DIY Fabric Cactus in a terracotta pot. Check out my step by step tutorial on how you can make these cool ornaments for your home! Pattern and instructions included! 


*** This post contains affiliate links ****

Firstly, let me put it out there that is my very first sewing tutorial. So I’m glad that this project has turned out the way I planned. You see, I bought a sewing machine 3 years ago. For the purpose of creating my son’s impromptu costumes for his school plays.  Apart from those occasions, my sewing machine doesn’t get used much.

Since the pandemic, I have been keeping busy upcycling old furniture, garden sets, and creating my own succulent planter. It’s amazing what staying home can make you do eh? I finally had the time to do all those small projects that I have been meaning to do. 

The fabric cactus idea for the newbie sewer

DIY Fabric Cactus
DIY Fabric Cactus
Fabric Cactus In A Terracotta Pot
Tropical fabric cactus

I am not an expert when it comes to sewing. I learned how to sew by watching my mom many years ago. She had one of those old school Singer sewing machines with pedals. Remember those? Seem so ancient now! Anyway, what I’m trying to say is, if you have an idea how to sew, this project is a breeze. All you need is a sewing machine, fabric, stuffing, terracotta pot and some bits to put it all together. 

I have seen these fabric cactuses being sold online. So I thought I’d give it a try, and if turns out well, then I’ll share it with you so you can also make your own. 😊 

Before You Start…

When I first made this I used old fabric to practice on. Thank goodness that I did, because I have made a few mistakes. Which made it better for me to tell you what I have learnt and what NOT to do!

The first mistake  –  my cactus pattern was not wide/big enough. So when I sewed around it, I was left with a stick-thin cactus! Certainly not the look I was going for! Because of that, I redesigned my pattern and it’s now the perfect shape! 

My second mistake – not clipping around the seams. My cactus turned out wrinkly, and the shape was not right along the cactus joints. 

The third mistake – I got far too excited and stuffed all the stuffing without fluffing them out! My cactus turned out lumpy and fat! 

So there you go. Before you start carefully read the steps and try not to rush it. And if you’re a newbie like me then, I would strongly suggest practising on old pillowcases until you get it right. I promise once you have created your own then you’ll be amazed at how great it looks.

Things that you will need

fabric cactus materials
what you will need

Fabric

Ideally, woven variety like linen and cotton is ideal for this project. Avoid shiny polyester or anything that will be too tricky or slippery to sew. I bought my material from Etsy. It’s 100% cotton and will stand well when filled in. I wanted something that looks store-bought, so picking the best material with a nice pattern works well.

Cactus Stuffing

I used a hollow fibre stuffing that’s suitable for toys and cushions. If you have an old pillow you can also use the stuffing from that. 

Terracotta Pot

For this project, I used a 15cm diameter terracotta pot.  You can use any type of pot, just make sure to weigh it down well with small pebbles or sand so it doesn’t fall over once you have placed your fabric cactus in it. 

A plant support stick

I used plant support sticks, however, you can use thin bamboo or anything else that’s sturdy and straight. I use an orchid plant support stick, this is ideal and can be easily cut to size.

Bottle top

Your cactus will need something to stand on. I used a water bottle top and made a hole in the middle. This is where you will place the cactus when it’s done. 

Decorative pebbles or stones

You can get this at a local garden centre or a craft shop. I used white pebbles for my pot.

Step 1 – Download the pattern 

Download and cut my cactus pattern HERE. The pattern comes in two A4 sizes. You will need to print them and join them together as shown in the image below. 

Step 2 – Place the pattern on the fabric and cut around

To make one large cactus you will need around 70cm x 50cm size fabric. Get your fabric and place the pattern on top. Make sure that you have two fabric pieces of the same size with the pattern turned inside out facing each other.

Using fabric pins, place and pin the pattern on your fabric. Again making sure that the fabric is inside out as you will need to sew them together and turn it out. 

Once the pattern is firmly pinned on the fabric draw around the pattern with fabric chalk. If you don’t have fabric chalk then you can also use a pencil. 

Cut around the pattern along the dotted line. Remove the paper pattern but place the pins on the fabric again, taking care that the fabric does not move. 

Step 3

Make sure that your sewing machine is in the right setting. The basic stitch setting is fine. If you are not sure, get a spare fabric preferably the one you will be using and trial sew on that. Check that the stitches are clean and the foot glides well long the fabric. Then you’re ready to sew!

Once you have sewn the fabric together, cut along the fringe of the fabric as shown below. This ensures that the fabric does not crimp once you turn it over. Do it carefully, taking care not to cut through the stitches!  

Get a stick (anything with a blunt end) I normally use a chopstick to do this. Push the stick gently inside the fabric, bringing in the outside. Once you have turned the fabric over, gently push around the edges with the stick until a shape forms. This will make your cactus smoother on the seams. 

