If you love the look of Christmas or holiday planters with evergreens, pine cones, ribbons, bows, and all the accessories, why not try making one yourself? There are a few different ways you can do them, from small live planters for the holiday dinner table to large outdoor porch planters full of evergreen boughs.
Here are the supplies you’ll need to DIY your holiday pots and a few ideas to get you started! Live Plant Arrangements for Indoors
Having a live plant arrangement on the table for the holidays is not just pretty; it’s a beautiful reminder of living plants and trees while the world outside is frozen. There are many different plants you can use together in a live planter, including evergreens.
What you’ll need:
A cute planter
A mini evergreen tree
2-3 live plants
Assorted mini Christmas decorations
Mini twinkle lights
Decorative moss or stones (optional)
How to do it:
Depending on the plants you choose, you may be able to plant them together, or they may be best kept in separate pots. Lavender and Rosemary have different moisture needs than, say, an Alberta spruce or a lemon cypress tree.
Even if they have different water needs, you can still give the illusion of being planted together. Keep the plants in their plastic nursery pots. Put a layer of soil in the bottom of your planter, then arrange the plants, still in their plastic pots, inside your container. Once you like how they’re arranged, fill up the gaps with soil and firm it in. Add a thin extra layer just over the tops of the plastic pots so you can’t see them. Now it looks like your plants are in the same planter, but they’re not. So you can safely give one plant all the water it needs while limiting how much other plants get.
Once your plants are in, add your moss or stones to cover the soil, and then get to decorating your tree. Add a string of twinkle lights, and decorate your mini Christmas tree.
Here are some live plants that you can use in indoor holiday planters:
For outdoor pots, you’ll need a few supplies, plus some evergreens and whatever other decor accessories you like. If the soil in your porch pots is already frozen, you’ll also likely need some chicken wire. If you’re getting new planters, you can fill them up with fresh potting soil and make your arrangement before it freezes.
Accessories like pinecones, red twigs, and birch poles
Decor accessories like ornaments or seasonal floral picks
Chicken wire (optional)
Wire cutters (optional)
Metal tent stakes (optional)
If you already have porch pots and the soil is frozen solid in them, you can still use them. If you’re using fresh soil, skip to the next paragraph.
Create a small ball of chicken wire, about half as wide as your pot; just crunch it up together into a rough ball. Then center it in your porch pot, and hammer a couple of tent stakes in to keep it secure. Then make a larger dome of chicken wire over the first ball. Work it into the top of your pot, so all the wire edges are inside the pot edge, and then secure it with a couple of tent stakes as well.
If you’re using fresh soil, fill your pots up with soil within a few inches below the rim. Firm it down well. If the soil is really light and fluffy, water it well so it settles. The water will help it freeze better and secure your greenery.
Adding the Greenery & Accessories
Start with your bigger items, like birch poles if you’re using them. Secure them into the soil (or chicken wire) a few inches deep. Then start to add in your assorted greenery as you like it, sticking the stems into the soil several inches deep or through both layers of chicken wire. If you’re using chicken wire, make sure to arrange your greenery to obscure the wire itself. Use your pruners to trim any errant greenery for a pleasing overall shape.
Once you have all your foliage how you like it, start adding in your other accessories, like glittery decor, pinecones, red berries, or ornaments. Finish off your porch pots with a strand of white twinkle lights so you can enjoy it after dark too.
Get Your Holiday Greenery At Ted Lare
If you’re ready to get your DIY on, you can swing by Ted Lare to pick up all the supplies you need. We’ve got a variety of evergreen boughs that you can buy piece by piece or in bundles. Our evergreen bundles have an assortment of greens and include enough boughs to do a 14” porch pot or several smaller projects. We’ve also got various fun ornamental picks and decor on handy sticks to include in your arrangements.
P.S. If it doesn’t work out, we’ve also got an excellent selection of pre-made holiday pots, or you can sign up for a class!
The transition from fall to winter can be a busy time for many of us. There are all the usual commitments. The annual tasks of decorating and preparing for Thanksgiving are followed shortly after by the transition to Christmas and holiday decorating, planning, and shopping. Fortunately, with a little creativity, you can save some time with your decorating this year!
This centerpiece craft uses versatile base materials that can transition seamlessly from the Thanksgiving table to your Christmas feast with a few simple changes!
There are a million different ways to design centerpieces for the holidays, but we like ones that embrace seasonal beauty and allow us to still see the friendly faces across the table. A classic, timeless centerpiece for your Thanksgiving table is a long and low arrangement with seasonal accents. A narrow wooden tray or even a narrow serving dish with pinecones and 3-5 candles is a perfect base to take you through to the next few months with tasteful style and an easy transition.
