Cute Upcycled Cardboard Cactus Craft (Includes Free Printable Template!)

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This beautiful Cardboard Cactus Craft is the ideal activity for upcycling any cardboard that you have lying around and turning it into something colorful and creative. It’s a fun craft that will keep you busy for around an hour, and you end up with some pretty home decor to display!

Three clay pots, filled with sand and cardboard 3-D cactus plants, decorated with paint and felt flowers. The text overlay says"Upcycled Cardboard Cactus Pot Craft". Same craft images are featured throughout from various angles, and with different text overlays, unless otherwise described.

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Cardboard Cactus Craft

The full list of materials, tools, and instructions is found in the printable tutorial card at the end of this post. I highly recommend reading the blog post all the way through before starting this project to ensure that you have everything required and understand the steps and timings involved.

This cardboard cactus craft is a great craft for kids and adults alike!

Transform an ordinary cardboard box into a trio of upcycled cacti with supplies including acrylic craft paint, colored pencils, and a set of free printable patterns.

It’s an awesome activity to make with the kiddos. Get creative and use a variety of materials from your recycle bin to spark inspiration.





You could also do some online research on cacti and then draw your own patterns for even more crafting fun!.

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Cardboard Cactus Craft Supplies

Materials & Tools Used in This Craft

For your convenience, I’ve linked any notable materials and tools needed for this project to Amazon below. (It may not include basic crafting supplies such as glue or scissors, as you may already have those.) The complete list of ALL supplies required can be found on the tutorial card at the end of this post.

Cheap Craft Supplies

A great thing about this craft idea is that it’s budget-friendly using supplies you may already have or can be purchased cheaply in stores:

If you’re in the USA, check out your local Dollar Store or Dollar Tree; and if you’re in the UK, the PoundshopThe RangeWilko, and Baker Ross are great places to shop for cheap and inexpensive craft supplies. The rest of the world reading this – I don’t know every cheap store – sorry! But hunt the ones out in your location for crafting bargains!

Cardboard Cactus Plant Craft
Carboard Barrel Cactus

More Home Decor Crafts

Looking for more crafts to decorate your home with? Here are some more for you to check out – right-click and open a new tab to read next!

I’ve shared lots of great craft ideas on The Purple Pumpkin Blog over the years, in fact, there are 100+ crafts to make and do at home for you to try!

Cute Cardboard Cactus Craft
Cardboard Cereus Cactus
Cardboard Cactus in Clay Pot
Cardboard Prickly Pear Cactus

How Do I Make Cardboard Cactus in Pots?

Just check out the how-to card below with full materials, tools, and instructions. Any demonstration photos do not print out to save your ink.

How To Make Cardboard Cactus Plants

Cardboard Cactus Craft

Yield: 3
Active Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour
Difficulty: Beginner

This beautiful Cardboard Cactus Craft is the ideal activity for upcycling any cardboard that you have lying around and turning it into something colorful and creative.

Materials

  • Free Printable Cactus Pattern Template
  • Cardboard Box
  • Acrylic Craft Paint in White, Bright Green, Medium Green, Dark Green
  • Clay Flowerpots in three sizes, approximate diameter - 2.5"/6cm, 3.5"/9cm and 4.5"/12cm
  • Felt Scraps in Bright Colors*
  • Small Rocks
  • Sand
  • Duct Tape

Tools

  • Colored Pencils
  • Black Permanent Marker
  • Glue Gun and Glue Sticks
  • Paintbrush
  • Scissors
  • Pencil

Instructions

  1. Download, print, and cut out the cactus template, making sure to cut the slits. Flatten a corrugated cardboard box or chipboard food box. Trace patterns onto the cardboard with a pencil. Flip-up the cactus patterns to trace the slits.

    Tracing Cactus Pattern
  2. Cut out all the cactus patterns with heavy-duty scissors. Double cut the slits to the width of your cardboard. Then slide both pieces together to make sure the cactus shapes fit.

    Cutting Cactus

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    Fitting Cactus Pieces Together
  3. Basecoat the smallest clay flowerpot completely with white acrylic craft paint, let dry. Paint the medium size clay flowerpot top, leaving a one-inch section natural at the bottom. Basecoat the largest clay flowerpot bottom, leaving the rim natural. Let paint dry, and apply a second coat, if necessary.

    Painting Pots
  4. Paint all sides of the Prickly Pear Cactus pattern pieces with medium green acrylic craft paint. Basecoat front, back, and sides of the Barrel Cactus pattern pieces with dark green acrylic craft paint. Paint all sides of the Cereus Cactus pattern pieces with bright green acrylic craft paint. Let paint dry, and apply a second coat, if necessary.

    Painting Cactus Parts
  5. Doodle designs onto the clay flowerpots with a permanent black marker. Think modern patterns like triangles, scallops, and a mix of horizontal and vertical lines.

    Decorating Pots
  6. Once dry, lay all cactus pieces flat and draw needle patterns on each cactus with different shades of colored pencils. Assemble each cactus, securing all pieces with a small dot of glue from a glue gun.

    Drawing Detail on Cactus

    Finished Cactus Pieces
  7. Trace flower patterns onto brightly colored scraps of felt, and then cut them out with scissors. Attach the flower layers together with a glue gun and glue sticks, pinching in the center to create dimension. Then attach the flowers to the top of the cactus.

    Making Felt Flowers
  8. Apply a piece of duct tape to the hole at the bottom of each flower pot.

    Sealing Pot Holes
  9. Fill with rocks and sand.

    Filling Pots with Rocks & Sand
  10. Finally, “plant” the upcycled cardboard cactus into the pots and display them where desired!

    Completed Cardboard Cactus in Pots

Notes

  • *You can use colored paper or craft foam if you prefer.

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