Step 4

Get the right amount of filling and fluff them out first. Do not insert filling in clumps. This will make your cactus lumpy. To achieve a smooth pillowy finish insert the filling a little at a time, making sure that you even it out as you go along. Also, take care not to overfill your cactus. Set it aside. 

Make a hole in the bottle top so it’s large enough to fit the width of the plant stick. Get the glue gun and apply glue all over the bottle top and stick it in the bottom of the plant pot. Get the plant stick and carefully insert it in the hole that you’ve made on the bottle top. You can add more glue to fix the stick in place. Allow drying fully before placing the cactus. 

Step 5

Carefully insert the plant stick in your stuffed cactus. Measure the height that you would like it to sit on the pot. Once you’ve decided on the height, cut the stick and make a hole in the bottle cap.

Step 6

Place your cactus on a stick in the terracotta pot. Fill the pot with pebbles. That’s it! Enjoy your homemade fabric cactus in a terracotta pot! 🌵

 

Fabric Cactus In A Terracotta Pot

Fabric Cactus In A Terracotta Pot

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Active Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Easy

Learn how to make your own fabric cactus plant in a terracotta pot. This project is super easy to do and makes a great home accessory!

Materials

  • cactus pattern (download link below)
  • 75cm x 50cm good quality cotton fabric
  • pillow or toy stuffing
  • 15cm terracotta pot 
  • decorative pebbles or stones
  • water bottle top
  • 1 plant support stick

Tools

  • sewing machine
  • glue gun
  • chopstick (or any blunt stick)
  • printer
  • scissors
  • fabric pins
  • fabric chalk

Instructions

  1. Download and cut my cactus pattern HERE. The pattern comes in two A4 sizes. You will need to print them and join them together.
  2. To make one large cactus you will need around 70cm x 50cm size fabric. Get your fabric and place the pattern on top. Make sure that you have two fabric pieces of the same size with the pattern turned inside out facing each other.
  3. Using fabric pins, place and pin the pattern on your fabric. Again making sure that the fabric is inside out as you will need to sew them together and turn it out. 
  4. Once the pattern is firmly pinned on the fabric draw around the pattern with fabric chalk. If you don’t have fabric chalk then you can also use a pencil. 
  5. Cut around the pattern allowing about 1/2 cm of seam allowance. Remove the paper pattern but place the pins on the fabric again, taking care that the fabric does not move. 
  6. Make sure that your sewing machine is in the right setting. The basic stitch setting is fine. If you are not sure, get a spare fabric preferably the one you will be using and trial sew on that. Check that the stitches are clean and the foot glides well long the fabric. Then you’re ready to sew!
  7. Once you have sewn the fabric together, cut along the fringe of the fabric as shown below. This ensures that the fabric does not crimp once you turn it over. Do it carefully, taking care not to cut through the stitches!  
  8. Get a stick (anything with a blunt end) I normally use a chopstick to do this. Push the stick gently inside the fabric, bringing in the outside. Once you have turned the fabric over, gently push around the edges with the stick until a shape forms. This will make your cactus smoother on the seams. 
  9. Get the right amount of filling and fluff them out first. Do not insert filling in clumps. This will make your cactus lumpy. To achieve a smooth pillowy finish insert the filling a little at a time, making sure that you even it out as you go along. Also, take care not to overfill your cactus.
  10. Once you are happy with the amount of filling in your cactus, it’s time to place the plant support stick inside and sew around the fabric. Measure your preferred height by placing the cactus (on a stick) in the terracotta pot. See how it looks, and trim to your desired height.
  11. Get the bottle top and make a hole in the middle. With the glue gun, glue around the rim of the bottle top and place in the middle of the pot. Allow drying for a few seconds.
  12. Once the bottle top is firmly in place, put a generous amount of glue in the hole, and quickly place your cactus on a stick. Hold for a few seconds until dry.
  13. Fill the pot with pebbles and enjoy your new homemade home accessory!

Notes

  • If you are using a patterned fabric, pay attention to the pattern that you want to see, and make sure that the pattern is the right way around.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you make this project?

Tried this project? Please leave a rating, comment or tag me on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest! #ohlalivingdiy

Final Thoughts

I am really happy with how my fabric cactus turned out, and it’s saved me a few bucks in doing my own too. The great thing about this is that you can customise it to your liking. You can use colourful fabric, decorate your pots, add colourful stones, it’s completely up to you! 

If you try this project, please let me know! Even better, you can send me a photo so I can show them off on the blog. 😀 

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Do you like my posts? Subscribe now!

Sign up here to get the latest posts, recipes, DIY and other cool things!

British/Filipina now living in Valencia, Spain. Mum, wife, designer and illustrator. I am also the author of Ohla Living where I share my lifestyle, travel, recipes and creative ideas.

Write A Comment

Pin It
Skip to Instructions
Send this to a friend