McFarland Designs Blog

sapphire engagement ring
 Fair trade sapphire and recycled 950 palladium stacking engagement and wedding rings

moissanite engagement ring
 Moissanite and recycled 14k palladium white gold ring, polished finish vs. hand-textured

castle cut moissanite
Castle cut Forever Brilliant moissanite, recycled 14k yellow gold, and recycled 950 palladium ring

forever brilliant moissanite
Forever Brilliant moissanite and recycled 14k rose gold ring

fair trade sapphire
Fair trade sapphire and recycled 950 palladium ring

chatham alexandrite ring
Chatham alexandrite and recycled 950 palladium ring

palladium wedding band
Recycled 950 palladium band
{ available by special request }
moissanite wedding ring
Moissanite and recycled 14k white gold

two tone rings
Recycled sterling silver and recycled 14k green gold wedding bands
{ available by special request }

moissanite wedding rings
 Forever Brilliant moissanite and recycled 950 palladium wedding and engagement rings

palladium engagement ring
Moissanite and recycled 950 palladium ring

wave wedding band
Recycled 14k white gold 'wave' band

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

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This month's featured charity:

5% of June's gross sales will be donated to Against Malaria Foundation.
Since May 2007, I've raised $104,105 for charity. Thank you for supporting my work!