How to Make Faux Succulents from Pine Cones

Who doesn’t love succulents? Since succulents are so trendy, I thought I’d try incorporating them into a couple of DIYs. What I like most about succulents is that they are low maintenance; however, in all honesty, zero maintenance is even better for my busy schedule. With this in mind, my crafting partner, Thrifty Rehab, has come up with a couple of fun ideas.

Since we had leftover yarn from the Ojo de Dios (God’s Eye) craft we decided that we could use it to spruce-up and add color to some small terracotta pots purchased at the dollar store. Next, we picked up a few live succulents to transplant. We knew the live succulents would be cute in the colorful pots, now we had to figure out how to make succulents that didn’t look entirely fake. Who knew that the perfect solution was right in our backyards…pine cones!

Can you tell the real succulents from the fake? This DIY turned out so cute and could be used for decorating indoors or out. We used ours as a fun and colorful accent for our nacho bar and I plan to give them as gifts. They also make the perfect party favor for a Cinco de Mayo fiesta.

Whether you choose to paint pine cones or transplant real succulents follow these easy instructions and create some for yourself.

Supplies: 

  • Yarn, as many colors as you like
  • Craft glue
  • Small clay pots
  • Scissors
  • 6 to 8 pine cones
  • Paint brushes
  • Acrylic paint (we used FolkArt: Minted Aqua, Italian Sage, Apple Orchard, and Burnt Carmine)
  • Cutting sheers or bypass loppers
  • Rubber gloves
  • Glasses or goggles
  • Newspaper
  • Plaster of Paris
  • Disposable container for mixing plaster of Paris
  • Disposable spoon
  • Hot glue and glue gun

For the yarn pots, spread craft glue on the clay pot and start wrapping yarn around. When you want to change colors, simply cut the yarn and start another color where you left off.

Create the faux succulents, by cutting each pine cone in half with cutting sheers or bypass loppers. Remember to protect your hands with the rubber gloves and your eyes with glasses or goggles. Paint each half of the pine cones with various green colors. Allow to dry on newspaper.

Make approximately 2 cups of Plaster of Paris according to the directions on the package. Spoon the mixture into each pot, allow to dry for at least 24 hours.

When the plaster has dried, paint the solid plaster brown to mimic dirt.

When everything has dried, assemble the faux succulents to the pots with hot glue.

If you like this craft, be sure to collect extra pinecones as we have another faux succulent craft coming up for Mother’s Day. Stay tuned!

Photography by Jenna Sparks & Thrifty Rehab