Create Your Base Centerpiece & Add Fall Accents
For the base centerpiece, arrange your candles in your tray. If you want to use real candles, you may want to consider setting them inside hurricane vases to prevent fire risk. Then, arrange an assortment of pinecones around the candles. If you’re using LED candles, you won’t need the hurricanes. Candles with a remote are ideal, as you won’t have to touch the centerpiece each time you light it up!
To give the simple centerpiece a fall aesthetic, add some colorful fall leaves, twigs with orange, yellow, or white berries, and some classic hardshell nuts like hazelnuts, walnuts, and brazil nuts. You could also add in a few mini pumpkins and some jewel-toned silk flowers if you like.
Transition Your Centerpiece for the Holidays
To transition your centerpiece to a more festive feel, remove the fall leaves, mini pumpkins, fall berries, and faux flowers.
Adding Christmas tree balls or ribbons are simple ways to tie the centerpiece to your other holiday decor.
If you like the look of snow-dusted pinecones, you can frost each pinecone with flocking (faux snow) spray, but you can also achieve a similar effect in a couple of other ways. You could sprinkle faux snow powder over the whole arrangement when you’re finished, or tuck small sprays of baby’s breath throughout the centerpiece to add that touch of white.
Work in some cedar boughs and sprigs of holly and berries to add depth and variation to the greenery. Adding Christmas tree balls or ribbons are simple ways to tie the centerpiece to your other holiday decor. You can also add cinnamon sticks for a subtle scent, along with a few navel or mandarin oranges for an extra pop of color.
Last but not least, a strand of LED twinkle lights, in addition to the candles, adds even more warm and cozy Christmas ambiance. You could even replace the candles with them, filling the hurricane vases with the lights. Or, you could intertwine them with your evergreen boughs.
Things to Keep in Mind About Evergreen Boughs
Evergreen boughs will generally only last 1-2 weeks indoors. You can extend their indoor life by keeping them in vases of water, spraying them daily with water, or soaking them in water every few days, although this adds a lot of extra maintenance and fussing for your centerpiece. Spraying them with an anti-desiccant spray, such as Wilt Stop or Wilt-Pruf, will extend their life for a little longer as well.
If you want to use fresh evergreens, you’ll probably want to wait until the week of Christmas to add them to your centerpiece or be prepared to replace them every few weeks with fresh ones. Faux evergreens boughs will make your centerpiece virtually maintenance-free.
Alternatively, you can create one of our designer centerpieces in one of our popular evergreen decor classes! You can either attend your preferred class in person or take home a class kit and follow along virtually. All in-person attendees are required to wear a mask, and classes are limited to 10 people. Each person will be provided with their own table and freshly sanitized tools to use.
Creating your own holiday centerpiece is a fabulous way to get in the spirit and spread a little holiday joy to your household! Visit us in-store for more inspiration, or explore our online holiday store to browse more fresh holiday decor pieces, all handmade by our designers. We offer contactless curbside pickup and free delivery for orders over $50!
Don’t let fall slip through your fingers without taking advantage of everything this season has to offer. We’re getting short on fall days in Iowa, but you’ve still got some time to embrace fall activities, make some memories, and of course, get a few last projects done around the yard.
If you’re short on ideas of what to do, here are a few last-minute strategies to make the most of autumn. It’s not all about work and yard projects; there are a few ideas for fall fun in this list, too, so make sure to take a few breaks and enjoy the best of an Iowa autumn.
If you had some favorite annuals this year that you’d like to have more of next year, save some seeds from them! Most plants are setting seed now, and it’s pretty easy to harvest them. Once the seedheads have dried up and turned brown, you can gather the seed. Be careful with flowers like poppy seeds; it’s best to take a container or envelope right to the plant when you harvest, so they don’t get spilled on the ground.
You can harvest and dry seeds from tomatoes, beans, peppers, corn, cucumbers, squash or pumpkins, spinach, and amaranth in the vegetable patch. In the flower beds, you can save seeds from:
Make sure your seeds dry well and store them in labeled paper envelopes so that you can start them early next spring.
Many of your favorite garden plants, like geraniums and coleus, are actually tender perennials. If you snip off some healthy chunks of young stems, remove a few of the lower leaves, and pop them into moist soil, you can have yourself a whole batch of free plants for next summer.
Create a Pumpkin Container
Make your porch decor a little more interesting by turning your pumpkins into a flower pot—plant things like ornamental kale or chrysanthemums right into your pumpkin. When the frost finally kills everything, you can toss the whole thing into the compost bin.
Go for a Leaf Drive
Take an afternoon and go for a drive in the countryside to check out the gorgeous fall foliage colors. It’s been a spectacular fall, so don’t miss it.
