Creating a Happy, Colorful, Handmade Home & life on the shores of lake superior

December 5, 2017

DIY Mini Potted Plant Holiday Ornament

DIY Mini Potted Plant Holiday Ornament

Even though I don't put up a Christmas tree, I am smitten with Anthropologie's ornaments this year - like this one that looks like my puppers and this very beachy jellyfish ornament.  One in particular caught my eye and even inspired a knock-off DIY: this little potted plant ornament.


Isn't it the cutest gift for someone with a green thumb?  Years ago I thrifted four mini terracotta planters for an abandoned dollhouse project, so I decided to make a set of little potted plant ornaments of my own!

Potted Plant Holiday Ornament
DIY Mini Potted Plant Holiday Ornament

It took a little bit of trial and error - and in the process I accidentally smashed my fourth potted plant (another leafy one, in an unpainted terracotta planter).  But they turned out so cute, it was definitely worth the effort!

Homemade Ornament Idea - Potted Plant

Here's What I Needed:


How to Make a Faux Mini Potted Plant:

The first step was easy: I decided to paint two of my terracotta pots with some pale blue chalk paint.


The next step was to try and replicate the look of soil.  I made a lot of failed attempts here, but I'll tell you what worked.  I had a massive bag of black glitter from when I painted my vinyl flooring because I ended up skipping the glittery topcoat I had schemed, so I was looking for an excuse to make a dent in my epic glitter stash and glitter really replicated soil so well.

To contain the glitter, I glued a small circle of cardboard inside my planter to block the hole and keep glitter from escaping.  For the painted planters, I added a dab of paint to hide the cardboard, but that's optional because no one will see the bottom.


Next, I filled the pot with black glitter.


I would have liked to have used resin to secure the glitter and "plants," but it is so expensive!  Instead, I found a two-part epoxy at the dollar store.  It works and smells like the brand name epoxy we often use for projects, but a lot less expensive.  With my pots filled with glitter, I poured the epoxy on top and stirred it around using a toothpick.  While the epoxy was setting, I inserted some small stems clipped from some faux plants my Mummu had in her craft supply.  It required some patience to hold the stems upright while the epoxy dried but eventually the epoxy had thickened enough to keep the  plants upright.  With the epoxy still tacky, I sprinkled on another layer of glitter and set it aside to cure overnight.  In the morning, I poured off the excess glitter and was thrilled with the result!

DIY Gifts for Green Thumbs
DIY Potted Plant Ornament
Anthro Holiday Ornament Knock Off

Another idea could be to stuff the planter with a cork, or really anything you can firmly glue in there, and then just brush on some mod podge or exoxy and dust with black or brown glitter - or maybe stuff it with some air dry clay and paint it black.  There are lots of options but I used what I had on hand to save some $$$.  Plus I love the glitter, especially the way it settled just a bit with the epoxy the way soil does after you water a plant the first time after potting it.       

To hang the plants, I used a hot glue gun to secure some thin ribbon and make little slings.  If I was more patient, I might have made mini knotted macrame plant hangers - that would be really, really adorable.

DIY Mini Potted Plant Holiday Ornament

And that's it!  There are lots of ways to personalize this DIY tree ornament, from painting a design on the pots, to making pots out of found objects.  It's the perfect project for using up craft scraps!

P.S. If you're looking for another easy DIY Christmas Tree ornament idea, take a look at my glittery spider ornaments and read the legend to find out why every tree needs a spider...
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4 comments

  1. I love your mini diy projects, looking forward to more pre Christmas.

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  2. Was it really 2012 when you wrote your "Why I don't celebrate Christmas" post? Seems like yesterday. I so appreciated your gentle and ethically moving statement at the time that I went back and read it again just now! Yes, I'm still a non-evangelical person of quiet Christian faith, who at this point lives with a mother who is quite fiercely NOT religious. What saddens me is that the stresses of Christmas consumerism have been so ingrained in her that -- even though she has dementia -- she obsessively worries about gift-giving at this time of year. I assure her that we aren't giving gifts this year, just having happy visits with family, but the new information doesn't stick. Your little decorations may be just the thing to distract her, and may give her something she can give to others. Here's hoping! We all need peace and acceptance more than we need "stuff"! Best to you, Tanya.

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    Replies
    1. I know - I had to double check that date too! In previous years I've done some wintry decorating but this year I wanted to get back to my roots and I haven't done anything but these little guys and I also pulled out my felted Tomte. I really pared back again and it feels good. I feel calm while everyone is stressing! I do have one more little craft but that's probably it. I'm so sad to hear your Mom has dementia and that the holiday season has sparked some stress and worry for her. Maybe baking some cookies for gift giving would help too? I've seen so many gorgeous packaging ideas on Pinterest - she might find some relaxing joy in baking and wrapping some treats? I am hoping you both have a happy and peaceful holiday season.

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