ones yellow for a few cactus flowers.
For the cactus spines we used Moonlight White – an opaque white ink pad – and rubber stamps from my Embroidery stamp set. The stamps that worked super well were Running, Grannies, Star Fish, and Chain Link – they really made our faux cacti look distinctive.
Here is Star Fish in action, putting on some faux cactus spines.
And my Chain Link stamp is nice for the long rocks… er cacti ;)
And here we have Grannies. Unmounted or cling rubber stamps will help you stamp on the uneven rock surface. And if you miss a spot, just go back in with more.
Here are our finished cacti! A big variety of shapes, colors, and spine styles.
For the cactus flowers we used my Fan-Fare stamp set and a pink ink pad – Archival Ink Cactus Flower is just perfect!
We glued the cactus flowers onto some of the cacti using hot glue.
To prepare the pots for the gravel, we filled them most of the way up with old newspaper. Our gravel bag was pretty small and this was an easy way to fill them up and still have enough gravel for the top.
Time to top it off with our cactus gravel.
We used both short, wide pots and regular small terra cotta pots. You could use any small pots or containers you have on hand. We found about .5 – 1″ of gravel was needed to support the rocks.
Now the fun part – arranging our little Faux Cactus Rock Gardens! You can spread things out…
…or go naturalistic with some unpainted rocks too!
Choose a variety of shapes, colors, and one with a flower to set the mini desert scene. You get the picture. Have fun with it! Get the kids involved – this is one everyone can do.
Give it a try! In addition to some old newspaper and rocks, here are the supplies we used: