Succulents have become a sensation for gardeners everywhere and are even known as a staple in all types of home decor. This DIY article will help you create your very own living photo to hang anywhere – outside or inside. Check out this tutorial, created by Better Homes & Garden.
1. Getting the Materials
To start, you’re going to need an old photo frame, another plain wood frame for the shadow box, some wire, and of course, some succulent cuttings.
2. Prep Your Cuttings
For this backyard project, you do not need to go buy a ton of succulents. If you have any already growing, don’t be afraid to cut off some small clippings. Succulents are incredibly resilient and will be able to sprout roots easily. Try leaving your cuttings out overnight to help them develop their stems – don’t worry if they get a little dry, that’s completely normal.
3. Add Your Shadow Box
For this, you’ll want to use naturally water-resistant wood like redwood or cedar. Create another box to give your frame depth and secure it on the backside of the old frame. This will give your plants space to grow and put down roots. Be sure to nail or screw it securely to the frame.
4. Place Your Wire Grid
Using a 1/2 inch wire grid, lay the hardware cloth inside your shadow box above the frame. Secure the netting by using staples. This small grid will hold your potting soil in place and still allow for your succulents to grow.
5. Create a Backing
For this, you’ll want to use thin plywood (think 1/4 inch or so) and make sure it is cut to fit on the back of your shadow box. Nail or screw it down into the wood to keep it in place.
6. Fill with Your Potting Soil
Slowly pour your potting mix onto the hardware cloth. To get the soil to settle and even distribute, you’ll need to occasionally shake your frame a bit. Continue to add soil until it reaches the wire grid.
7. Fill in Your Plants
Next, using a pencil or chopstick, poke small holes into the soil for your clippings. Gently place your succulent into the soil until the leaves are touching the hardware cloth grid. Be sure not to press too hard so as not to harm the succulents.
8. Get Creative!
Half the fun of this project is creating a unique design made entirely by you. Do whatever looks and feels best, and try not to worry about completely filling all of the holes. Leaving a little bit of space will give your succulents room to grow.
9. Enjoy Your Living Photo
Voila! You’re all finished! Now that you’ve completed this amazing and beautiful frame, protect it by keeping it out of direct or harsh sunlight. You’ll want to keep your frame flat for 1-2 weeks while the cuttings begin to take root. Be sure not to overwater your succulents and only to water them once a month.
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source: Better Homes & Gardens