Clay Cactus Bud Vase

The clay cactus bud vase of your dreams. One of my favorite trends over the last two years or so has been vases with a sense of humor. If something is going to be taking up space in my home, I want it to earn its keep! This little clay cactus bud vase does a great job of reminding me I have a choice to take life too seriously or have a little fun with it. It doesn’t hurt that it’s kind of adorable. I must warn you, though, hauling it up and down the stairs trying to find the perfect place to style it can lead to sore fingers. So be sure to handle your new favorite succulent with care!

Clay Cactus Bud VasesI love how cheerful and unexpected they are, even if they feel a tad dangerous! They aren’t likely to be a great desk accessory if you tend to talk with your hands, but they’re a great place to set your donut down if you need to step away for a moment.

Make this simple clay cactus bud vase using this simple tutorial over at www.aBeautifulMess.comSuppliesSupplies:
-1.75 lb. of white polymer clay (oven bake clay)
28-gauge gold jewelry wire
-scissors
-rolling pin
-wax paper
-copper pipe or similar substitute (pen, plastic straw)

Roll your clayOne box of 1.75 lb. polymer clay will make two cactus bud vases depending on the height you prefer. This particular clay will stay soft until you bake it according to the manufacturer’s directions and will reach its fully hardened state once it’s cooled down. Break your clay into small pieces and start kneading them into ping pong-sized balls. This will help smooth your clay and make it more pliable. Combine a few of the clay balls until you’re happy with the amount you’re working with. You can use a rolling pin to smooth your clay and then roll it into a long tube or roll your clay between your hands back and forth to get an elongated shape. You’ll want it to be at least five inches tall to get the cacti effect. Keep in mind the taller you make it, the more width it’ll need to provide support.

Smooth your fingerprints outYour clay will likely have lots of fingerprints, creases, and nicks in it from handling. Smooth over the major creases and nicks by gently holding the clay in one hand and rubbing your finger in fluid movements over the creases and bumps to smooth the surface. You’ll soon find the right amount of pressure to apply to get the desired result. You’ll also have to keep touching things up in places as you work. My best tip here is to remove your jewelry before you start working to avoid even more indentions.

Add armsRoll another ball of clay into a smaller width and bend it into the shape of a cactus arm. Gently press the base of the arm into the side of the cactus body and rub your finger over the clay to help the clay from the arm adhere to the clay from the body. This requires a little patience, but you’ll figure it out pretty quickly. If you’re having problems with your clay arm staying put, you can always cut some of the wire and poke it into the arm and then adhere it to the body to act as rebar does in concrete. You’ll still need to smooth out your clay for the most pleasing effect. Repeat carefully with the other arm on the other side.

Smooth Out JointsTo smooth out the tricky inner creases, you can employ any smooth surface that is the size of a pen to help in places where your fingers may not fit.

Push Down To Create HoleOnce you’ve finished smoothing out your cactus to the best of your ability, press your copper pipe, pen, or other device straight down into your clay. Do this part carefully as it will slightly compress your shape. Twist it around to help loosen the clay that might be inside the copper pipe and to make a larger opening, and then gently pull it back out. This will decompress your shape if you go slowly enough.

Make sure you pull the clay out by twistingAs this is a bud vase, there won’t be a lot of room for water, but be sure you can get at least 2″ of space for your stem and a little bit of water.

Clip Your WireCut as many snippets of gold wire as you want into 1/2″ pieces.

Add Your NeedlesSpace them out about 1/2″ apart or more all the way around your cacti. As I mentioned earlier, these can be a pain to relocate if you aren’t careful, so leave the underside of each cactus arm free from sharp wire needles so you’ll have a safe place to hold them as you move them around.

Stick them in your pre-heated oven according to manufacturer’s directions for the allotted time. I set mine inside a casserole dish instead of on a cookie sheet for a little more stability and had no problems. Your wire needles should be securely fastened into the clay after it’s been baked. Find the perfect bud, fill it with as much water as it’ll hold, and enjoy the one succulent that will never die on you.

1My favorite thing about polymer clay is that you can literally mold it into any shape you can come up with as long as you’re patient enough to see it through. Not into cacti? Try your hand at a face vase or something faceted and abstract. Your end result is sure to be a keeper! –Rachel

Credits//Author and Photography: Rachel Denbow. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions

  • very interesting post easy to understand, may be useful for me and others thanks

  • Nice post! This is a very nice blog that I will definitively come back to more times this year! Thanks for informative post.
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  • This is really a great stuff for sharing. Keep it up .Thanks for sharing.

  • This is such a gorgeous idea! It would definitely make me smile every time I saw it that’s for sure. Thanks very much for sharing! Jas x
    Jas Poole Blog | photography + lifestyle

    http://jualvimaxmakassar.com/

  • I love this!! I make felt cacti, and THIS would go perfectly with them 🙂

  • Thank you for his article
    I can learn a lot and could also be a reference
    I wait for an update next article

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  • This really makes me wish I was good at this stuff.

    Because I kind of really want a cactus vase now.

    I might try to make one anyway…but I worry it will turn out a little..ahem..phallic.

  • Ahhhh this is too cute! I HAVE to try this out during the weekend! It’s just too cute!

    Rabecca/ http://www.midnightburnout.com

  • So amazing
    http://soldenochedecocrochet.blogspot.com.ar/

  • This is so cool! I am totally making one
    xo
    www.laurajaneatelier.com

  • This is so utterly cute, I love how you recreate the spikes with gold wire!
    https://www.makeandmess.com/

  • This is adorable! I love the white and gold, and all your tools and decor are to die for as well! Seeing your DIY posts always makes me want to revamp my whole room.

    Angelina Is|Bloglovin’

  • This is such a cute idea Rachel!
    Just one question – does the space that holds the water need sealing in any way so the water doesn’t soak into the clay, or is just baking it sufficient?

  • That vase is so pretty! I need to make one asap!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.com

  • This is so neat and fun! I can’t wait to try this. I am redecorating my office right now…and this looks like a fun item for my bookshelf!

  • These cacti vases are so cute and fun! I love the hold needles because they give this a more modern feel.

    -Helen
    Http://www.sweethelengrace.com

  • These are truly to die for. What a clever idea! And I LOVE how you’ve incorporated shine with the little spindles! Love, love, love. I have a huge lump of air-dry clay in my closet that I’m going to experiment with. I see cacti in my future! Thanks for the idea!

  • Having grown up in Mexico, this is adorable! My mom has a cacti garden! 🙂

  • You guys this is plain genius! I love how quirky but totally chic this is. I am totally making this and what perfect timing too since I’m planning to redecorate my room.

    http://annescribblesanddoodles.blogspot.com

  • I feel like if you made a slightly bigger version of this you could use it to hang jewelry and it’d be so cute :). As is you could probably hang a bunch of rings and bracelets easily.

  • This is such a gorgeous idea! It would definitely make me smile every time I saw it that’s for sure. Thanks very much for sharing! Jas x
    Jas Poole Blog | photography + lifestyle

  • That’s awesome!
    I never ventured myself in a clay project yet. I always think that it’s going to look like something made by a child. Not in a good way. =/
    But it made me want to try something. Let’s do this. 🙂
    http://www.loveandeverythingblog.com

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