DIY Pool Noodle Cactus

12 Materials
1 Week

Last Friday was the first day of this Cactus DIY journey. Where do I even begin🙈. This cute cactus definitely took me for a spin. Jumping into this DIY I knew it would be a hard one since I’ve never seen anything like this done before but, I sure wasn’t prepared for all the twists and turns. I think since I was going in blind and pretty much making things up as I went it was way more overwhelming than I intended. Honestly at one point I through in the towel (for about an hour) LOL😂 than my sweet hubby insisted I finish it. Thanks to him this cute cactus was finally completed today.

I’ve seen these pretty giant cacti’s all over pinterest and have always wanted one. When I decided to look into buying one I realized the one I wanted was $299. 😐 LIKE WHAT!! REALLY for a fake cactus. I would think it would cost that much for a real one.

I’m a bit scared to buy a real one. Unfortunately I don’t really have a green thumb. Plus I can’t afford a big one and I’m not willing to buy a small one and grow it because, no plant ever really grows well in my house. Yes this fake one might be a dust catcher but, I’m not to worried about that because I’ll be dusting it regularly 😉 I’m sure that won’t kill it.

I used some pool noodles with a big terra cotta pot. You'll also need a dowel.

Following that I secured them into the terra cotta pot with some sealer foam.

I used a knife to cute out the shape.

and plastered it plus painted it.

For the paint colors and full list of supplies visit the blog link below.

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Lily Oleynik

Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!


Have a question about this project?

11 questions
  • Jacquelyn Jean Casper
    on Jul 23, 2018

    What did you use for the cactus spines and how did you attach them?

    • Nia Donovan
      on Jul 23, 2018

      She cut off the bristles of 3 chip brushes & attached pinches of bristles using Mod Podge.

  • Don15077879
    on Jul 23, 2018

    How did you make the spines

    • Dahliaqueen
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Yes please love it but how did you make the spines??

    • Carol
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Hey guys, she doesn't say it, but you have to go to her blog to see how she adds her prickles or spines to the cactus! It was as I thought, she used Modpodge and cut up about 3 paint brushes to make her spines with! If you go to her blog (highlighted after the last picture) she will show you how to do it step by step!

    • Rosemary Pope-Wallin
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Same question here!

    • Linda
      on Jul 23, 2018

      If you click on the link to her blog, she describes in better detail how she made these. For the spines, she used paint brush bristles.

  • Jodi Huber Swick
    on Jul 23, 2018

    why didn’t you use a live cactus? They are low maintenance and you can watch them grow?

    • Dahliaqueen
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Price for one thing! Could not get a cactus that big for the price of two noodles & a flower pot!!

    • Dorothy Sittler
      on Jul 23, 2018

      I was thinking that the fakes were clever for the person with a brown thumb or using home as a closet when on the go all the time!

    • Judi
      on Jul 23, 2018

      safer than the real cacti....

    • Lily Oleynik
      on Jul 23, 2018

      Hi Jodi, I talked about why I didn't choose it more on my blog. Unfortuenly I don't have green thumb and im not willing to invest a lot of money just to watch the cacti die. I know most poeple say they're low maintince but I don't have luck with plants It might be cause I don't get enough light. With all that said a I don't think mine would get that big and buying one this size I'd be scared to kill plus can't afford it.

    • Carole Thomas
      on Jul 4, 2019

      This is also low maintenance, won't die, and... allows her creative juices to flow. Some times it's about the art and the craft, not the "reality"

  • Dahliaqueen
    on Jul 23, 2018

    Would it be weather proof for my deck??

    • Lily Oleynik
      on Jul 28, 2018

      UMMM I'm not sure. You would probably would have to seal the paint with something for that because it would def fade from the sun.

    • Tammy
      on Aug 10, 2018

      If you used weatherproof paints I bet it would

  • Karla Moore
    on Jul 30, 2018

    Why did this project cost 47$?

    • Rita Robbie
      on Jul 30, 2018

      Paint isn't cheap, plus the foam sealer etc.

    • Bklyn Cowgirl
      on Jul 3, 2019

      Check out the complete list of supplies. That stuff ain't cheap. ;-)

    • Theresa Shumaker Monroe
      on Jul 3, 2019

      You could put a layer of sealer in the pot then crumpled newspaper plus another layer of sealer to secure the cacti. ☺️

      That would cut the quantity of sealer.

  • Genie Medlin
    on Jul 30, 2018

    Looks fabulous but how did you create the thorns, what did you use to make them look so realistic? I didn’t see anything on the list for that.

