I had been keeping my eye out for succulents all spring. Not the obvious itsy-bitsy potted variety sold for $2.99 at Home Depot (which of course I want all of because they’re so tiny, cute, and full of potential), but the more difficult to find faux breed. You know, the ones that you’re more likely to find buried in a pile of faux-hydrangeas and faux-ivy vines at your local faux-loving craft shop.
The whole reason for this wild-faux-hunt? I was going to try and make a wreath decorated with the plants. (And also write a post testing how many times I could use the word faux.)
The collection started small and grew slowly at first:
Part of the reason it took so long to collect is that I was gettin’ my thrift on by only using those little 40-50% off coupons for A.C. Moore, JoAnn’s, and Michaels, and then comparison shopping between the three stores to find the most realistic looking plants at the most reasonable price. At my stores they weren’t even in great supply, and I only found 5-10 pieces to pick from at any given time, and sometimes were damaged, discolored, or just plain weird-and-not-naturally-in-NY-faux-looking.
If you’d like a little product/store comparison:
- JoAnn’s lines were phenomenally overpriced, had less of a variety, but were in turn heavier and seemed more durable.
- Michael’s were less expensive, plentiful in breed, and still looked reasonably good, albeit a lighter, and less likely to survive a drop from a 2-story house kind of material (not that I might accidentally launch one out my bedroom window anytime soon).
- (And I never went to A.C., I just used their coupons at Michael’s when I needed to, since they accept competitor discounts after all.)
I lucked out last time I was at Michael’s because the line of succulents I had been slowly buying went on sale – 50% off each. I couldn’t use the coupons on top of that discount, so I bought up as many as I could of the $2.99 variety; each plant was then marked down to $1.49 and I left the store with enough faux-succulents to get started on my project.
Noteworthy bonus: Many of my stems had 3 separate small faux-succulent heads, meaning it was like a 3-for-1 deal-io; the smaller pieces acted for nice filler between the bigger faux-guys.
The wreath I had planned to use all along was free; Mom and Dad have a plethora of grapes on their property and make dozens of wreaths a year accidentally as they prune and clean up the vines.
I started by clipping all of the succulents to have a short stem (between 1″-2″, there was no rhyme or reason). There was a metal wire through the stem, so wire cutters did the trick easily. Using a thin gauge wire that I had on hand, I cut many pieces about 4″-5″ long (again, no methodology) and wrapped one end around the base of the succulent head. The way the stem was affixed to the plant, I was able to pretty tightly wrap the wire with needle nose pliers.
From there, I began securing the succulent stems to the wreath – the wire and stem went through the wreath, and the wire was wrapped securely around a piece of vine to position the succulent head in place and still keep the wires hidden.
I clumped the faux-plants tightly together, and alternated placement of the smaller heads, bigger heads, and the varied colors too.
The wreath came together very quickly – the project from beginning to end only took me as long as it took to watch an old 30 Rock (I’m still way behind on my DVR programming).
I didn’t fill the whole wreath, because I wanted some of the natural wreath to be exposed and keep the faux-pieces nestled tightly; I think it worked out pretty well and looks balanced.
I hadn’t planned for the purples in some of the plants to complement the door so nicely, but they do. I really like this wreath on the front of the house for summer; the greens are fresh, and truthfully, the plants themselves don’t look very fake, especially from the road.
And, because the wreath and wire were already something I had on hand and the faux-succulents were all bought at discount, I doubt that I spent more than $12 on the whole project. Not shabby for something that will hopefully last awhile.
Faux, faux, faux (for good measure).