Succulent Monogram Wreath Tutorial Succulent pictures and wreaths have been around for awhile now, but there’s a new trend that combines the two and packs a fun punch. The Succulent Monogram Wreath was introduced by Rooted in Succulents and they sell some gorgeous completed wreaths as well as the letter frames which you can simply purchase if you wish. For the work involved, the cost is reasonable.
If you’re not into the whole do-it-yourself thing, purchasing one ready-to-go is the way to go! It should be noted that the versions that come from Rooted in Succulents contain gorgeous but non-hardy succulents which will not survive the winter in our climate. Therefore, you’ll want to bring it inside for the winter or simply purchase the frame then plant it up with sedums and sempervivums which are winter hardy in almost every state.
However, if you’re a not-quite-hardcore DIY’er with access to a few basic tools, you can make your own version of this lovely project. Though a little time consuming, it’s not particularly difficult to DIY your own version by following the instructions below. You can also use these frames to create marquee sign letters by drilling holes for globe string lights instead of planting them.
1/2 inch thick plywood- 2 x 4 quarter sheet from the home improvement store
1/4 inch thick by 2 inch wide cedar strips (I ripped mine from a cedar fence post on a table saw but you can purchase wood strips from the home improvement store or at craft stores, though you should avoid using balsa wood as it’s not strong enough).
Rubber-coated wire mesh from the home improvement store
Floral wire Sphagnam Moss from the home improvement or craft store
Spray paint or Plasti-dip spray paint (optional)
Putty to fill cracks and staples (optional)
Pencil, Paper, Ruler to create the template
Drill Wood Glue Pneumatic Staple Gun (staples are better than pin nails for this project)
Sanding blocks or electric sander
Table saw (optional- needed if ripping your own strips from cedar fence pickets).
Miter saw or band saw or jig saw etc. (will be used to cut out letters and 2″ strips to the various lengths)
You can use a computer font letter printed out BUT it will likely be harder to make that work. There is no bend in the materials we’re working with so all letters must be squared off. If you’re doing multiple letters to spell out a word, it’s important to keep every letter, regardless of complexity, the same exterior dimension size and with the same letter widths (for the most part).
For the letters in this tutorial, I used an 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper as my maximum dimensions for each letter. I found that a letter width of 2.5 inches for this paper size were about right. If you’re going to upscale your templates, make sure to increase the letter width too- remember it’s the plants we want to showcase more than the letter itself.
I used a bandsaw to cut out the letters. For the open letters, like the letter “C”, this was easy. For closed letters, like the letter “A”, it got a bit trickier! If you have the right tools, you can cut out the void without cutting into the body of the letter. I do not own said tools. Therefore, I had to cut a path through the letter then glue in a shim and sand it level afterward (See above).
If your letter has little inside pieces such as my “A” or “B” letters, make the small pieces first and nail them together- THEN put them into the letter. This will make it easier to deal with the small pieces. Always deal with the smallest and inside pieces first, even on the open letters such as the letter “C”. Once that’s done, go ahead and do the outside edges. I staple the pieces on with a pneumatic staple gun with very small staples. You can also pin nail them. ALWAYS use wood glue to glue and staple the parts on- the glue will eventually become the stronger bond. Stain or paint as desired with water-resistant paint.
Whew! That was the hardest part of the whole project! Now drill a few holes in the plywood for drainage and also to anchor the wire that will attach the wire mesh to the front of the unit. If you’re making a marquee letter instead of a planter, measure and drill the holes according to the pattern on the string lights you’re using. Spray paint or stain to desired color.
One of the great things about this project is that there is NO SOIL involved! Succulents will happily grow in densely packed dried moss. These are tough, waterwise plants so they’re able to endure conditions that other plants simply could not. In the photos above, we got the wire started but we won’t wire the whole thing immediately. We’ll do sort of a “wire and stuff” technique shown below:
Now you’re ready to “plant”. In this case, planting means clipping little pieces of various sedum ground covers and/or “Hens and Chicks” (Sempervivum) and placing them on top of the frame. After a few weeks of watering every few days, the little plants will root down into the moss, attaching themselves to the frame. In 6-10 weeks, you’ll be able to hang the monogram vertically on your front door or display indoors.
Grown indoors, the wreaths will require water once per week. Outdoors, every couple of days. If you’re going to hang it on your front door, it may require more water depending on how much sun your front porch gets. It is not recommended that you put it on a front door that has a storm door in front as the glass from the storm door will magnify and trap the heat and that would cook just about any plant! When your wreath gets overgrown, simply trim off the excess plant material and put it out in your landscape where it can continue to grow!
I shared this project on our local lunchtime news program, here’s the “live” version of the tutorial!