As soon as we got the Lunenburg Makery cactus kits in, I knew I had to make at least one! These adorable kits look just like real cactus but without all the watering and inevitable death (I confess, I'm bad at cacti) cause they're made of felt. It was hard to pick one, but I eventually settled on the Moon Cactus variety, cause, well, I'm a bit of a space nerd and it has moon in the title and the moon bit looked like fun.
The kits are designed and assembled in Nova Scotia, Canada by the lovely folk at the Lunenburg Makery, and they come with just about everything you need, except for the pot and filling stones—more on the pot I chose in a bit. The 100% wool felt in the kit is really nice, I've done a little bit of felt work with less-high-quality felt (from big box craft stores), and you can definitely tell the difference. They also include wool roving for the stuffing, which I've also never used for stuffing before and really liked!
You sew up the cactus with embroidery floss, and the kits have nice, fully-illustrated instructions with all the different stitches and assembly instructions. You can stick with their stitches, or go crazy and make your cactus your own! I mostly stuck with the instructions since it was my first time stitching felt like this.
The kit took me longer than I thought it would, around 8 hours. This was mainly due to taking my time with the stitching. I'm a bit of a perfectionist so I wanted my stitches to be straight and even. Some parts, particularly joining the pieces of the flower together, took quite a long time because sewing through many layers of felt, evenly is tricky. But, I'm really happy with the result!
I did have one minor problem with the stuffing. I wanted my cacti to be quite sturdy, and I think I overstuffed it a bit and ended up running out of the wool roving on the flower. I had some of our 100% cotton stuffing lying around, so I ended up finishing it with that instead. Since I used both, I got a good comparison between stuffing and roving, and I think I liked the roving better, at least for this function. The roving was easy to twirl up into specific shapes and then poke in with a pen lid, whereas the cotton stuffing tended to just fluff out while being poked in and got stuck on the felt a lot. So I think in the future if I work on small felt projects like this again I will pick up some of our Corriedale roving for stuffing!
My favorite part of this project was actually picking out the pot! I took my new cactus friend to the local garden shop, and after much pot-trials and consideration of scale and size and color, I ended up with this really fun cement "cracked dinosaur egg" pot, as the Tigers have been calling it.
Your pot will need to be around 4" for your cactus friend, but not too deep. When potting your cactus, you can just fill the pot with small decorative stones (I got mine from the garden shop) and stick your cactus in and it should stand up. Since my cactus is going to live at Fancy Tiger for awhile, I decided to make him a little more secure. I took some styrofoam headed to recycling and cut it down to fit inside the bottom of the pot, at the height I wanted the cactus to sit at. I then hot-glued the styrofoam to the pot, and then hot-glued the cactus to the styrofoam. Finally I hid the foam with the stones, and it worked great!
I hope you have as much fun making cactus friends as I did!