Make your own cactus decoration

Make your own brightly-coloured cactus decoration by combining beading with appliqué.

cactus decoration hanging on a pink wall

Feel the fiesta and add this colourful plant to your collection (no watering required!). This brightly coloured project will leave you feeling full of positivity! With simple stitching and an easy-to-follow guide, you’ll have this whipped up in no time.

Once you’ve finished your cactus you could hang it up in your home to add a touch of flavour to any room, or maybe you’d like to give it away as a gift! Either way, we know it will bring a smile to the face of the person who owns it.

This fab project uses only one stitch type, plus beading and appliqué. It is an excellent way for beginner embroiders to step up their game and try something new. We will take you through step-by-step how to make the cactus decoration but if you need some advice on embroidery or any of the stitches listed below please visit our embroidery guide for beginners.

This cactus was designed by Chloe Redfern and first appeared in Love Embroidery issue 15. Looking for similar projects? Sign up for our newsletter to get weekly inspiration and free patterns!

Stitches key:

For other stitching help, try our embroidery stitch library.

What you will need:

  • Wool blend felt: 15x15cm, cream and turquoise; 10x10cm, blue, green and dark green
  • Wool blend felt scraps: pink, red and yellow
  • Stranded cotton: 1 skein each of red and yellow
  • Machine thread: blue, cream, green, pink, red, turquoise and yellow
  • Invisible thread (for attaching beads)
  • Size 10/11 seed beads: blue x7, gold x40, pink x63, red x7, yellow x7
  • Toy stuffing
  • 3mm wide ribbon: 20cm, blue
  • Fabric glue
  • Basic embroidery kit

Free template:

You’ll also need the free cactus template.


You Will Need

  • Wool blend felt
  • Stranded cotton
  • Machine thread
  • Invisible thread
  • Beads
  • Toy stuffing
  • Ribbon
  • Fabric glue
  • Basic embroidery kit

Step 1

Use the templates to cut out the felt of the cactus body in green, the arms of the cactus in dark green, three flowers in pink, and the pot in blue. Arrange them on the cream felt using a dab of glue to hold them in place and allow them to dry. Sew the felt into position with whipstitch using one strand of machine thread in a matching shade.

cactus decoration step 1

Step 2

Next, cut the felt leaf shapes: four red, two blue, two turquoise and four yellow. Trim down a few to vary the leaf sizes. Then, cut three strips of felt to decorate the pot – one each of red, turquoise and yellow. Place these on the cactus as shown. Sew in place with whipstitch using one strand of machine thread in a matching shade.

cactus decoration step 2

Step 3

Work the leaf detailing in Straight Stitch using one strand of cotton thread. Use red on the turquoise and yellow leaves, and yellow on the red and blue leaves.

cactus decoration step 3

Step 4

Attach the gold, red, blue and yellow beads using invisible thread, referring to the main image on p59 for colour placement. For the rows of pink beads on the flowers, simply bring your needle up where you would like your row of beads to start, thread seven beads onto the thread, then take the needle back down at the end of the row and secure.

cactus decoration step 4

Step 5

Trim around the edge of your cactus, leaving a 2mm border of cream felt showing around the edge. Place the cactus on top of the turquoise felt panel.

cactus decoration step 5

Step 6

Fold your ribbon in half to create a loop and sandwich the cut ends between the top of the cactus and the turquoise felt. Use the cream machine thread to whipstitch the cactus into position, being sure to catch the ribbon with your stitches to secure it in place. Leave a 3cm gap and then lightly stuff. Continue whipstitching to close the gap and trim away the turquoise felt, leaving a 2mm border around the cactus.

cactus decoration step 6

More like the cactus decoration

We hope you loved this fun cute project. Are you looking for similar projects? Don’t miss our sun embroidery, which will liven up your home or the summer scrunchie embroidery! We also have lots more nature-inspired patterns available, try the cactus embroidery, the deer embroidery, the mushroom embroidery pattern, the bee embroidery or this lovely embroidered wall hanging. Looking for a relaxing project, try this beautiful yet easy wildflower design or the plant embroidery. If you’re also looking to delve into machine embroidery or would like to find out more about it take a look at our guide to the best embroidery machine.