March 21, 2014

DIY Crocodile Succulent Planter

Thank you to UncommonGoods for sponsoring this post and providing us with their Neon Crocodile Planter to use for this project! All ideas and opinions are my own.

Spring has sprung and so have the succulents in my new crocodile planter!

UncommonGoods kindly sent me their neon crocodile planter to review so I went wild and stuffed it full of the most beautiful succulents I could find!

The punch of pink is perfect for spring and I don't know about you, but I think this would make a great gift :)

You could give your mom, sister, cousin, best friend, etc. the planter as-is and then pick out and plant the succulents together or your could do the planting ahead of time and gift it all finished! If the ladies in your life have black thumbs or are scared of crocodiles, click here for some alternative gift ideas :)

The planter doesn't come with any succulents so the possibilities and cacti combinations you can create are endless!

Speaking of combinations: I ended up switching a few of the succulents after I finished photographing the full tutorial so don't get confused when things start looking one way but end up another :)

Anyway, I picked up 6 of these little guys from Lowe's:

They were only $1.98/each. I also picked up a massive bag of drainage rock for $2.99.

After I had everything I needed (gloves included!), I grabbed the empty neon crocodile planter and got to work:

I know it looks mass produced but the planter is actually one of the many handmade items UncommonGoods' offers! Because it's handmade, it already had drainage holes drilled into the bottom of it which was awesome! One less thing to do haha

I added a very thin layer of drainage rocks to the bottom of the planter so the roots of my succulents wouldn't be sitting in wet soil (they hate that):

I gently pinched the sides of each pot to remove the succulents from their containers:

Once they were free, I loosened up the roots and shook off any excess dirt so the succulents would fit into the crocodile a little better:

I placed the first succulent right up front and gently pressed the dirt down into place making sure to fill in any gaps with excess dirt:

The crocodile is made of pliable plastic and flexes a little bit which makes it very easy to stuff things inside! Trust me, I stuffed it very full of succulents haha

I repeated the container squeezing, root loosening, and dirt shaking process for each additional succulent until the crocodile's back was completely filled:

Remember, the final succulent layout changes at the end ;)

Note: make sure to wear gloves when handling cacti! I did but I still managed to get poked several times.

After all of the soil was pressed into place, I went outside and grabbed a handful of decomposed granite pebbles from our front courtyard:

I pressed several pebbles into the soil to help hold it in place and to add a decorative finishing touch to the planter:

After I took the after photos, I realized that I didn't like the placement of two of the succulents (first one from the left and the second one from the right) so I swapped them!

Before (well, after round 1):


Much better :)

I think my favorite thing about the planter is that the artist who created it upcycled an old crocodile figure instead of throwing it away. Green product meets greenery!

One of the reasons I decided to partner with UncommonGoods for this project is because they offer a ton of handmade items that have been recycled or upcycled.

They're also dedicated to small businesses and as a new small business owner myself, it's nice to know that some of the big guys are willing to look out for (and support!) the little guys!

Would you ever transform an old plastic item into a planter?

Psst: Mother's Day is right around the corner! Click here to see what kind of unique and unusual gift ideas UncommonGoods has to offer. Your mom will thank you :)

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  1. Very cute! He looks so happy stuffed full o' succulents!

    1. Thanks Michelle! Let's just hope I can keep him stuffed full o' succulents! #blackthumb

  2. Oh man, I'm jealous! You know I adore neon pink and this is just so fun!

    1. Thanks Julia! I can't wait to find the perfect spot for it :)

  3. You had me at neon and succulent!!! Love this Caitlin!

  4. That is the cutest neon pink crocodile planter ever!

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Gabbi! I'm happy I switched things around in the end.

  6. This is so cool! And wacky! And wonderful!

  7. Everything is so cute, the little baby succulents, the awesome neon alligator...I WANT HIM or HER!! Love this!

  8. This is so cute! My friend Heidi lives with Aaron and I, and she made something very similar on a smaller scale. She bought the plastic dinos from the toy sections of the grocery store, and used a box cutter to open them up. She spray painted it gold, and put a succulent in each one. I LOVE the punch of pink. It's delightful!

    1. Those sound so cute! I'd love to have a little dino family full of succulents! Question is: how many succulents is too many succulents? Hmmm...

  9. This awesome. I love the humor in this as well. I think that is my favorite part about it. Your succulent selection is perfect. Love all your photos!!

  10. This is so cool. I love the color. And it would make such a great gift. But I would mostly want to keep it for myself.

  11. great addition to any spring decor. Love that color too.

  12. Seriously adorable! I was thinking about doing a little quirky succulent install for the nursery. Can you just make one for me? I don't think Beckett would be down with pink but the crocodile is totally up his ally.


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