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DIY Upcycled Stuffed Cactus

One of my favorite things about Goodwill’s mission is their commitment to social sustainability.  Sustainability is such a buzzword these days, and environmental sustainability happens to be one of my biggest goals for 2018.  As someone that loves changing things around in her home and making new things, I wanted to do so by being more environmentally responsible.  For me, that means trying to buy minimal NEW things and recycling or upcycling existing things.  

I’ve wanted to make a stuffed cactus for the nursery, and I knew Goodwill could help me with the materials (hitting my goal of upcycling things that already exist)! I needed green fabric and stuffing, and I scored a pair of green curtains and a couple of 50% off pillows!  Overall, I spent less than $7 on materials.

Pillows from Goodwill

Step 1: Cut open the pillows and remove the stuffing.  I recycled some of the fabric and put aside the biodegradable fabric (cotton, silk, wool, linen, cashmere, etc) for composting. 

Cutting fabric using a bowl as a guideline

Step 2: Fold the fabric into 4 equal pieces and cut a long piece to be the sides of the cactus.  I used a bowl as a guide to round out the top.

sew fabric together

Step 3: Sew the sides of the fabric together.

stuff the cactus

Step 4: STUFF IT!  The more stuffing you have, the stiffer and more upright your cactus will be.

arm for the cactus

Step 5 (Optional): I decided last minute to add an “arm” to my cactus, so I cut it out of the leftover fabric, stuffed it, and hand-sewed it onto my main cactus.

add spikes to cactus with thread

Step 6: Using embroidery thread (which I already owned), I made spines by pulling the thread through the fabric and knotting it.

Final DIY Cactus in baby room
Step 7: Put it in a basket or pot and admire it!

Hope you enjoyed this little upcycle!  I’m enjoying that it covers an outlet in the nursery and distracts my little one from trying to play with said outlet. 🙂  

Ariel is an avid “thrifter” and budget decorator, as well as a teacher and mom! After being a military spouse for 9 years (and moving 7 times in the first 7 years), her focus is on making a house (or in this case, her small city apartment) into a stylish home on a budget. She also has a penchant for Chesterfield sofas, Campaign dressers, and bar carts of all types. Follow her on Instagram @districtofdecor!

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