You'll Love This Watercolor DIY If You're a Fan of Succulents!


Hello everyone! It is Anna-Karin here today, with a cacti and succulent tutorial. As a kid, I used to love getting tiny pots with cacti, something I hadn't thought of in years, but was reminded of when I worked on this project. I could even remember the individual cacti and what they looked like. It is amazing how art activities can raise memories up to the surface.

I love Lynda Kanase's new Succulent Serenity line and you can do so many different variations with all the sets. Here I used the 2-D and 3-DS Succulents as well as the Journaling Cards sets. I decided to color my succulents with watercolors, to get a lot of variation and texture. It is also fun and real easy, as you will see below. You could use the same techniques on other types of projects too. If you don't want to watercolor, try using Distress Ink instead - or die cut the cacti from colored cardstock.


Start by die cutting the pieces for the 2-D and 3-D Succulents that you need. There are suggestions for how many you need of each on the packaging, but you can of course use more or less and, thus, make succulents of different sizes. I used my new lovely glittery Cutting Pads. Use this sandwich: Multipurpose Platform Tab 2, Cutting Pad, paper, dies facing down, second Cutting Pad.


The traditional cactus is the easiest one to do. Die cut two of them.


Mix up different green watercolor paint mixes beforehand. Work on one piece at a time, paint with water first and then drop in the different green colors. See the magic happen as they mix and interact. When dry, repeat on the back too.


Do you see the tiny plus sign in the middle of the die cut? Use a pair of scissors or a craft knife and cut one of the piece from the base up to the plus sign and the other from the top, down to the plus sign.


Attach the two pieces, and your first cactus is done.


For the round cactus, I die cut ten pieces. I used smooth watercolor paper, but textured watercolor paper will work just as well.


Paint these pieces in the same way. Paint the needle parts yellow and gold. You can skip painting the back of the green pieces if you want too, since it will be covered, but the needle pieces need to be painted on both sides.


Glue one needle piece to each green circle and fold along the score line, as shown.


Glue them together as shown, sandwiching the needle piece between two green pieces. You can also find these instructions on the packaging, or by downloading instructions in Pdf-format.


After finishing the cactus, I inked a piece of white quilling paper with Worn Lipstick, fringed it with a pair of scissors and rolled up to form a flower.


For the succulent, I used these pieces.


They were painted as before, but using different shades of green. Then I shaped the pieces a little with a ball embossing tool. Later, once it was assemble, I changed the shape a little, not folding them down as much as shown here.


Use a tooth pick or a needle tool and start gluing and layering the pieces together to form the flower. Start with the single pieces (shown here), and then continue with the bigger three-sided pieces, and finish with the smaller ones. I used Distress Medium Matte as my glue.


Continue until you are happy with your plant. Here you can see that I shaped the upper leaves upward instead, to make it look more like the real thing.


Die cut a word from left over watercolored paper and a heart from cream paper. These two dies are from the great Journaling Cards set.


For my base, I used a Tim Holtz Vignette box. It was filled with crumpled up papers and misted with brown and green Distress Spray Stain. I dyed cheesecloth with the same colors and glued the cacti into the box. These are the three types of succulents in the 2-D and 3-D Succulents set, and you can make them in many variations. This set is great value since you can also use the same dies in 2-D versions, for example, for cardmaking,


The word was placed on a small piece of fabric and I added a Clippings sticker as my sentiment. You can of course decorate the box even more, but I decided to keep it relatively plain.


You can make lots of succulents in different sizes and using various shades of green. To make smaller ones, just use the smallest petal die cut.


Instead of a fringed flower, you could also place a small succulent at the top of the round cactus.


The round cactus is very sturdy and actually almost feels like a real cactus. My youngest son says 'ouch' when he looks at it.


This is what it looks like from the top.


The color variation caused by the watercolor paint makes for interesting looking cacti. It is also very fun to paint them and watch the paints mix.

Thank you so much for stopping by today! I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and that it inspired you to make some succulents, either for yourself or as a great gift to someone special.

Happy summer crafting!



Other supplies:

  • Daler & Rowney Artist Watercolor Paint
  • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Ink - Worn Lipstick, Ground Espresso
  • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Stain Spray - Ground Espresso, Peeled Paint
  • Quilled Creations Bright White Quilling Paper 3/8 in
  • Ranger Tim Holtz Distress Medium Matte
  • Tim Holtz idea-ology - Vignette Box, Clippings Stickers
  • Cheesecloth
  • Calico fabric

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