DIY Artwork & Wall Decor DIY Fall Projects DIY Projects - All

DIY: Hanging “Succulent Garden” Made With Pistachio Shells

Yesterday I was torn between making a piece of artwork to hang on the wall with my pistachio shell flowers, and a wreath for my front door.  So, I ended up making a piece of artwork that is currently hanging on my front door in lieu of a fall wreath.  It’s the best of both worlds!  😀

It’s dark and rainy outside so I didn’t get the best pictures this morning.  For now, these will have to do.  I have the best intentions of getting better pictures when the weather clears up, but in reality, you probably shouldn’t count on it.  🙂

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There are lots more pictures at the end, but let me show you how to make this hanging succulent garden.

If you make one this big, you’ll need lots and lots of pistachio shells.  I saved the shells from five or six 8-ounce bags of pistachios.

To make the flowers, start with three shells and glue them together with your hot glue gun like this…

Now you’re going to start adding shells and building out by gluing shells directly to that.  Just add hot glue around the bottom edge of the shell as shown here.

And then glue them to the first piece you made.

And basically, you just keep adding and building outward until you have a flower that is the size you want it.  So you’re not gluing the shells to a base of any kind.  You’re gluing the shells to each other.

After making several flowers, I finally realized that it was easier to make the middle section, and then add a dot of glue to the bottom and attach it to a piece of wax paper.

Then build the flower by turning the wax paper.  This keeps your work surface clear of any hot glue drips, and keeps your flower from sticking to your work surface.  When the flower is complete, just rip off the wax paper from the bottom.

Your finished flower will look something like this…

Make as many as you need to fill up your “canvas”.  I just used a piece of 1/4″ plywood for my “canvas”, and mine ended up being about 15″ x 17″.  Of course, it takes FOREVER to make that many flowers, so just be aware of that.  This is a good project to spread out over a few days, and just make a couple of flowers each night while you watch your favorite show on t.v.  I like to call these projects “Netflix Projects”.  🙂

When all of your flowers are made and the glue is completely cooled, the flowers are ready for their dye bath.  I used powdered Rit fabric dye in four different colors, and I left the flowers in at varying lengths of time.  Obviously, the longer you leave them in, the more saturated the color.  I did have a couple of shells detach during their bath, but that didn’t happen much.  My flowers stayed pretty well intact during their dye bath.

My flowers that are very light in color were left in about 30 seconds, and then turned upside down on paper towels for about 20 seconds, and then turned over (right side up) and misted with a spray bottle filled with water.  The ones that are more saturated were left in the dye bath for about three to five minutes, and then placed upside down on a paper towel for the excess to drip off, but I didn’t mist those with water since I didn’t want the color to get diluted.

You can see the difference in this picture below.  The flower on the top row on the right is dyed with the same teal dye as the flower on the bottom row second from the right.  The difference was the amount of time, and the water misting that the light one got after its dye bath.

With all of your flowers finished, prepare your “canvas” by gluing the backing of your choice.  I used this light brown moss stuff that I got from Michael’s.  Be sure to leave the edges free since those will fit into your frame.

Now go ahead and put the frame on (I just made a very simple frame from moulding I found at Home Depot, and then stained it with Minwax Dark Walnut stain), and begin arranging your flowers.

As you do this, you might find that there are holes that need to be filled.  I ended up having to make four additional small flowers (in the top left corner) to fill empty space.

Then you’re ready to hang your garden.  Because I wanted to hang mine on the front door like a wreath, and because I love big loopy, saggy bows, I cut strips from an extra canvas drop cloth, and dyed it with some of the leftover yellow dye that I had used for the flowers.

I just love these little flowers.  At a glance, they really do look like they could be real succulents (which I realize aren’t flowers)…until you realize that these succulents don’t come in bright orange, teal, and yellow.  🙂  And my green is even off.  But that’s okay.

This one is my absolute favorite.  It got a bath in the teal dye for about 30 seconds, and then got a pretty good shower with the spray bottle.  I love the subtle aqua color.

I’m very pleased with how my little “succulent garden” turned out.  The best thing is that I won’t be able to kill this one!!  That’s the best kind of garden ever!



