McFarland Designs Blog

Today I thought I'd do something a little different. I used to post jewelry making tutorials every so often, and over the years, they have proven to be very popular. As the techniques that I employ in my jewelry making evolved and advanced, the type of work I was doing seemed to lend itself less well to tutorials, and to be honest I haven't had much free time for the last several years, so I haven't posted any in a long time. But lately I have a new obsession - working with succulents! Just a hobby, but a fun way to unwind and enjoy the beautiful summer weather we've had this year. I thought I might try to post a succulent tutorial now and then - please let me know if this is something you're interested in seeing more of, or if you'd rather I stick to my day job. :-)

succulent tutorial

I'm going to share a simple project with serious 'wow' power that any beginner can complete, given some simple materials and 30 minutes of free time - a succulent-stuffed strawberry pot.

You will need:

  • Plants
  • Strawberry pot
  • Potting soil
  • Perlite
  • Trowel or small shovel
  • Bucket or other container for mixing soil and perlite
  • Coffee filter or piece of hardware mesh (optional)

You will need a pot (I used this one, but any strawberry pot will do - for size reference, mine is about a foot tall) and some plants, of course. (My plants came from a few different Etsy shops - SteveSuperGardens, ShopSucculents, and SucculentOasis.)

You will also need some good quality potting soil and perlite (or pumice, if you can find it, in place of the perlite). In a bucket, make a 50/50 mix of the soil and perlite.

I keep a supply pre-mixed under my potting table for easy access. If you prefer, you can use cactus soil instead of this mix.

I like to put a paper coffee filter on the bottom of the pot to keep the soil from leaking out of the drain hole. You could also use a piece of hardware mesh, or a rock, in a pinch - or live life on the edge and leave the hole unprotected (gasp!)...

Next, you're going to fill the pot with your soil mixture to the bottom edge of the lowest planting holes in the pot. Gently water the soil in and add more if it settles.

Now the fun begins! Start setting those little plants in the holes. You can do just one plant per hole, or two if you like a really lush look.

This little guy wanted to tip out of the hole, so I weighed his roots down with a rock to keep him in place.

After you've finished the lowest layer, add more soil until it reaches the bottom of the next-lowest opening, add plants, and continue until you are near the top.

If you happen to inadvertently knock any leaves off while handling your plants, don't get rid of them! You can often use those leaves to grow new plants - for free! (Maybe I'll do a tutorial on that once I have a little more experience on the subject - in the meantime, succulent propagation tutorials abound on Pinterest, if you're interested.) Or if you don't want them yourself, mail them to me! :-)

At this point, it is of course time to fill up the top. I like to combine tall and spiky plants with lower and/or cascading ones for visual interest. The tall/spiky one in my arrangement one doesn't look like much at the moment, but look at the blooms it will display later if I manage to keep it alive!

succulent strawberry pot

Once you've filled in the top with plants, all that's left to do is water everything in and clean up your mess.

Try to position your lovely new creation where it can be admired from all sides, and rotate it periodically to give all the plants even exposure to the sun.

If you found this tutorial useful, please leave a comment, or share on Facebook, Pinterest, or wherever you hang out! And if you're a jewelry lover, please take a look at my work. Thanks!

Moissanite and recycled 14k yellow gold rings by McFarland Designs

emerald engagement ring
 Chatham emerald and recycled 18k palladium white gold wedding/engagement rings
sapphire rose gold
  Fair trade sapphire and recycled 14k rose gold ring
{ custom order; sold }
palladium wedding band
  Recycled 950 palladium wedding rings
emerald engagement ring
  Forever Brilliant moissanite, Chatham emerald, and recycled 14k white gold ring
sapphire engagement ring
  Fair trade sapphire and recycled 18k palladium white gold ring
{ custom order; sold }
recycled wedding bands
  Recycled 14k yellow gold wedding rings
ethical wedding rings
  Recycled 18k palladium white gold wedding rings
recycled wedding band
  Recycled 14k white gold wedding ring
palladium white gold
  Recycled 14k palladium white gold wedding ring
recycled gold bands
  Recycled 14k yellow gold wedding ring
moissanite engagement ring
  Moissanite and recycled palladium sterling silver ring
palladium wedding bands
 Recycled 950 palladium wedding band
rose gold rings
  Moissanite and recycled 14k rose gold wedding/engagement rings
sapphire rings
  Fair trade sapphire and recycled 14k yellow gold ring
{ sold }
sapphire rose gold
 Fair trade sapphire and recycled 14k rose gold ring
{ sold }

moissanite engagement rings
  Moissanite and recycled 14k yellow gold wedding/engagement rings
pink sapphire ring
  Fair trade pink sapphire, recycled 14k yellow gold, and recycled sterling silver ring
moissanite wedding rings
  Forever Brilliant moissanite and recycled 14k rose gold ring
sapphire engagement ring
  Fair trade sapphire, recycled 14k yellow gold, and recycled sterling silver ring
{ sold }
sapphire gold ring
  Fair trade sapphire and recycled 18k yellow gold ring
moissanite engagement ring
  Forever Brilliant moissanite, recycled 950 palladium, and recycled 14k yellow gold ring
handmade moissanite ring
  Moissanite, recycled 14k rose gold, and recycled sterling silver ring
moissanite wedding set
  Forever Brilliant moissanite and recycled 950 palladium wedding/engagement rings
palladium wedding bands
  Recycled 950 palladium wedding band
handmade wedding bands
  Recycled 14k rose gold wedding band
fair trade sapphire
  Fair trade sapphire and recycled 18k yellow gold ring
yellow sapphire band
  Fair trade yellow sapphire and recycled 14k yellow gold wedding band
{ custom order; sold }
rose gold rings
  Forever Brilliant moissanite and recycled 14k rose gold wedding/engagement rings
handmade moissanite ring
 Moissanite and recycled 950 palladium ring

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This month's featured charity:

5% of January's gross sales will be donated to El Centro del Pueblo in Humboldt County, CA.
Since May 2007, I've raised $99,905 for charity. Thank you for supporting my work!