Visit an Apple Orchard
While you’re out on your afternoon adventure, stop by an apple orchard or a pumpkin patch. Enjoy the delicious flavors of the fall harvest, and take home some fresh apples or a few pumpkins for the front porch.
Play in the Leaves
Those leaves aren’t going to clean themselves up. But before you get rid of them, indulge your children, grandchildren, or your inner child, and play in them. There’s nothing like a pile of leaves to toss around and jump in to get everyone laughing.
Amend Your Garden Soil
Ok, you got those leaves raked up, but instead of filling up plastic garbage bags and sending them out with the trash, why not use them to improve your garden soil? As long as you don’t have trees with Anthracnose, you can turn those leaves into one of the best soil enrichments that exists. Mow over them a couple of times to break them up small, and then add them to your compost, or mix them straight into the soil in your garden beds.
This is also an excellent time to do a soil test and see if any other nutrients are missing, so you can add any other amendments if necessary.
Plant Spring Bulbs
Make spring easy and colorful by planting lots of spring bulbs. There are many more options than just tulips, and with just a little effort now, you can fill your yard with beautiful flowers from the time the snow starts to melt until summer flowers begin to bloom.
Plant a Tree or Shrub
Fall is also a great time to add trees and shrubs to your landscape. Just don’t wait too much longer to get them in the ground. Trees and shrubs should be in the ground about 6 weeks before the first killing frost of the season.
Dig out those bird feeders, disinfect them well, and then fill them up for our feathered friends.
Feed the Birds
There are lots of birds starting to arrive on their winter migration journey, and the bugs they eat are getting scarce. Dig out those bird feeders, disinfect them well, and then fill them up for our feathered friends. Consider adding a heated birdbath for them this winter.
Build a New Garden Bed
Do you wish you had more raised beds? Well, now is a great time to build some. They’re quick to build, and getting them done now means the soil will settle over the winter, and you’ll know how much more you need to add next spring.
Have a Bonfire
The yard is cleaned up, the tools are put away, and the season is nearing its end. Celebrate with a bonfire, some hot drinks, and one last session of roasting hot dogs and marshmallows around the fire with family and friends.
If you’re lucky enough to have a backyard or even a patio or deck in Iowa, there are plenty of fun lawn games that you can DIY for some old-fashioned family fun! Stepping out into the yard for some fresh air and a game is a great way to entertain everyone for a little while, and getting outdoors is good for our mental health.
Here are a few DIY backyard games you can create from things you may have around the house. Even if you don’t have the exact supplies, get creative. You can probably cobble together some fun games from old crafting supplies or your recycling bin.
DIY Giant Tic Tac Toe
Ten large rocks
One 12×12″ square board (or cardboard, or lawn paint)
Craft paint, or permanent markers
Draw or paint X’s on 5 of the rocks, and O’s on the other 5. Then draw or paint your tic-tac-toe grid on your board, and play! Tic-tac-toe is easy to scale up in size. If you’ve got some wood cookies, you could use those for pieces and make a larger grid on your lawn.
Six 8-foot long 2×4’s
½ – ¾ inch plywood for the base
Sander & Sandpaper
Wood stain (optional)
Linseed oil (optional)
Jenga has 54 pieces, laid perpendicular to the layer below sets of 3. Since 2×4’s are actually 3 ½ inches wide, you’ll want to cut your 2×4’s into 10 ½ inch lengths.
You’ll want to sand your pieces well; the less friction you have, the better they’ll slide out of the stack. It can also be helpful to slightly round the corners and edges of each block, so they’re less likely to catch.
If you’d like some visual variation, you can stain some of the blocks in different colors. Wiping each block down with a coat of linseed oil will also help them be a little smoother and help prevent slivers.
Jenga is most stable on a flat surface. If you don’t have a level patio, there are a variety of ways to make a base to play on. You can simply cut a 12×12″ piece of plywood to lay on the ground. Or, you could construct a large box or crate out of plywood that can double as a storage container for the Jenga pieces.
Bottle Ring Toss
Nine or twelve bottles (wine bottles are perfect)
Rings (we’ll list a few ways to make some)
Twine, yarn, rope
Spray paint (Optional)
If you’ve got a collection of wine bottles sitting around, turn them into a game! Find a box that they’ll fit nicely inside. A small crate, or a case from wine, or any other medium box will do. If the box has high sides, cut it down so that the edges are level with the top of the bottle labels.
If you’ve got some spray paint around, you can also paint the bottles for some extra fun!
How to Make Rings: There are a few different ways to DIY rings. One way is to wrap old embroidery hoops with twine or rope. You can also craft your rings from deconstructed wire coat hangers. Alternatively, you can carefully cut some rings out of stiff cardboard with a craft knife.
