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8.10.2020

pool noodle faux cacti tutorial

boho, boho style, crafting, sweater crafts, sweet sweater succulents, pool noodles, cacti, succulents, diy, decorating, home decor, sweaters, repurposing, upcycling, tutorial
the inspiration for these fun and funky faux cacti
began last fall with the design and creation of my Original Sweet Sweater Succulents.

when i recently decided to create new decor 
with a boho modern vibe, 
succulents were definitely a big part of the design... faux succulents, that is.
so i came up with yet another way to use my bottomless supply of sweater remnants:

pair a sweater sleeve with a simple pool noodle, and you've got taller cacti!
boho, boho style, crafting, sweater crafts, sweet sweater succulents, pool noodles, cacti, succulents, diy, decorating, home decor, sweaters, repurposing, upcycling, tutorial
i used the new version in this basket under the side table in the recent guest room makeover,
paired with some of the previous versions (made like my Original Sweet Sweater Pumpkins!).

this is a really 'fast, cheap & easy' craft project to complete using scraps -
continue reading for a simple tutorial to help you make your own...


first, make the largest section of the cactus:boho, boho style, crafting, sweater crafts, sweet sweater succulents, pool noodles, cacti, succulents, diy, decorating, home decor, sweaters, repurposing, upcycling, tutorial
begin with a section of foam pool noodle and one sleeve cut from of a sweater.
the sweater section needs to be about 3" longer than the foam piece,
however 'tall' you decide you want the cacti to be.

slip the foam pool noodle section inside the sweater arm section. 
then, tuck the sweater into ONE end of the foam - creating a rounded 'top' of your cactus.
make sure the sweater still covers the other end of the foam (doesn't need to tuck in).
i call this first piece the 'stem'.

next, make the small pieces that form the 'arms' of the cactus:boho, boho style, crafting, sweater crafts, sweet sweater succulents, pool noodles, cacti, succulents, diy, decorating, home decor, sweaters, repurposing, upcycling, tutorial
cut a piece of the foam pool noodle @ 2 - 3 inches long.
cut a circular shape from the sweater body that is three times the size of that foam circle.
(see image top left).
use your finger to push the center of that circle into the center hole in the foam - 
and pop a toothpick through the knit to hold the circle in place (see image top center).
wrap the sweater up onto the sides of the foam circle, covering the edges.
use either glue or more toothpicks to hold it in place.

then attach them to the 'stem':
take that 'donut'-looking thing and place it on the taller piece you created before,
placing it so the sweater's knit pattern is running in the same direction as on the big piece.
use a few toothpicks pushed through sweater into the 'stem' to hold it in place.

suggestion: cut the two 'arms' in two different sizes, 
and place the smaller size one higher on the 'stem' for a more balanced look.

now, move on to the details:
boho, boho style, crafting, sweater crafts, sweet sweater succulents, pool noodles, cacti, succulents, diy, decorating, home decor, sweaters, repurposing, upcycling, tutorial
to add a bloom to the top of the 'stem', i used small fabric flowers.
these are ranuculus, but marigolds and even bougainvilla flowers work well...
remove the blooms from existing stems, leaving just the tiny nub that attached them.
use a small piece of plastic straw or tubing to create a new larger stem that fits over that nub.
(adhere with hot glue if the straw is bigger than the nub)
simply push it into the top of the cactus 'stem'.

along with the large cacti in the basket shown up above,
i also made some smaller versions of this type of cactus 
to use with a few other variations of sweater cacti
that appeared in the faux succulent wreath on the wall:
boho, boho style, crafting, sweater crafts, sweet sweater succulents, pool noodles, cacti, succulents, diy, decorating, home decor, sweaters, repurposing, upcycling, tutorial
the method for making those is the same as the large version - plus a detail:
boho, boho style, crafting, sweater crafts, sweet sweater succulents, pool noodles, cacti, succulents, diy, decorating, home decor, sweaters, repurposing, upcycling, tutorial
these are made much like the 'arms' for the tall cacti,
then i added 'spines' - using toothpicks! - along the 'ridges' of the sweater knit pattern.
(i didn't add spines to the tall cacti because it would have taken me alllllllll day!)

note: i don't recommend you let kids do this part of the craft...
perhaps give them little pom poms and some tacky glue instead!

[btw: you may have noticed that my pool noodles have a cut in them...
it has nothing to do with this project and you don't have to do that.
it's cut because i used them as window edge guards on our Shasta trailer.
until i found some pool noodles that matched our mint green paint EXACTLY -
then these became craft supplies!]

links to previous posts mentioned above:



shared online:

funky junk interiors | diy salvaged junk projects # 540

salvaged, junk, junk projects, repurposed, upcycled, reused, crafts, home decor, succulents, sweaters, sweater crafts
thank you for featuring my project, Donna!

4 comments:

  1. I never thought I'd say these two words together but I love your cuddly cactus Deb. Such a stunning idea

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. i like that: 'cuddly cactus'!!! =D
      thank you so much for visiting and your sweet comment, Michelle!

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  2. Deb, these are so stink'n ADORABLE! Such a great idea for recycling sweaters and love the boho vibe.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. thank you so much for visiting and your kind comment, Marie!
      i don't know what it is about sweaters.... i just keep coming up with ways to re-purpose them. (not complaining!)

      Delete