How to make a cactus decoration

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The prickly appearance of a cactus gives the plant an uncommon texture. Cacti come in a wide range of shapes and sizes, from the towering Saguaros of the southwestern United States to the small golden barrel cactus, a popular house plant.

Make a cactus decoration serve as party decor for a Western-themed event or use it as a more permanent fixture. You can create a cactus decoration in a number of ways, some of which are appropriate for children.

Wood Decoration

Create a cactus decoration from wood. Using a pencil, trace the outline of the cactus of your choice onto a thin piece of wood such as plywood. Cut out the outline using a scroll saw. Sand the edges for smoothness before painting the cactus with acrylic paint. You can either stick the wood cactus into a pot filled with stones or hang it from the wall. This decoration can adorn a child's Western-themed bedroom or provide patio decor for the outside.

Party Decoration or Craft

Make a paper cactus for a party decoration or a children's craft project. Draw the outline of different shapes of cacti onto a piece of poster board. Cut the cacti out with scissors and decorate them with non-toxic paints, markers or crayons. You can also opt to give each cactus a textured effect by filling in the outline with tufts of coloured tissue paper. If you're making the craft with a group of children, devote an area of the wall for displaying the finished projects and call it a cactus garden.

Styrofoam Cactus

The Making Friends website recommends constructing a cactus decoration using an egg or ball-shaped piece of styrofoam. Use green paint to cover the styrofoam shape and allow it to dry. Paint a paper or plastic cup brown to mimic the look of a terra cotta pot. Fill the cup 2/3 full of sand or pebbles. Place the styrofoam shape into the cup and press it into the sand or pebbles for support. Cut pieces of green craft wire and stick them into the foam to represent the cactus barbs. You can also dye pieces of spaghetti green, then add the small broken pieces to the cactus to act as the barbs. Add decorative effects like a tissue paper or felt flower to the top or a ribbon around the pot, if desired.

Modelling Clay Decorations

Use modelling clay to make a cactus garden for decoration. Create different shapes and colours of cacti by moulding modelling clay of an appropriate colour. To make the barbs, press pieces of toothpicks or wires into the clay. Once it dries, glue each cactus to the bottom of a decorative tray. Fill the bottom of the tray with sand or stones after the glue dries for an added decorative effect.