Sucker for succulents- a DIY Succulent Wreath Tutorial

This week I finally got around to a project that I’ve been wanting to accomplish since… um…. 2001? 2002? Yeah. I’m not a procrastinator at all. Better late than never, right? I have an ulterior motive that really spurred me to get them finished. More on that later.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I created these DIY succulent wreaths today in just a few hours, and I wanted to show you how to do them yourself!

Here is a quick run-down of what you’ll need for this project:
Urban Outfitters wire letter or other wreath form: $10.00
Sphagnum moss: $5.00
Succulents: $20-25 depending on the amount and types (or FREE if you know of a succulent gardener willing to share clippings!)
Sand/Soil/pen/other miscellaneous equipment: Free- use what you have.
Leftover wired ribbon: So old it’s free

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I’m just so completely in love with the way that these turned out. If you can’t tell from the first photos- they are initial wreaths! One letter for each person in our family.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I found these wire frame letters at Urban Outfitters, and my mind immediately wandered to the awesome succulent wreaths I had been pinning on my pinterest boards. So, I knew what I had to do. I decided to get an initial for all three of us – B for me, G for Garrett and J for J.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I needed something to hold the succulent stuff inside the frames, so instead of a wire mesh (which I didn’t have on hand) I decided to use this ribbon that’s been sitting in my craft room since 2005.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

There wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to how I attached it.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I just secured it to a piece of the wire:

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Then looped it over and over to form a trough inside the letters to hold the moss and dirt inside.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Just make sure you make the indention of the trough on the correct side of the letter so you don’t look illiterate. Whoops.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

After a little bit of a do-over, I got it right the 2nd time.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Next came the succulent purchasing. I went to Lowes and bought a big assortment that caught my eye. I tried to vary them in color and texture so they would contrast each other once they were stuffed inside the wreath form.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Here are the different succulents I used for this project:

A. Hens and Chicks
B. Echevaria Alegra
C. Sedum Brown Bean
D. Echevaria Lola
E. Echevaria Mazarine
F. Baby Toes
G. Crassula “Springtime”
H. Stone Faces
I. Echevaria Dondo
J. Mini Blue Chalk Fingers
K. Split Rock
L. Sunrise Plant
M. Echevaria Subsessillis
N. Pachyphytum Brachteosum

I used sphagnum moss for the lining of the wreath forms. NOTE: wear gloves when working with sphagnum moss because it can contain some kind of bacteria that can do grody things to you if you have an open cut.

You can buy a block of long fibered sphagnum moss in the garden center. The blocks come dried out so you have to soak them to get the moss to poof back up. I used an empty flower pot since all my buckets were full.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

As I was filling the container with water I used the garden hose to poke the moss around and break it up.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Until it becomes a big pot of sphagnum stew. Let that soak for a while (an hour, preferably, but 15-20 minutes will work.)

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Then I took a few scoops of potting soil and mixed in a few scoops of play sand.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I honestly just guesstimated this part because I’ve read differing opinions on whether this step is needed in a succulent wreath.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Here are all of my ingredients ready to be assembled.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Take a handful of moss and squeeze out the excess water. Don’t forget to wear gloves. Or a ziploc bag if you have recently donated all of your gloves to people in need. :)

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Spread a layer of moss in the bottom of your wreath form. Pack it in there really good. You’ll be surpised by how much moss you can stuff into these wreaths! Don’t skimp. This is what will support the succulents and also give them water.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Next comes a layer of your sand/soil mixture.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Then another layer of the moss on top.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I looked around for twine or jute or wire to wrap around my form but all I could find my garden supplies was this twist-tie stuff. It was way green, but it worked. I decided to use it.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

And wrapped it all around the form to hold my sphagnum/sand/soil sammich together.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Next I shook my plant roots around in water to get most of the dirt off of the roots. After a while I decided it was easier to run the roots under the hose and rinse them off instead of this bowl/ dipping method.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

But either way you want to knock off most of the dirt from the roots.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

If you are gentle when you will likely be able to separate the roots of the plants into multiple plantings which is great for a wider variety of texture in your wreath.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Then it’s time to start planting! Use a pen, pencil, screwdriver or anything else small and pointy to bore a hole in the moss in a circular motion. Create an opening big enough for your roots.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Then guide the roots inside the hole with the pen and situate the plant in firmly. Push the moss back up and around each plant to give it a firm bed.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Then just repeat that process over and over until you have all your plants placed inside the moss!