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100 Comments

  • Reply To This Comment
    Molly @ Wicked Cheap
    August 21, 2012 at 9:34 am

    OMG those flowers are FANTASTIC. I’m sad I don’t like pistachios now….I’ll have to start making my boyfriend eat them constantly 😉

  • Reply To This Comment
    Michele Webb
    August 21, 2012 at 9:41 am

    WOW, Wow, Wow, Wow WOW!!! That’s all I keep saying as I am scrolling down looking at how this turned out!! I am on my way out to get goodies from Wally World, and I will be buying LOTS of Pistachios! If I can only convince my hubby to save the shells when I pack them in his lunch! I guess I had better make some really CUTE notes to attach to the full baggie, and then add another to the empty baggie for him to put them in!!! Can’t believe how BEAUTIFUL this turned out!!! MUST MAKE SOON!!! GREAT job on making this “community” craft project!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jennifer
    August 21, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Great job!! Looks fabulous.

  • Reply To This Comment
    ChrisE
    August 21, 2012 at 9:47 am

    I was hesitant when I saw the title, but this turned out gorgeous!!! Beautiful work and so creative!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    TKraft Art & Interiors
    August 21, 2012 at 9:59 am

    So creative! You’re right – my first thought when I saw the photo was to ask you if they’re real or fake – faux to the max. Very funny how you call these projects “Netflix Projects”

    • Reply To This Comment
      Janie
      April 19, 2019 at 11:13 am

      These are fabulous ….
      I am going to mix mine with the pine cone flowers ….

      Thanks so much for the GREAT idea

  • Reply To This Comment
    gail
    August 21, 2012 at 10:19 am

    that is fantastic, great job!

  • Reply To This Comment
    brandi
    August 21, 2012 at 10:28 am

    Goodness gracious, that’s amazing! WOW!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Vidya @ Whats Ur Home Story
    August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

    This is really cool. What a creative idea! Totally pinning it.

  • Reply To This Comment
    humeira
    August 21, 2012 at 11:47 am

    awsome realyyyyyyyyyyyy beutiful and pretty

  • Reply To This Comment
    haniela
    August 21, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    These are gorgeous, what a cool use of shells!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kim @ Sand & Sisal
    August 21, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    Kristi, you seriously outdid yourself this time! Talk about re-purposing an item!! Wow! I’m so impressed, and the results are just gorgeous! That is truly a piece of art! (I loved it so much I pinned it, tweeted it, and posted it on my FB page!).

  • Reply To This Comment
    Linda @ Fingers in the Dirt
    August 21, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    You are SO much smarter than I am! I’m still waiting for my #$#% succulent cuttings to root and grow big enough that I can hang my succulent frame without all of the dirt falling out!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Erin's Creative Energy
    August 21, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Great job! I love how it turned out.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Amanda
    August 21, 2012 at 5:40 pm

    I LOVE THIS and I’m totally making one myself – only I don’t like pistachio’s, so I guess my husband is going to have to eat a lot of them. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Britni
    August 21, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    Kristi, you are a flippin’ genius! This is AMAZING! And I’m so using your idea and making one for myself. I’ve been wanting a hanging succulent garden but knew a real one wouldn’t do so well in my house 😉 I’m so excited to try this! I’m sharing it on FB and pinning 🙂 LOVE it! Thanks so much for sharing!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jean
    August 21, 2012 at 7:22 pm

    You did it again! That is beautiful!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kathy
    August 21, 2012 at 7:38 pm

    That is SO STINKIN’ COOL!!! LOVE it! Now I need to start saving our pistachio shells! LOL!

  • Reply To This Comment
    lori jones
    August 21, 2012 at 7:41 pm

    wow these look GREAT!! and the light colored teal ones look like the real thing,at least on my moniter they do.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ve
    August 21, 2012 at 8:06 pm

    You’re just amazing. Have we told you that lately?

  • Reply To This Comment
    Barbara @ DIY Home Staging Tips
    August 21, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    Dynamite! Only you! Thank you for encouraging us to stretch our imaginations. A fertile mind and the willingness to put in time, delivers once again.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Darla
    August 21, 2012 at 8:42 pm

    Wow! What an inspiring project–it looks so fabulous! Kudos to you!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Michelle
    August 21, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    Thank you so much for your detailed tutorial! For once, instead of just pinning a project and never getting around to doing it, I actually started this one. I sat here with this in front of me and have finished four flowers now. Thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Tammy
    August 21, 2012 at 10:34 pm

    I am loving this!!!!! this is so Beautiful! I love succulents…this year I went crazy using succulents. This is a must do….