Five or ten soda bottles
Ball (Soccer ball, basketball, or any ball that will roll well and knock the pins down)
If you’re feeling artsy, remove the labels from your bottles, wash and dry them, then add a layer of gravel, sand, or dirt to weigh them down. You want them to be heavy enough that the wind won’t blow them over, but light enough that they’ll fall pretty easy when a ball hits them. Screw the lids back on tight, and if desired, give them a coat of spray paint or paint fun designs on them with craft paint.
If you’re going to play on the grass in your backyard, you may want to mow a strip of lawn extra short so that the ball will roll well. You can also play this game in the garage or the driveway!
While those of us who need to stay home as much as possible, it’s still good to get some fresh air. If you’re stuck at home, spend a little extra time out on your patio or in your yard—now is the perfect chance to focus on some quality time with your family.
Succulents are some of the decade’s most popular houseplants. Since these adorable plants are typically small enough to group into fun arrangements, more and more people are getting crafty to find new and unique ways to display their succulents. One of our favorite looks is the driftwood succulent planter. Whether you’ve collected some driftwood from Iowa‘s lakes and rivers or brought some home from a trip to the coast, these planters are a great way to use driftwood as part of your home decor.
The dry and weathered wood is a perfect match for succulents. It’s very similar to the dry, natural surroundings that wild succulents thrive in. With a few supplies and a handsome chunk of driftwood, you can make your own DIY driftwood succulent planter.
Optional: A drill and a Forstner or spade drill bit, or a Dremel with a cutting bit
How to Create a Driftwood Succulent Planter
Clean up your driftwood. If it’s dirty, rinse off any dirt or sand. If you’re worried about bugs in your driftwood, you can bake it in the oven at 250º for 2 hours. If you line a baking tray with parchment paper, it makes cleanup a lot easier when you’ve finished baking the wood.
Once your driftwood is at room temperature again, decide how you want to position it. Usually, its most stable resting position is best if you’re going to use it as a centerpiece or mantel ornament. If you want to hang it, you can choose whatever angle you like best.
If your driftwood does not have any gaps or holes deeper than ¼”, you may need to make the gaps deeper and wider or drill holes with a spade or Forstner drill bit. Don’t drill all the way through, however. The holes for soil only need to be about ¼-½” deep.
Once you’ve decided where you’re going to place your succulents, glue a thin layer of sphagnum moss into the bottom of those spots. This will help to keep the soil in, so it doesn’t wash away as soon as you water your plants.
Then, fill your gaps or holes with a little bit of cactus potting soil. You don’t need much, but enough to give the succulents somewhere to develop a few roots.
Clean off excess dirt on your succulents.
Decide on your plant placement, but don’t put them in just yet.
Once you’ve decided where you want your plants, glue some more sphagnum moss around the edges of those areas.
Place one or two tiny dabs of glue on the underside of a couple of the leaves of your succulents, and press it into its new location, so the glue sticks to the sphagnum moss.
Continue gluing in each of your succulents. Remember not to cover the base in glue completely, or the plant won’t be able to put out any roots and will die fairly quickly.
Once all your gaps are full of succulents, let your finished driftwood planter set overnight.
The next day, water your succulents with just a little bit of water—you may need a syringe or eye-dropper to get the water in the right place. Remember, succulents don’t need much water.
Congrats, your succulent planter is complete! When you water it in the future, you may want to set it in the sink or on a tray to make sure you catch any drips. If any of the plants die, simply pull them off and glue a new one in its place. If you’d like to hang your succulent planter, you can loop some strong twine, double-looped fishing line, or rope around the ends and hang it however you please.
Ready to make your own DIY driftwood succulent planter? Come on down to our garden center; we’ve got everything you need to get started, including a large selection of fun and unique succulents!
A beautiful Christmas centerpiece adds the final touch of elegance and style to a holiday event. There are plenty of elaborate and expensive ideas out there, but you can easily DIY a beautiful arrangement on your own with just a few supplies. You’ve probably got many of these supplies kicking around your house already, and if you haven’t, we’ve got most of them at the garden center. Swing by and pick up a few next time you’re running errands around Bettendorf.
1. Water Features
You’ll need a glass container, water, and some feature items. Simply add your feature items to a few jars or vases, fill them with water, and arrange them on your table. Cranberries are a beautiful option, but you can use almost any Christmasy thing you like. A few evergreen sprigs, some holly with berries, or even pinecones look gorgeous underwater. You can add a lid and a pretty ribbon if you like, set a floating candle on top, or fill the top with some gorgeous contrasting cut flowers.
2. Highlight the Beauty of Fruit
This delightful centerpiece doubles as an appetizer! Arrange a layer of evergreen boughs in a fruit bowl, and then pile on an arrangement of holiday fruits like apples, pomegranates, clementines, figs, oranges, or pears, and then add a few cinnamon sticks and assorted nuts to finish it off.
