Monday, May 14, 2012

How To Make Your Own Flower Pot Wreath To Plant With Succulents

Here it is again - Monday.  The days seem to have wings and are going at such speed I can hardly keep up.  Since I don't officially go to work any more, I sometimes forget what day it actually is.  Since yesterday was Mother's Day (and a lovely one I might add), I know that today is Monday once again.  I hope you all had a great weekend and a super Monday.

Today, I wanted to share a project that I have been working on.  My friend Karen from high school (talk about a long time friend) recently became a master gardener.  Congratulations Karen!  She posted a picture on Facebook from a website called Two Women and a  It was a picture of a wreath made from flower pots and some of them were planted with succulents.  Be still my heart, I fell instantly in love.  But, sadly it was only a picture and there was no tutorial on how to make such a divine creation.  So, I had to put my thinking cap on and study the picture and figure out a way to make one of these awesome wreaths for myself.  Upon close examination, I could see that the flower pots had been attached with some green wire, like the kind you use to tie up tomatoes and plants.  I knew that glue would never hold them, so that was my first major discovery.  The second issue was they had used what appeared to be a lot of lovely old flower pots that had been painted through the years and I had none of those since we just moved last year.  Most of my pots went by the by as they say, so I had to make up my own "aged" flower pots.  That, I could figure out.  So, it was time to make a trip to the Dollar Tree, my home away from home.

Dollar Tree has packages of 2.5 inch clay flower pots that come three in a package, like pots you would use to start seeds in.  And, they had some 3.5 inch pots that are plastic which I knew I could make work.  I also purchased an 18 inch rattan wreath for $1.00.  Now, all I needed was wire and moss, so I made a trip to JoAnn's.  I got a package of moss for a few dollars and a roll of paper covered wire for a few dollars more.  I have tons of acrylic craft paints in my stash,  so I was good to go.

First, I spray painted the wreath a bronze color because it was a very light blond color and I wanted it to be darker.  I used some left over spray paint I had from another project.  After the paint dried, I set up a work station on our patio table so I could work in the glorious sunshine.  Sunshine inspires me.  I started by applying hot glue to the wreath and pressing moss on the hot glue.  BE CAREFUL when doing this so you don't get burned.
Moss is messy, so I put down a plastic trash back to work on so that clean up would be easier!  If you do this in your house, be prepared to have moss everywhere.  It's just the way it is.  After I covered most of the wreath with moss, I started painting flower pots to give them an aged and weathered look.  I used mostly shades of green, some dark red, aqua blue and white.  I painted and dabbed all over the pots giving them different looks.  Here are a couple of examples.
Some pots were painted with greens, some were white washed, and some have reddish colors.  Don't be afraid to experiment and try different combinations.  There is no right or wrong.  After the pots dried, it was time to wire them to the wreath.  This is the wire I used.
I ran the wire through the hole in the bottom of the flower pot first.
Leave a long piece so that it will fit around the wreath and can be twisted tightly to hold the pot in place.  I started at 12, 6, 3 and 9 for the first pots and then began fitting other pots in between the first pots, making them go in different directions for interest.
You will need a pair of needle nosed pliers to use for twisting the wire.  Doing it by hand just doesn't get the wire tight enough and then you can use the pliers to cut the wire once the pot is in place.  Make sure the pot is very snuggly in place before cutting the wire.

Continue placing pots all around the wreath making sure several are facing "UP" so you can plant your succulents in them.

When all the pots are in place, you can plant your chosen succulents.  Mix some sand with an equal amount of potting soil and place it in a pot.  Add your succulent plant and fill in with the potting soil mixture.  Succulents don't require much water so don't water when potting.  This is how the finished wreath looks up close.
I used 4 different plants.  It's hard to see the dark red "hens and chicks" in the bottom right pot because they are small, but they will get bigger.  I LOVE this wreath.  I hung it on the back of our house under an eave where it won't get rained on.  Rain will destroy the moss on the wreath, so you might want to consider a front door under an overhand or covered porch for a place to hang it.  You could even hang it in a sunny room indoors.  Here is where mine is hanging by the back door that leads out onto our deck.  I have a variety of blooming plants for color, a big boston fern for texture and greenery,  and a lovely little fountain for the sound of running water (which we love).
The wreath just looks fabulous in this grouping.  See how the mandevilla is starting to vine over to the shutter next to the door?  Love, love, love when it climbs up the shutter.

This project takes a little time if you have to paint pots, but if you have a lot of old pots on hand it won't take that long to make.  Just be sure and use small pots so the wreath doesn't get too heavy.  Use your imagination, get creative and have a blast making a wreath for yourself.  Now, I am going to make one for each of our daughter's here in town.  They both have covered porches that will be just perfect for this wreath!  Guess I better get busy.

A special thank you to Karen for posting that inspiration picture!  You might want to check out Two Women and a  It's a great gardening inspiration site.

Everyday Donna

Things to Remember:

A variety of plants makes for lots of interest.  Don't be afraid to experiment.