  • Reply To This Comment
    christine from decorated life
    August 22, 2012 at 2:48 am

    That is just amazing.. love it! And it looks fantastic.. you always have such great ideas! Thanks

  • Reply To This Comment
    Alex
    August 22, 2012 at 5:25 am

    Brilliant…I like your moves! Certainly the best of both worlds then when you’re finished with hanging it on your door you can move it to your wall!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jayne
    August 22, 2012 at 7:04 am

    OMG! So gorgeous, what a brlliant idea 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Runt
    August 22, 2012 at 7:32 am

    Ahhhhh!!! That looks fabulous!!! I’m so jealous. I am going to buy pistachios NOW!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Bliss
    August 22, 2012 at 8:44 am

    That is one of the best fool the eye I have seen, plus it is darn cute. Awesome job, tedious, but awesome!

    ~Bliss~

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jasanna
    August 22, 2012 at 9:43 am

    I love this! It’s gorgeous! Totally want to make one! 🙂

    http://munchtalk.blogspot.com/

  • Reply To This Comment
    Make a Hanging Succulent Garden from Pistachio Shells | Dollar Store Mom Frugal Fun – Crafts for Kids
    August 22, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    […] from Addicted 2 Decorating created a hanging succulent garden from pistachio shells and fabric dye. I don’t know how she thought of this, all I know is she is the crafty hero of 2012 as far as […]

  • Reply To This Comment
    Michelle L.
    August 22, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    Kristi, that is insanely gorgeous! I love it to teeny tiny bits! Wonderful tutorial and pics, too – thank you!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Sue
    August 23, 2012 at 7:00 am

    Beautiful! I love the simplicity of the flowers and the colors are perfect for autumn. Using the frame instead of a wreath is genius! Love it! Evidently, I’m not the only one: http://dollarstoremom.com/

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jenn
    August 24, 2012 at 11:06 pm

    What a cool and original piece of art! I had no clue they were pistachio shells from the photo!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Just Jaime
    August 25, 2012 at 8:49 pm

    SO impressive!!! Wow!

  • Reply To This Comment
    [email protected] Boppy
    August 26, 2012 at 9:42 am

    Your creativity never ceases to amaze me! This is positively exquisite! What a beautiful piece of “succulent” art you’ve made, and you never have to water it! 🙂 That’s even better!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Debbie
    August 27, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Wow!!!! Incredible and they look so real from a distance! What a creative project! I love this!
    Debbie 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
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  • Reply To This Comment
    Camille
    August 27, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    what a cool idea however I would “kill it” where I live because all that glue would melt in the sun/heat!! lol maybe for a inside door??

  • Reply To This Comment
    Mark E Tisdale
    August 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    That looks like SO much work, but the end product is so beautiful! Well done!

  • Reply To This Comment
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  • Reply To This Comment
    maws
    August 28, 2012 at 7:41 am

    what a great idea 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Hookin Up with HoH #114
    August 29, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    […] being literally one of the best blogs on the block, Addicted 2 Decorating made the best succulent garden with… wait for it… pistachio shells. I can’t make […]

  • Reply To This Comment
    Dollar Store Crafts » Blog Archive » Make a Faux Succulent Garden
    August 30, 2012 at 10:00 am

    […] With a keen artistic eye, just about anything can be turned into something beautiful.  And Kristi from Addicted 2 Decorating has just that kind of vision!  Need proof?  Check out this fabulous piece of artwork.  These are not real succulents – they are actually made out of pistachio shells!  Seriously.  Amazing, right?  The finished product is totally worth the funny looks you'll get from friends and family when you start collecting a box full of empty nut shells.  (But then again, if you craft like we do, they might not think your request is so strange!)  [how to make a faux succulent garden] […]

  • Reply To This Comment
    Peggy
    August 30, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    I love this! I added a link and a photo (hope that’s okay!) to my Frame Crafts article on Squidoo. This is so pretty!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Juli
    August 30, 2012 at 8:01 pm

    I am amazed!!! This turned out fabulous, and I just love it! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Rhiannon
    September 4, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    saw you on HOH Oh-Em-Gee!! This is amazing!!! You Rock

  • Reply To This Comment
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  • Reply To This Comment
    Lisa Lisa
    September 7, 2012 at 5:43 pm

    We buy pistachios all the time. My parrot and my kids both love them. I’m just so sorry I haven’t been saving the shells before. But I have an empty container available now.
    Great ideal, and instructions!
    Thanks Again

  • Reply To This Comment
    sue
    September 10, 2012 at 10:44 pm

    Even my husband thinks these look great. Mine seem to have some spaces that you can see through. Is this normal or am I not getting the shells close enough?