3. Mason Jars for Everything
Maybe it’s getting a bit cliche, but mason jars are so dynamic for DIY projects, and they’re perfect for centerpieces. You can fill them partway with white craft sand, Epsom salts, or fake snow, and set small LED candles, pine cones, or small holiday ornaments, inside. Sprinkle a little extra salt or fake snow overtop to give them a dusted look.
4. Upcycle a Wooden Crate or Box
Sometimes Christmas oranges come in cute little wooden crates. DIY them into a centerpiece. Add a 1 or 3 (odd numbers are more pleasing to the eye) LED pillar candles, and tuck an assortment of evergreen boughs, holly and berries, and pinecones around them.
5. Make Birch Cookies
No, we’re not baking anything here. Tree cookies are just a slice of tree trunk a few inches thick, usually with the bark still on. Birch is a beautiful option. You can use a few different sizes and heights and arrange them together on your table. Get a few LED candles, maybe some ribbon, and a few small Christmas ornaments, and arrange them on and around the birch cookies.
6. Birch Pole Bundle
Make a bundle of birch poles or branches about 16-20 inches long. Wrap a pretty holiday ribbon around the middle and make a bow. You can tuck in a few sprigs of evergreens to add a little extra interest.
7. Get out the Spray Paint
A couple of cans of spray paint, in white, gold, and silver (or whatever other festive colors you like) make centerpieces easy. First, collect some fallen twigs from around your yard. Bring them inside and let them dry overnight. Then, spray paint an old tin can or an old wine bottle white. Then spray paint your collected twigs gold or silver. Once everything is dry, tie a festive ribbon around the bottle, arrange the shiny twigs in it, and pop it on your table.
8. Brown Paper Packages Tied Up with Strings
Wrap some small boxes or packages in holiday wrapping paper or brown packing paper. If you don’t have any boxes, tiny painting canvases from the craft store in assorted sizes are perfect. Tie some pretty string or ribbons around them and arrange them with some greenery and pinecones on the table.
9. Mini Wreaths
Small holiday wreaths, 8-12”, are the perfect addition to classic candles. Simply lay the wreath down, add a pillar candle, or three, to the middle, and you have a centerpiece. If you want you can tuck in some extra greenery, holly berries, pine cones, or cinnamon sticks, to fill in any gaps between the candle and the wreath.
10. Upside Down Wine Glass Candle Holder
Choose a few small ornaments, sprigs of an evergreen bough, or pinecones. Turn your wine glass upside down, and set it over your feature ornaments. Then tie a coordinating ribbon around the stem of your glass, and set a candle on the base of the glass.
Whether you forgot to get a centerpiece for the holiday table, or you just want to make your own, there are so many amazing ideas out there. Have a quick look through Pinterest and have a go at DIY-ing something that strikes your fancy. Your friends and family will be impressed when they find out the beautiful holiday centerpieces on your table were designed by you. Don’t forget, tiny twinkle lights make everything better, and since they come with battery packs they’re easy to add to any holiday arrangement.
Gardening is constantly evolving, which is a gift to us gardeners that want to change things up and keep up with the latest new idea. Every year the whole gardening process starts again, with planning, planting, nurturing, and finally the beauty of your efforts in full bloom. Every spring we get the choice of which classics we want to hang onto for another year, and what new styles we’re ready to embrace! Although flower beds are nice, containers are where true creativity has the chance to flow.
Containers for Any Home: Containers can work for anyone from a tiny apartment space with mere square feet on the balcony to rural homesteads with acres of land. They’re the perfect place to experiment without the larger commitment of planting in beds. Best of all, they act like throw pillows for your landscape, accenting here and there to frame the rest of your garden design. As such pivotal pieces in your backyard repertoire, it’s worth taking some time to design what goes into them.
Creating a Container Design: Setting a great foundation is vital to the success of your container garden, so taking a little time to consider the details before you start is important. While these gardens aren’t as high-maintenance as your traditional garden beds, a bit of thought is what takes your container from “nice” to “stunning.” If you want your designs to be the envy of your neighborhood, start by considering the “3 P’s:”
Prepping – Choose the details wisely, starting with your planter. You’ll want something made with durable material, holes for drainage in the bottom, and the right size to give your plant’s roots the space they need to develop. Once you’ve selected the perfect container for your logistical needs (and aesthetic), use some high-quality sterile potting soil to get started.
Planning – Due to the size of your containers, your plants are going to be growing close together. It might seem odd, but this is part of the appeal! It gives them the unbeatable intensity that makes them look so fantastic as accents in your yard! Growing so close means that you’ll want to match plants with similar needs together so they can share the same sun exposure, fertilizer, and watering. Also, consider the shape of the plants and how they fit together. You might choose a tall, statement-making “thriller” as the centerpiece, something with a mounding habit to be the “filler,” and something trailing that adds even more height to your container as the “spiller.” Arrange them all from tallest to shortest from the middle outwards, so you can see and appreciate all the plants and they all receive the sun they deserve.
