Crocheted and Painted Succulents

Why hello!

Welcome to my happy place!

I’ve spent several days agonizing over the perfect way to write a first blog post, but all that did was make me anxious about a good intro and unable to focus on the actual content I want to produce.  So I’ve decided to skip the first blog post and move directly into the second, skipping all the anxiety and heading straight into awesome projects.

Without further ado then, here we go!  Tonight I’ve been working on crocheted succulents in tiny pots, with the edges painted to make them look a bit more realistic.

The pots I use for these are simple 2-inch clay pots.  I found them at Wal-Mart for 36 cents, but they are also easy to find at Dollar Tree or hardware stores – anywhere where you can buy seeds and soil, basically.  Here’s a photo; I included my crochet hook for size reference.

The first thing we need to do is make a nice dirt base for our succulent to sit on.  I used dark brown worsted weight yarn and a G hook.

Start with a magic circle, or chain 3 and put the sc into the first chain instead if you’re not comfortable with the magic circle technique.

Round 1: 6 sc in magic circle or first chain. (6)

Round 2: 2 sc in each stitch around. (12)

Round 3: Sc in first stitch, 2 sc in next, repeat around. (18)

Round 4: Sc in each of first 2 stitches, 2 sc in next, repeat around. (24)

Round 5: Sc in each stitch around. (24)

At this point you should have a circle roughly the size of the top of the pot that bulges up on the right side of the piece.

Pull your last loop into a huge one so it doesn’t come out, and set this aside.  I’ve found that it’s a lot easier to sew the succulent to the dirt before it’s finished rather than afterwards.  For the succulent, I used a free pattern by 5 Little Monsters.  However, you can use any pattern you have or have created for a small cactus as an alternative if you wish.  I chose a light green yarn, but any shade of green will be beautiful.

Once you have a succulent you’re proud of and are ready to move on, go ahead and sew it centered on the dirt circle you’ve made.

At this point, we’ll continue crocheting the dirt.

Picking up with Round 6: Sc in each of the two first stitches, then sc2tog across next two.  Repeat around. (18)

Round 7: Sc in each stitch around. (24)

Round 8: Sc in first stitch, then sc2tog across next two.  Repeat around. (12)

Round 9: Sc in each stitch around. (12)

At this point your dirt will be taking the shape of a rounded cone.  Pause here to stuff the dirt.  Make sure you stuff it rather firmly, since that will be what holds the succulent firmly in the pot.

Once you’ve stuffed the dirt satisfactorily, finish up with round 10 by doing 6 sc2tog around, then fasten off, sew the remaining hole shut, and weave in your ends.

It doesn’t matter how pretty the end of the dirt is since it will be inside of a pot, which is always nice.

Now pop your mini succulent into a pot and admire your handiwork!

To make the succulent look a bit more realistic, I decided to paint the edges of each layer.  Some succulents have a purplish edge, and that’s the look I tried to recreate.

Undiluted paint won’t work, since it won’t blend into the yarn.  For my first attempt, I mixed roughly equal parts of water and paint in my SUPER high tech paint cup.  Otherwise known as a styrofoam cup that I cut in half with a utility knife.

The first mixture was waaaaaaay too thick still, though.  When I applied it to the edge of my succulent, it didn’t sink into the yarn at all.

Thankfully I was able to quickly rinse the paint out and try again.  The mixture I ended up using is about six parts water to one part paint.

It should be translucent – you should be able to make out the outline of your brush under the surface.  It’s very thin and watery, so be careful not to drip or splash if you don’t want a tie dyed tabletop.

Don’t be alarmed when you start applying the paint.

It still LOOKS too bright and thick, but as it dries it absorbs into the yarn and blends with the green nicely, unlike my first attempt.  Here’s what it looks like wet.

Once you’ve finished painting and are happy with which portions are covered, set your succulent aside in a place where curious fingers or paws won’t bother it.

It takes a few hours to dry fully, but it’s completely worth the wait.

The difference between wet and dry is astounding, honestly.

Experiment with different shades of green yarn and different shades of paint to see what unique creations you can make!

Interestingly, I used the exact same mix of paint on these two, but the yarn reacted quite a bit differently.

Show me yours in the comments!




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