    • Sheilah Robinett Kearney
      on Jul 30, 2018

      Yes that is the question I have also!

    • Jenia
      on Jul 30, 2018

      Me Too!!

    • Sca4301882
      on Jul 30, 2018

      I was thinking the same thing. Please tell us how you did it.

    • ChelseaIrene
      on Jul 30, 2018

      I was thinking this too... I'd love to do this project!

    • Pattie Reynolds
      on Jul 30, 2018

      Me too. I as thinking one could cut of the bristles of a cheap paint brush from dollar tree

    • Pamela Kirksey
      on Jul 30, 2018

      I couldn’t follow the demonstration at all. I would have no idea how to do this. The end result definitely looks like real cacti 🌵 and I wish I could understand from start to finish, but I just don’t get it. I think more steps and explanations are necessary. 😘

    • Tracey McCune
      on Jul 30, 2018

      Cut a paintbrush then take modge podge to stick them on

    • Kary Conklin Berg
      on Jul 30, 2018

      You could also use toothpicks!

    • Becky
      on Jul 31, 2018

      Or glue on pinches of dried decorative moss.

    • Carol
      on Aug 12, 2018

      Follow the link to her blog post. Much clearer directions with instructions for the prickles.

    • UpState
      on Nov 24, 2018

      I was thinking the same thing. Please tell us how you did it.

      I guess you could stick some finely split splinters of kiln (or oven) dried wood onto these objects ?

    • Linny
      on Nov 24, 2018

      This DIYer explains the whole project, step-by-step in her blog, which she references above:

    • Carolyn from NH
      on Jul 3, 2019

      This is really, really cute and well done 👏🏻👏🏻

    • Lori Ward-Laatsch
      on Jul 3, 2019

      I kept scrolling back to see if I missed something. Have no idea how this actually came together.

    • Pamela
      on Jul 4, 2019

      Click on the link there is lot more info

  • Donna
    on Jul 4, 2019

    I wonder if the concave parts could have been achieved with some kind of heating iron that would melt the plastic foam quickly and easily into the shape needed to

    look real. I read that you used a knife to cut the foam, but looking at it, I am having difficulty understanding how you did that. Must have taken an awfully long time and I can't imagine how you got your grooves so straight with a knife considering how hard those noodles are to cut with a knife. How did you attach the small pieces to the tall ones and what did you use for the thorns and how did you attach the thorns to the cactus? If I were to make this, I think I would add the cactus flowers too, which would make it even more colorful. Good job. Sure looks real.

    • HFredda
      on Jul 4, 2019


      I have the same questions.

    • Genevieve
      on Jul 4, 2019

      I also wondered how the cactus thorns were made as the instructions and list of supplies did not say but then I thought that pine needles would work fairly well and as they dried they would be almost just like a real cactus spikes. About 50 years ago I made a cactus sculpture carving it out of a block of plaster. This is so much easier and I will give it a try with the noodle. Good idea!

    • Nita
      on Jul 4, 2019

      You could probably use toothpicks too

  • Sherry Phillips
    on Jul 4, 2019

    Looks real from here. Did you create the lil pricklies with the plaster?

    Very neat idea...

  • Betty
    on Jul 4, 2019

    The cactus looks great, but I really love your nightstand. Did you make that as well?

  • Krafty KAT
    on Jul 5, 2019

    Could one use a star ⭐️ shaped noodle. It would not have as many grooves but maybe easier for some?

    • Jewellmartin
      on Jul 11, 2019

      I don’t see why not. The grooves would be much easier, as well as the etched and rough edges. I’m very inspired and motivated by this project! Jewell

  • Becky
    on Jul 11, 2019

    How did you make the little pickles on the cactus?

    • Ell
      on Jul 24, 2019

      I'm wondering the same thing. That extra touch is what brings the project to life. Very clever!

    • Gloria McKague
      on Jul 24, 2019

      I am also wondering about the prickles that show in the picture

    • Lwilliams
      on Jul 25, 2019

      Click on the blog. It explains it all and how she made the arms.

    • Susie
      on Jul 29, 2019

      She cut up paint brushes and glued them on after painting.

    • Rebecca
      on Jul 31, 2019

      Thank you for asking and answering guys

Join the conversation

2 of 119 comments
  • Crissy
    on Aug 1, 2019

    Really good!

  • Melissa Blair Hagman
    on Aug 2, 2019

    This is so awesome! It’s great to see an original idea, especially one that came out so great. As someone who is an amazing vegetable gardener yet kills houseplants almost immediately... I may have to try this!!

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