Planting – Once your container is prepped and planned, it’s time to re-pot your transplants or plant your seeds and give them enough water to get started. Establish a schedule of watering, fertilizing, and maintaining your gorgeous plants and enjoy your growing season of fabulous growth and your design simply glowing.
If you aren’t sure what to plant, there are tons of different looks you can recreate! A quick Google or Pinterest search is bound to turn up some dazzling looks that you can copy or use as inspiration to start. Or you can take a look at some of the expertly curated recipes we’ve put together on our site. We love building our containers as we shop, choosing one plant that we fall in love with and simply can’t go without, and structuring the rest of our container look around that.
The possibilities with container gardens are endless. Here are some ideas for what you can do with your container that ranges from functional to extravagant:
Vegetable Container Gardens: Can you imagine picking your entire salad from one tiny container? Vegetables like tomato, celery, onion, carrots, cucumber, lettuce, and peppers can all be grown together! Choose your salad staples and grow them within grazing distance of the kitchen for the freshest produce all summer, like your own private produce aisle in your backyard! Tuck some marigolds into the container for a pretty boost that does some heavy lifting, repelling pests.
Herb Container Gardens: Herbs are the original container crop, as they’re hardy enough to thrive just about anywhere. Think of your normal spice rotation when you pick your herbs so that you can plant what you use the most of. Your herbs will thrive the more you pull from them for seasoning! Some of our container favorites are cilantro, thyme, mint, basil, rosemary, and oregano. The texture of these leafy plants is delightful to look at and you’ll be treated to a heavy herb perfume every time you walk by.
Flower Container Gardens: This is the classic aesthetic-driven look for containers and we can see why. With thousands of varieties to choose from in millions of combinations, it’s yours to play with the color, texture, style, and look of a flower container. To keep the options simple, we find that the best containers work with about three species, in three different sizes, in three different but related colors. That way you have quite the array of visual effect without getting overly complicated. Try matching flowers to something you fall in love with at the store, or pick up something in one of the year’s trendiest colors or styles for something that is cutting-edge and trendy.
When your containers are established, the options that they hold for your garden are endless. Feel free to move and relocate to refresh your look, and enjoy a patch of intense blooming and life wherever it’s most convenient for you! Containers are the perfect blending of style, convenience, and personal touch. They’re a staple for any backyard, and their flexibility means that there’s something perfect out there for everyone!
Succulent Crafts: Wreaths, Driftwood, and Frames with Succulents
The Ted Lare Look
Succulents are the gardening world’s current favorite, skyrocketing in popularity due to their unique jewel tones and stunningly symmetrical appearance, but solidifying their place as reigning popularity royalty thanks to their versatility. Succulents are absolutely everywhere, and for those of us that crave a little bit of a DIY touch to our home decor, they are the perfect opportunity to get our hands busy.
Here are some of our favorite ways to get crafty with succulents and create lasting living arrangements that are sure to be the centerpiece and talking point of any room.
How To Make Succulent Wreaths: Wreaths aren’t just for the holidays, and you can use this popular style and shape to make a creative decoration to enjoy all year. Most plants would never be able to tolerate an environment growing vertically on display, but succulents have strong roots and are adaptable enough to flourish – even sideways.
Gather all of your succulents and materials before you get started. Make sure that the wire wreath frame you choose is strong and specifically made for planting live plants. From there, there are a few different methods to choose from, depending on what you’re interested in and what works for your home decor:
Burlap and soil: You’ll need burlap, a wire wreath form, cactus or succulent soil, some fibrous material (like coco fiber), a hot glue gun, and your favorite selected small succulents.
Place the burlap liner inside your wreath form, molding it to the shape. Next, you’ll cut a hole in the center of the wreath and trim off the excess burlap, allowing the fabric to extend a few inches past the edges of the wreath. Fill the wreath with cactus soil, packing it in firmly. Cover the soil with a piece of coco fiber or other fibrous material and use hot glue to fasten everything together to enclose the soil underneath. Fasten the back of your burlap ring to the wreath, and you’re ready to plant.
Use scissors to cut holes in the burlap liner to expose the soil underneath, and then plant the loosened roots of your succulents right into the holes.
Sphagnum Moss: If the burlap method sounds too complicated and messy, a sphagnum moss frame is a great way to tidy the process up a little. It’s also the perfect choice for succulent cuttings that don’t have a great root system yet. You can purchase them ready to plant or you can make your own by filling up a tube of nylon mesh with loose moss. Soak your sphagnum wreath in water before you place it in your wireframe to get started.
