DIY Light Up Cactus

When Desert Moms blog invited me to do a write up about our All About Cactus Week (coming soon!), I got excited about creating a playspace.  Especially since I had already been thinking about doing Mabel’s first birthday party as a cactus theme – I figured anything I made/used for the theme week, I could bring back for the birthday party.  Win!

First, we cut a cactus out of a large piece of cardboard. I freehand drew it and Dan helped me cut it out.  The originally plan was to use cardboard squares to help it stand up, but with the Christmas lights on, we needed something stronger (which I’ll get to later).

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I used green and white washable paint and had Ava help me paint it.  I mixed the paint a little on the plate before painting the cactus, but not too much – I like the texture it gets when you can see streaks of white come through.

After the cardboard was painted and dry, I used my hot glue gun to attach a large pink flower that I had around the house.  Weeks ago, I had lucked out and found a bag of fake flowers at Goodwill so just pulled one from there – and it works really well!

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Next, I flipped the cactus over and used packing tape to attach a large ruler (just for extra strength and enforcement).  Then I used an awl to poke holes where I wanted to push the lights through. This part probably took the longest.

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After the lights were on, I just had to figure out how to make it stand up.  The original plan I had didn’t work, so I used some of Ava’s wooden blocks and packing tape to create a temporary base.  The weight of the blocks help anchor it to the floor and since I was going to make it stand in a corner, I wasn’t too worried if it leaned backward slightly.

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I’m super happy with how it turned out.  It’s cardboard, so won’t last forever but I love how it looks in the space and the lights are just festive.

See more about our All About Cactus Week here!


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