noelle o designs

creativity + sewing + upcycling inspiration

family, garden, projects, tiny

making a succulent planter

succulent planterI’ve been meaning to put together a succulent planter for a few months now. I got the fairy accessories- mushrooms, pavers, bench, ‘tip-toe please’ sign from Plum Scrumptious at Beehive Bazaar in early December, I’ve been waiting for the crazy of Christmas to slow down so the kids and I could finally put something together.

packing peanuts in plantersSince it’s 3 degrees outside, the finished product must fit indoors for at least part of the year. I’ve been picturing it on a table so after quite a bit of searching around I found a lightweight plastic pot that looks ceramic, but isn’t too tall or too big for a tabletop.

To keep the whole project under 10 lbs. and easy to lift, I filled the bottom half of the pot with packing peanuts, leaving 6 or so inches for dirt and the plants.
**Packing peanuts in the bottom of a large container is a great idea for outdoor planters you want to keep moveable.

cut up a t-shirtI cut up an old t-shirt to create a layer between the packing peanuts and dirt. Probably not essential but it might keep things tidy if I decide to change it up later.

cover with fabric in planterCover the packing peanuts with the fabric.

use packing peanuts in potsLayer the dirt right on top of the fabric. I live in a very dry climate so I’m not worried about the water seeping down into the packing peanuts and growing moldy. In a more humid, moist climate this might be a problem to be aware of.

succulent gardenWith gloves on the hands, we started putting in the plants, adding and packing dirt as we went.

succulent fairy gardenAll the accessories and plants barely fit, but somehow we pulled it off. As you can see, there is definitely a back and a front side – there just wasn’t anywhere else the tiny bench would fit.

succulentsThe kids carefully arranged the walkway, mushrooms, fairy bench and signage, watching them was like watching a game of Operation (where you try to remove the game pieces without touching the sides and getting buzzed). Still, there was the occasional, “Ouch!”

cactus planterThen it was time to find a few visitors- the Polly Pockets were dressed in their best fairy dresses and invited in.

When the 14 year old walked by and saw a fairy laying on the bench he said, “What is she, homeless?!”

And that’s the best part… creative interpretation. I have no doubt the Legos will be invited to the garden- they can appreciate a slightly dangerous adventure.


  1. cuteasabutton82

    January 7, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Wow, that’s such an amazing idea! I can imagine hours of fun arranging different characters in that garden (very carefully of course!) 🙂

    1. NoelleOlpin

      January 7, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      Having to be careful is just part of the adventure! I can’t wait to see what the youngsters come up with!

  2. kalamitykelli

    January 7, 2013 at 6:07 pm

    I love this sweet little planter! My Nana loved to plant succulents and had them everywhere. Goodness, you are a woman of many talents, sewing, crafting, cooking, gardening. You are a regular renaissance woman!

    1. NoelleOlpin

      January 7, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      Planting is one thing, keeping the plants alive is a whole other story. Wish me luck!

  3. godscharacter

    January 13, 2013 at 5:13 am

    This looks like something my son and I will enjoy doing together. Now when will I get to the store to buy the supplies I need? Thanks for this idea!

    1. NoelleOlpin

      January 14, 2013 at 8:57 am

      Depending on your specific project, you will need: 3 to 4 small plants, potting soil, a planter, fairy goods (available at and packing peanuts and a scrap of fabric if you want to lighten up the project.
      Good luck, it’s a fun project with kids!

      1. godscharacter

        January 14, 2013 at 3:04 pm

        Thanks. I definitely am going to make one in the next few weeks. They also looks like they would make nice gifts for family.

        1. NoelleOlpin

          January 15, 2013 at 8:44 am

          What a great idea! And succulents are so easy to take care of! I think you’ve given me a great idea for family gifts next Christmas, birthdays…
          Clever- thanks!

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