Thursday, August 22

A New Home for my Christmas Cactus

Last year I mentioned that I love plants, but I have a black thumb, so I needed something that I couldn't kill. I had this ugly little cactus with a flower on top when I was little, and it lived FOREVER. I honestly think it was immortal . . . and I feel a little guilty because I'm pretty sure I just threw it away when we moved.

Anyway, my dad must have been listening, because right before Christmas he brought home a beautiful cactus plant and told me that he couldn't find any chocolate oranges (my favorite), so he'd brought that instead. It doesn't look much like a cactus (it gets these AMAZING flowers every year in December, hence I call it my "Christmas cactus") but I haven't killed it yet so it must be one.

I'd been meaning to put the cactus in a nicer post for a long time, but I just hadn't gotten around it. Then I saw this pin, and I decided I needed to attempt to recreate those pots for my Christmas cactus.

This pictures aren't the best. They were taken with my iPhone in weird light, but I've decided that I'm tired of apologizing for photos because A) I don't get paid to blog, it's just for me, B) I'm not a photographer, and C) Since this isn't my job, I don't have the time/desire to wait to do crafts until the light is right and I've got my DSL out. It sucks the fun out of blogging.

So here's the process. I bought a super-cheap terra cotta pot from Hobby Lobby and decided I wanted to make it look a little weathered and worn.
So I found a bottle of white acrylic paint in the basement and squeezed some onto a paper plate. Then I dipped my foam brush in, wiped the excess paint off, and dry brushed white on the pot.
I decided it still didn't really look chalky and worn enough (and a little too stripe-y), so I put some paint in a cup, added water to thin it down, and brushed the mixture over the entire pot.
After it dried, it was time to put on the gold leaf. I'd never used gold leaf before, so I basically just followed the instructions on the label. I wore latex gloves because apparently the oils in skin cause the leaf to adhere (and you don't want gold all over your fingers instead of your pot). I sprayed spray adhesive on the areas of the pot I wanted gold, let it dry for a few minutes (so it was tacky, not sticky), then used a dry brush to press the gold leaf onto the adhesive.
Voila! I should really spray some sealant on the pot to make sure the gold leaf never comes off, but I can't find mine and I refuse to buy more when I know I have some somewhere. My gold leaf pot is actually a little too big for my cactus, so I put a little square of foam in the bottom and set the cactus on top. Clearly I'm not a perfectionist.

But all in all, I really liked the project. :)

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