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Be mindful of your colors, textures, heights and widths of the plants.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Remember they will grow so leave some space between each one. (Even though I don’t follow my advice on that one most of the time.)

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I used hens and chicks as my filler flowers. They are much cheaper than the other succulents because they spread fast and are hard to kill. All of my hens and chicks were over grown so I pruned back a bunch of the dead leaves from around the base. Here is what they looked like before:

succulent wreath diy tutorial

With a twist around the base I was able to clean off the dead leaves.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

And with a quick rinse they look like this underneath:

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I just kept stuffing plants in there until it looked pretty. There is not pattern or “right” way to do it. Just arrange it however you like it.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Just consider how your letters are shaped and how the flowers will best follow that shape naturally. Here is my finished “B”. I added a bow on top to pretty her up a little bit.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I also made sure I added the pink and flowery ones to my letter since I am the girl of the family. :)

succulent wreath diy tutorial

The “G” has some really unusual plants in him.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

I love the one that looks like a split rock. Conveniently named “split rock”.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

The “J” was a little manlier, too, with more plants that look like rocks. I am so in love with the way these guys turned out!!

succulent wreath diy tutorial

Wouldn’t these look great as initials at a rustic wedding reception?? Swoon. What a unique gift you could make for someone.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

My plan is to hang these wreaths somewhere around my patio or pool. The advantage of succulents is that they can be indoors OR outdoor plants. They are so low maintenance.

I need to pin some of these guys in place and also let them lie flat for a few weeks to let the roots take hold before I hang them for good, but this gives you an idea what they will look like when they are hung. I just love them.

succulent wreath diy tutorial

These wreaths look great separate or you can bundle them all together for even more impact. You will lose the letter shapes if you place them close together, but they do give you quite a WOW factor!

succulent wreath diy tutorial

According to Better Homes and Gardens, here are some tips to care for your succulent wreath:

After planting, keep the wreath out of direct sunlight for a week. Gradually increase light levels to full exposure. In the hottest Zones, protect plants from midday sun. Indoors, set your succulent wreath in a south-facing window, greenhouse, or garden room

Water your wreath when it feels dry — every three to 10 weeks, depending on temperature and lighting. Soak the wreath in a container of water for at least one hour. Avoid misting or surface-spraying your wreath; this encourages shallow rooting, which weakens plants.

Hang your wreath using galvanized hardware to prevent rust. If you’ll be displaying your wreath on a wooden surface, such as a door, consider covering the back of the wreath with plastic attached with crafts pins to protect the wood from moisture.
Source- BHG.com

So there you go! The longest post in the history of the world showing you how to make your very own succulent wreath. If you’re a sucker for succulents like me, you will love planting one (or three!) of these in your garden!

Now for the exciting part!! Click here to find out how you can win one of these succulent wreaths for yourself during the Restore Alabama Online Community Auction and Fundraiser! I am going to be auctioning off a custom made succulent wreath to the highest bidder, and ALL proceeds will go to the tornado relief efforts here in Alabama! I’ll take all the hard work out of it for you, as long as you’re willing to open your wallets and battle it out for the highest bid!

succulent wreath diy tutorial

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  1. Wow–those are so beautiful! I love the look and they sure are a lot of work! Thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  2. Ooo what a fantastic tutorial – I’m keeping this one!!

  3. These are wonderful. I’ve wanted to try this. Thanks so much for the tutorial.

  4. I’m seriously whispering OH MY GOSH, over and over at my desk right now. These are fabulous. I love them so much! What a great idea to use the letters, too. Adorbs. Can you believe that I can even kill succulents? I can. It’s a gift. But I may have to try again.

    You’ve been pinned.

  5. OMGoodness, how beautiful. I want one. Love it, love it. And a great tut. Thansk for sharing. I am seriously going to try and do a wreath. Thank you so much, Karie

  6. Mmmmm I love succulents so much!!! Gorgeous work!

  7. Wonderful and detailed tutorial! I love this and think I will try to make one!! I can’t seem to get enough succulent decorating at my house.. great job!!

