Mexicali DIY: Mini Planters


When we first saw our mosaic candle holders, we instantly loved them for dressing up a room (and our desks at work!). But alas, it is hard to keep an eye on a lit candle, and who has the time to shop for a flameless battery operated version? Our votives were too short to be much use holding pencils and other supplies so we thought, what can we do with these adorable jars?! Mini planters of course!

Supplies are simple for this project. Succulents are an excellent choice for small planters because they grow well when crowded, don’t need water very often (think once a month – similar to a cactus!), and like a sunny spot (such as a winter windowsill). Bringing greenery indoors is an easy way to brighten up your drab winter decor and get a jump start on spring. Read on to see how we are decorating our space with this cute, quick, and affordable DIY!

You will need:

  • Succulent cuttings (or other tiny plants)
  • soil
  • small rocks for drainage
  • cute candle holder or other small container

Ask your friends or relatives for cuttings of their succulent plants, or if you have your own just snip a piece off a larger specimen. Most succulent varieties can root from just a “leaf” of the plant but it will take longer to grow! After taking a cutting, let the piece dry out for a couple of days in a sunny spot. The succulent needs to form a callous where you cut it off, otherwise it could start to rot the roots.

First, place rocks in the bottom of the votive for adequate drainage. You could also experiment with crushed shells or coarse sand.

puttherocksinthereNext add the soil. Soil with fertilizer added is not necessary; many succulents thrive in “sandy” soil, and some only need the small rocks to root in! Check out how the cuttings were growing before and try that. Don’t pack the soil in tightly, the plant needs air in there to begin the rooting.


Remove leaves from the bottom of the cutting, leaving about 1 inch bare. You can do more if you want; the plant will form a stronger root more quickly that way.

trimthebottomsNext, plant your cuttings.  We love the look of 2 or 3 varieties packed into one planter!  Remember, succulents like being crowded.

puttheplantsinWater every 2-3 days so the soil is moist (like a squeezed sponge). After a month, cut back to monthly watering.  The leaves will probably shrivel a bit as the plant forms roots.  The plant is living off the stored energy in its leaves.  This is normal.  You may also lose a few leaves, which is also normal.  Do not use this as an excuse to over water!  If in doubt, DON’T WATER. Too much water will quickly kill your succulents by causing the roots to rot.

Now enjoy your cute and colorful greenery!  It’s a lovely way to bring a bit of that Spring spirit indoors, and makes a thoughtful gift!  Get the mosaic candle holders and the Maine Grateful Dead shot glass at our website, right here.

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