  • Reply To This Comment
    Pistachio Shell Flower Art
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  • Reply To This Comment
    JoAnn
    September 11, 2012 at 7:26 pm

    wow, just wow – best go buy some pistachios pronto!! Thanks for sharing….

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lisa
    September 12, 2012 at 8:19 am

    I saw this on Hometalk and had to come over to see how you did it. I enthralled with these flowers. I keep looking at them. Amazing idea and love how you’ve used them. Must start eating more pistacios!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Fatimah
    September 29, 2012 at 1:22 am

    hi.
    i love this idea. very good job.and also your blog is and your DIY are awesome. i visit your blog first time and i like it. i am new in world of blogging so your blogging tips can help me….thanks.
    plz take a look at my blog…
    http://www.craft360.blogspot.com

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jeanine
    October 3, 2012 at 11:14 pm

    Absolutely Incredible! I can’t wait to try this, very fun idea. I wonder if you should use a spray Shellac to preserve it for outdoor weather? What a great idea…..I will be back! JB

  • Reply To This Comment
    Darlene Kvaca
    October 4, 2012 at 11:23 pm

    One thing not mentioned in the tutorial is how to attach the frame. Is it nailed on or glued? I’m definitely thinking about making this awesome project with the tons of shells I have left from eating my pistachios. 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Eva
    October 7, 2012 at 12:58 pm

    Amazing!!! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Michael @ re.Create Design
    October 11, 2012 at 3:17 pm

    Great recycled project! Featured on our blog today.
    http://recreatedesigncompany.com/recycled-nut-shells/

    Mike

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brian of GadgetSponge.com
    October 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

    Absolutely ingenious and beautiful! I love the natural colors and the reuse of natural things. Very time-consuming I’m sure but the end result is more than reward for it. Great job!! I pinned it on one of my boards.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Natasha Thomas
    October 28, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    I want to Win this wreath !!!! Oh Pick me !! 😉

  • Reply To This Comment
    April Timms
    October 29, 2012 at 1:51 pm

    This is just unique & beautiful. Thanks so much for the opportunity to win this!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Kim Dove
    October 29, 2012 at 7:24 pm

    This would look great in my house :)))

  • Reply To This Comment
    Natasha Thomas
    October 29, 2012 at 9:34 pm

    Would Love this 😛

  • Reply To This Comment
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  • Reply To This Comment
    Craftuts
    November 5, 2012 at 4:52 am

    I love pistachio and I love your tutorial:) I have featured it on crafttuts site! Thanks!

  • Reply To This Comment
    [email protected]
    November 5, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    Who would have thought pastashio nutshells? It such as beautiful and original piece!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Inimai
    November 7, 2012 at 5:16 pm

    Wow!! Thank you for sharing such a beautiful decor! I have started making the flowers. I have a question. How do you arrange the flowers in the canvas? Do you glue the flowers with the moss? Please explain!
    Regards!

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  • Reply To This Comment
    tamara
    November 14, 2012 at 4:06 am

    this is fantastic

  • Reply To This Comment
    Claire
    November 15, 2012 at 8:09 pm

    wow! that must have taken so much time!

  • Reply To This Comment
    grannyg
    November 17, 2012 at 1:28 pm

    This is awesome. They really do look like little succluants. Now I know what to do with my left over nut shells. You have some really great creative ideas.

  • Reply To This Comment
    gardenfaery
    December 9, 2012 at 1:51 am

    this is so beautiful and tasteful. I HAVE to make one. I have one bag of Pistacchios down and 5 more to go! thankfully I love them 🙂 thanks for the awsome idea 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    ToTylkoJa
    December 14, 2012 at 5:43 am

    This is amazing! I can’t believe my eyes. It really turned out great:)

  • Reply To This Comment
    Madhu
    February 15, 2013 at 4:23 am

    Brilliant! You are so creative !!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Judy
    February 20, 2013 at 7:43 pm

    Beautiful! The guys at work keep wondering why I keep buying them Pistacchios and telling them how good they are for them to eat up! I was wondering how did you attach the flowers to your back board?