Poke a hole in your frame through the mesh liner, and make space for your succulent or succulent cutting. Try mixing and matching bigger and smaller plants to create an exciting display full of color and texture. Once you have your wreath planted, you can tidy up the look by inserting some soft moss in the gaps to cover up the form underneath.
Lay your succulent wreath flat for a week or two after you build it so that the roots have time to establish themselves before their gravity-defying trick of growing horizontally. We also suggest laying your wreath flat when you water it, too, for better coverage and drainage.
Easy Succulent Driftwood Planter: Why buy a boring planter when there are perfectly good spots for your succulents in a cool piece of wood? Filling in all of the nooks and crannies of driftwood with succulents and moss is a great, earthy, and natural display piece that will catch the eye with unique forms and shapes to match its succulents.
You can shortcut and simply hot glue the succulents straight onto the driftwood, but giving them something for a base will help them to grow roots and last much longer. Glue some moss to your driftwood first to create a long-lasting display sure to please.
Finish off your artwork by fastening your succulents to the mossy areas – use hot glue, floral glue, fishing line, or craft wire for a secure but polished look. If your driftwood has any deep holes, you can always fill them with moss and cactus soil and plant your succulent straight into your display. Mist your plants to keep them happy and beautiful for longer.
How to Make a Succulent Picture Frame: What’s inside the picture frame is normally the most important part – displaying photos of loved ones and favorite memories to be treasured forever. We love the idea of making your home personal with photos, but your picture frame decor should match what you love! Picture frames and shadow boxes are actually idea homes for your favorite succulents!
For this DIY, you’ll need a shadow box or a glass panel picture frame with the back removed and some wood to make your own shadow box. We like using frames and boxes made of redwood and cedar, as they’re naturally water-resistant and will hold up more to time spent as an impromptu container. You’ll need hardware cloth, cactus soil, succulents, and cuttings – as well as some household tools, like a staple gun, a hammer, and some nails. Cuttings from plants should be given a few days to dry before you replant them, while whole plants can be planted directly.
If you don’t have a shadow box, you’ll be creating one with your picture frame to give your succulents’ roots space to grow. Staple hardware cloth and insert it halfway into the box. You’ll be using this to push the roots of your plants through to keep them anchored, so midway or even at the top under the frame of your box is ideal. A half-inch grid should be enough to accommodate your stems but keep the soil locked in.
Fill your shadow box with cactus soil by pouring it on top of the hardware cloth and sifting it through the openings. Use a pencil to poke holes in the soil through the square holes in the grid and fill your frame up with plants! We recommend starting with your larger plants and moving toward smaller ones to fit them in more nicely next to each other – even if you have a favorite that you want to make sure is on display the most.
Like the succulent wreath, leave your box laying flat for a few weeks to let the roots start to settle and establish – as well as using greenings clips to keep everything in place. When your plants have rooted, you can hang your frame or prop it up on a shelf for a living display to go along with all of your favorite memories and photos.
Succulents in Troughs: For a display that’s a little more common sense and straight-forward, plant your succulents in a trough. They’re still more creative than a normal succulent container display with old planters, but they are more manageable for people that aren’t sure of their DIY capabilities. Choose from wood, terra cotta, metal, plastic, and even cement troughs for your plants, creating an aesthetic that both matches your decor and draws the eye. You can accentuate your darling succulents while still creating a lasting impact in your home’s style.
Once you’ve selected a trough planter, make sure that it is designed for drainage. If it has a solid bottom, you might want to drill some holes before filling with soil and planting or just layer the bottom with pebbles to improve drainage. Then, all you have to do is fill the trough with cactus soil and you’re ready to plant! These are the perfect planters for a tidy and neat succulent planting design to meet rustic style with your fun and unique container.
Once you start to think about the different and unique ways that you can plant beyond regular containers, the possibilities with succulents are endless. These are just a few of our favorite, creative DIY displays we’ve seen people come up with. Creating your own display is a fun craft, and it’s a perfect way to mesh together your personal style and personality with your home decor for something uniquely you.
Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.” -Alice Walker
Terrariums are not just a hot designer trend, they’re also incredibly versatile and easy to add to any home decor! While it can be convenient to find something that’s a perfect fit right on the store shelf, we love that terrariums are just as simple to make yourself, where they are entirely customizable to your aesthetic.
The beautiful thing about terrariums is that they are so simple in concept: a partially or even fully enclosed display for your favorite trending houseplants. The style and contents are entirely up to you, so you are free to create the perfect look for your home and lifestyle.
Terrariums give us all the gorgeous centerpiece aesthetic without the high-maintenance care needs. The only important thing to remember is a terrarium is just like a fancy container – all you need to worry about is watering your greenery enough that it is hydrated but not drowning. It’s all the ease of houseplants, but with a designer upgrade.