  8. I am totally in love with succulents and this is such a great way to showcase them. Thanks for the tutorial!

    -Jess

  9. Thanks for the tutorial! Love it. Thanks for linking this awesome post at the Creative Bloggers’ Party & Hop. :)

  10. so amazing…you make my little project look like …womp womp womp…LOL.
    Have a great week…beautiful post…xo
    Lucy

  11. Oh and I’m your newest follower..:)

  12. Hi, Beth! This is featured at Recognition Day Thursday found here: http://www.homemakeronadime.com/2011/05/recognition-day-thursday-do-able.html. Please feel free to grab the feature button :)

  13. I love this idea! It is so cute! Thanks for sharing…I’m now following you:)

  14. I absolutely love this! So great! I saw something similar years ago with herbs using a regular circle wreath form. I tried to find the forms and couldn’t at a good price. Using succulents this wouldn’t have to be watered as often. Thanks for the inspiration!

  15. oh my gosh, i LOVE this! i am a sucker for succulents-i have a faux succulent wreath i got on clearance last year, but i love the initial part of this. your photos are gorgeous and catalog worthy!

  16. wonderful idea and gorgeous photography~

  17. these are awesome! Just pinned it and am definitely going to try this!

    http://junkernewbie.blogspot.com/

  18. those are beautiful!!!

  19. These are beautiful, Beth! Great tutorial too!

    Roeshel

  20. This is such a beautiful and creative project. I cannot wait to try of for myself. I am a new follower!
    Holly
    504 Main

  21. I am new to all plants. I’m thinking this would be a lovely wreath for my front door. I’m wondering if succulents can stay outside through the winter?

    Do they freeze? Do they need to be brought inside during the winter?

    Thanks for the great tutorial!

  22. the hard work is worth it !! the result is stunning !! congrats !!

  23. Beautiful. Your project, the photography, everything. I would love for you to share this project on my Inspiration Board.
    http://carolynshomework.blogspot.com/2011/07/inspiration-board-link-party.html

    carolyn | homework

  24. Cynthia says:

    I have been dreaming of doing a wreath like this. Thank you for your wonderful and complete instructions. I love your frugal tips on use recyclable items that you have on hand. You are very creative.

  25. These are so cool. I’m glad you posted the BH&G tips in there too because I was going to ask you about watering. I don’t have a green thumb -at all- but I think I’ll try this. It is that cool.

  26. Great tutorial. Great photos. Great idea. Great writing. Thanks so much.

  27. I think I have wanted to do this since 2001 too! Next year for sure…great tutorial!

  28. Your wreath is adorable ~ I love it!

    I am hosting a new linky party on Wednesdays ~ FALL in Love With Your Home. I’d love for you to join in the fun.

    Have a very happy Labor day!

  29. those are gorgeous – love love love!

  30. Thanks for the tutorial!!

    Your wreathe looks incredible! I saw this and I had one of those letters from Urban too and was wondering what I could do with it. After seeing your tutorial I decided to do something similar.

    Instead of using succulents, I used potpourri. Here’s a link of the picture: http://tinypic.com/r/20tj6ad/7

    It doesn’t look as amazing as yours, but I figured I could use as decoration for my room.

    Thanks for the idea! :)

  31. I LOVE love love this! I’m a huge fan of succulents and you did such a beautiful job putting them all together!

  32. I just love succulents. Gorgeous!

  33. gorgeous project and detailed tutorial – thank you. I’m going to try this.

    Stevie from Garden Therapy

  34. This is a spectacular tutorial! I can’t wait to do this with my craft group :)

  35. I too have pinned succulent wreaths…this is such a great step-by-step tutorial! Thank you so much, and I love the idea of a Letter wire form. I think you inspired me!!!! Found you on the Haven list…:)

  36. Thank you so much for the wonderful post! The pictures are great and the directions are clear and easy to follow. Will definatly be making my own wreath!

  37. These are gorgeous! I love succulents and since spring is (hopefully) coming soon, I have been thinking about what I can do when I hit the gardening centre. What a great idea – thanks for sharing!

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  39. What a cute project! I love it so much that I decided to feature it in our roundup of patio crafts! Check it out here: http://www.favecraftsblog.com/outdoor-patio-crafts/

    Have a great day!

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  42. This is an awesome project and can’t wait to put all my succulent cuttings to work.

  43. love it love it love it :)

  44. These are FABULOUS Beth! I LOVE Every since piece of it! Pinning : ) You had me at low maintenance, lol.

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