With just a few basic tools and some left over Halloween decorations, this artful succulent arrangement is surprisingly simple to create. Clicking the blue text below will link you to Amazon for the more difficult to find supplies. Here’s what you’ll need:
- Hollow plastic skull (6 inches or larger)
- Drill and 1/4 inch drill bit
- Handheld blowtorch (a hairdryer on high will also work)
- Razorblade/box cutter
- 4″ x 4″ piece of window screen (optional)
- Handful of small stones
- Cactus and Succulent Soil Mix
- Succulents, of course!
Once you’ve gathered all of your supplies, you’re ready to get started. Our first step is the most difficult part of this craft, but possibly the most fun part, too! You’re going to need your blowtorch and box cutter for this. If you don’t have a blowtorch just lying around, fear not! A hairdryer on the highest setting will suffice–it’ll just take a little longer. Using a pencil, sketch a circle around the dome of the skull. It’s about to get fiery.
Take your blowtorch or hairdryer and thoroughly heat the line that you traced. Take your box cutter, and cut along that line. The plastic should have been softened by the heat. Act quickly though; you want to get this step done before the plastic has cooled off. This will be super easy if you used a blowtorch, but if you’re using a hairdryer, you may need to do this in small sections.
Step 3 (optional):
This step is totally optional, depending on the look you’re going for. If you want a succulent in the eye socket, read on. If not, proceed the step four. Use your blowtorch or hairdryer to heat behind one of the eye sockets of the skull. Once thoroughly heated, cut out the plastic so that you now have a hollow eye socket. Don’t worry if this is jagged looking; the soil and succulent that you plan will cover that up.
Drainage is super important for all plants, but succulents entirely rely on it. These little guys hate soggy roots, so make sure you complete this step. Flip over your newly dome-less skull, and grab your drill. Using a 1/4 inch drill bit, create a series of drainage holes so that water doesn’t get trapped at the bottom of your planter. This will allow for proper drainage and help to avoid mold and mildew issues.
It’s time to prep for planting. We’re going to start out by placing our 4″ x 4″ piece of screen in the bottom of the skull. This will prevent stones from falling through or clogging up the drainage holes. Next, put a layer of stones in the bottom of the skull. Once these are down, fill your planter about 3/4 of the way with soil.
Pick out your succulents! I’ve gotten mine from a friend in Maui who owns his own succulent farm (shoutout to Derek!). Check your local nurseries and markets for succulents and airplants. If you can’t find any locally, you can always order them on Etsy or eBay. Once you’ve picked your selection, get to arranging!
Tips for care:
- Don’t overwater your succulents! Make sure the soil is completely dried out before you water your succulents.
- Consider the environment: succs will grow to the space they’re given, so if you crowd them, don’t expect them to take off in size. If you have just a few spread out in a large pot, they will grow big and strong! Neither option is right or wrong–it’s simply a matter of preference.
- Succulents like sunlight. Don’t keep these guys in a room with the shades drawn, or in the basement. The more light they receive, the more vibrant their colors will become. With less light, you will have less-vibrant colors and long, leggy plants.