Succulents continue to grow in popularity and it’s easy to see why. As cousins of cacti, these plants offer a beautiful aesthetic that is simply irresistible. They combine the simplest of care with gorgeous textures and colors, making them perfect for displaying in a creative terrarium. Plus, they’re slow-growers, meaning your beautiful terrarium will look its best for years!
The trendiest looks: Succulents look amazing combined with rustic or antique terrarium pieces. There’s something about their unique look that makes them the perfect match with a statement piece. We simply adore the look of our favorite aloe, echeveria, rosette, or string of pearls succulents in unique terrarium pieces, like old lamps, bottles, or even more creative displays, like coffee pots and gumball machines.
Create this look at home: Succulents are native to arid habitats so, while they don’t want to dry out completely, it’s very important for them to avoid damp roots. Drainage is the key here, so take advantage of space in your terrarium to layer in drainage pebbles underneath your soil. You can even consider taking advantage of these layers with decorative, colorful sand around your plants!
Succulents don’t like humidity, so they’ll thrive in a partially open terrarium that allows for some fresh air. However, you will want to keep your dainty plants out of too much direct light to keep them looking their best in all seasons for years to come. Since these plants are such slow growers, you can pack them in as tight as you want, without worry, and even finish off your look with bits of decorative moss to fill in the gaps!
Air plants are curious houseplants with a unique look that has made them very popular over the past few years. These marvels of the plant world don’t grow in soil and are found in the wild high above the ground on trees. Instead of using their roots to pull nutrients from the soil, they use specialized pores that take care of feeding and watering. They also have an interesting sci-fi look that make them perfect fits for terrariums.
The best air plant looks: These plants are adapted to living high in the air, so we love to pair them with classic glass terrariums. With such an stunningly alien aesthetic, they are also a perfect pairing with the clean-cut, modern terrariums that feature glass panes and stylish metal shapes. Although the crystal clear style of glass terrariums takes advantage of this plant’s strange ability to thrive entirely without soil, they also pair beautifully with other terrarium or container plants, too.
How to DIY your air plant terrarium: While air plants may seem to thrive off of nothing but the air itself, they’ll still need a little bit of help to thrive in a terrarium. Our homes don’t have the ambient humidity that these plants are used to in the steamy jungles that they call home. To keep them hydrated, they will not only need a regular humidity boost with misting, but they will also need an occasional drink from being submerged in distilled water and biannual fertilization with a mild orchid fertilizer solution.
Fairy Garden Terrariums:
While some terrariums are noteworthy for their unique plants, others make a statement with their cute, DIY design. Fairy Gardens have gained popularity recently and are known for their adorable fairy-themed terrarium displays that are great for kids and dreamers alike. Anything at all can go into a fairy garden, embracing a whole range of plants and decor.
Our favorite fairy garden aesthetics: The miniature scale of a fairy garden transforms regular houseplants into a lush jungle. The idea is to create a container or terrarium that looks like a little fairy home, complete with tiny decorations for an endearing and quirky aesthetic that is so fun to explore when you create and display it. We love the look of some of our favorite tropical houseplants, like ferns, mosses, ivy, or baby’s tears, in fairy gardens, but have also seen some impressive creations that take advantage of flowering plants, succulents, bonsai, air plants, and more.
DIY fairy garden terrariums: The fun of this style is how much you can personalize it. Find a container and little fairy decorations that you love, and fill in all the gaps with your favorite plants. We recommend sticking to plants that enjoy the same conditions since they all have to share the same soil in your terrarium. When you’re creating a fairy garden, choose a terrarium that offers great visibility so your decorations can be enjoyed more. Plant with good drainage and lots of soil, and water according to your plant’s needs. For faster-growing tropical plants, don’t be afraid to keep the scissors handy to keep them down to the size you want in your design.
We can’t blame everyone for suddenly wanting to take these gorgeous plants home – they are simply irresistible and add that accent of natural color and style to your indoor decor. We certainly understand why they’re so popular right now, and are happy to help you bring your own fiddle-leaf fig home without the hassle! Visit us in-store today to pick one up or to learn more.
Terrariums are so popular that everyone wants one in their home and with so many terrarium options for every aesthetic and style, it’s easy find create your perfect fit. Come in today to have a look at all the great terrarium products we have to get your creativity flowing for the perfect terrarium for your home and family.
Ted Lare Design Build specializes in Des Moines Landscaping Design and Installation.
We cover a wide range of Central Iowa. We have installed landscapes for many years in all areas of the Des Moines metro, including West Des Moines, Des Moines, Waukee, Clive, Urbandale, Johnston, Ankeny, Altoona, Indianola, and Norwalk.