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  • Reply To This Comment
    Suely Fernandes Guimarães
    May 4, 2013 at 4:55 am

    são lindas as flores..eu já havia usado cascas de pistache, para fazer flores e decorar telhas, mas bem mais simples…obrigado por compartilhar….

  • Reply To This Comment
    Maria
    May 6, 2013 at 7:40 am

    Oh my!! This is absolutely gorgeous!! I love these pistachio-shell flowers; & wish I had one-millionth of your creativity!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Heather M.
    July 7, 2013 at 4:29 pm

    This makes me think of all the times I bought a bag of pistachios at the grocery store and tossed the shells out the window as a I drove home, like a crumb trail. NOW I have a reason to save them! These are stunning. I came across this page today for the first time and am in love and completely inspired =)

  • Reply To This Comment
    designdreamer
    July 11, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    You are aMAZingly creative!

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  • Reply To This Comment
    bbrunophotography
    July 29, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Kristi, this had me totally fooled at first glance!! What an awesome idea!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Ryan
    August 15, 2013 at 6:00 pm

    That is so awesome I would have never thought pistachio shells.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Jazz
    September 25, 2013 at 11:52 am

    That is so awesome !!

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  • Reply To This Comment
    Melissa
    January 4, 2014 at 11:58 pm

    Oh my goodness!!!! I just threw away TONS of shells from my son’s pig out the other day!!! WHY DIDN’T I SEE THIS SOONER?!!!!
    And, to top it off I scolded him for almost eating a whole pound bag in less than one day! NOW what is he going to think when I bring him bag after bag and hound him until he’s eaten them all???? He’s going to think his mom’s lost it!!!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Juliana
    January 17, 2014 at 2:36 pm

    The first word that came in my mind after seeing this succulent garden was”lovely” even without scrolling down through the page. I wanna include some walnut shells too because I don’t like pistachio much.

  • Reply To This Comment
    Josie McHale
    January 29, 2014 at 2:10 am

    WOW! Lots of love and care into this fabulous project. At first I thought it was real succulent plants. Wondering how they were hanging from the frame, but then after reading through the tutorial and I just thought how brilliant is this!!! Stunning!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Yolanda
    March 23, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    Love this, great idea, beautiful, thanks for sharing!

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  • Reply To This Comment
    Jamie W.
    July 13, 2014 at 4:18 pm

    OHMAGOSH!!!! This is sooooooo fabulous! Just think, all the little “succulents” you want, and they’ll always stay that cute little size. GOT to try it and I love the idea of the wreath too. I don’t eat pistachios but I guess I’m gonna have to buy ’em anyway (or maybe beg the shells from friends who do). Thanks for this great idea!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Lilly
    October 28, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Wow thats amazing! We do a lot of picture frame/wall mount air plant displays, but this is so unique and cool!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Donna
    January 10, 2015 at 8:20 am

    I just saw this in Pinterest and thought it was beautiful! Your instructions and photos are helpful for us beginners! Thanks for sharing!

  • Reply To This Comment
    Debi
    January 13, 2015 at 2:01 pm

    WOW!! This is fantastic. Now I have a great reason to eat pistachios 🙂

  • Reply To This Comment
    Brooklyn Limestone
    January 22, 2015 at 1:57 pm

    Looks fabulous! Smart and cheap – what could be better?

  • Reply To This Comment
    Katt Lewis
    February 10, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    That has got to be one of the coolest idea’s I have ever seen.

  • Reply To This Comment
    jet
    October 22, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Hi this is an awesome idea!!! I often had thought what you could make of those shells.
    I love the shapes and allways i was thinking of to use them as beads, i haven’t tried it out still.
    But this is the best idea ever!!!
    Thank you for your great tute you’ve shared and as well the idea;-D

  • Reply To This Comment
    Britney B.
    December 24, 2015 at 1:34 am

    These are fantastic Kristi! And I do love pistachios 🙂 win win! One question – how did you affix the shell pieces to the “canvas”?

  • Reply To This Comment
    Shantel Collins
    March 12, 2016 at 11:54 am

    Incredibly cute and creative!! Love this idea.

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