It is no secret that I find real plants a little tricky to look after. With my busy schedule (and so much crafting to do!), I have little to no time to tend to house plants. Last year we began creating paper house plants, including gorgeous paper succulents and today we’re extending our archive of DIY tutorials to include this paper maché string of pearls plant. I’ve always loved those little green strings of beads, and celluclay paper maché is the perfect material with which to create these tiny, irregular sized balls. Celluclay is a finely textured, non-toxic material that handles like clay once you add water. It’s fun to use for lots of different projects but we thought it was just perfect for our paper mache string of pearls plant – this post is not sponsored I promise! See below for everything you need to make this lovely, long-living succulent plant!
- Low Temperature Hot Glue Gun
- Green Thread
- 2 Paintbrushes
- 6″ Foam Ball
- 1 Sheet Each Grey and Brown Tissue Paper
- Mod Podge or Clear Drying Glue
- Green Acrylic Paint in 2 or 3 different shades
- Gather the tools and materials listed above.
- Cut two 5″ circles of brown tissue paper and enough 1″ grey circles to cover the bottom half of your foam ball – we used around 60.
- Using a paint brush and clear drying glue, cover the half foam ball in 2 layers of the grey circles, overlapping them as you go. Bring the grey tissue up onto the flat part of the foam half ball by 1/2 inch all around.
- Cover the foam half ball in a final layer of clear drying glue.
- Glue both brown circles on top of the half foam ball. One on top of the other.
- Mix celluclay according to packet instructions and roll a small amount between your palms to create approximately 300 little balls – it’s surprisingly therapeutic! Ours are between 1/4″ and 1/2″ each.
- Once the balls are hard enough to handle, yet soft in the middle, begin stringing them together in lengths of 10-12″ using a sharp needle and thread. Leave around 4″ at the top end of the string and try threading them with the largest balls at the top.
- Continue to string the balls together until you have approximately 13 strings.
- Paint the strings of balls using acrylic paint. Blend different shades of green to create a more realistic look. Embrace imperfection!
- Tie a nail onto the top end of each string.
- Push each nail into the flat part of the foam half ball. Start in the center and work your way out. Secure with a drop of hot glue or craft glue.
- Continue until all the strings are fixed into the top of the half ball. Place into a plant hanger (DIY version coming soon!) and arrange as desired!
Follow the photo tutorial below for a visual guide to crafting your paper mache string of pearls plant.
Fold the grey tissue paper 4 or 5 times so that you can cut through many layers at once – it’ll speed things up! If you string your paper mache balls in size order it’ll create a more realistic look to your string of pearls plant, make sure the smallest ones are at the bottom. You can also put a little brown paint on the nails so that they can’t be seen in the top of the foam half ball. And finally, when you’re painting the strings of pearls, embrace imperfection – blend the colors of green but don’t worry about it looking perfect!
Want to add some paper plants to your home? Take a peek at our other DIY paper house plants here. Head over to our membership page to join our creative community, or follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter for daily glimpses of what we’re up to. We love admiring your project photos, so please share them using #DIYDreamingWithLia and you may even be featured. Cheers! ~ Lia & Team