DIY: Make Your Own Mini Succulent Ramekins

mini DIY succulent ramekins

DIY: Make Your Own Mini Succulent Ramekins

I’ve been trying to go through a few things in my apartment and I came across a few little white ramekins. Since I was planning on doing a some succulent refactoring, I thought it might be nice to repurpose them for an easy DIY project that’s super fast and easy to complete.

What you’ll need:

supplies for project

  1. succulents – you can use cuttings and/or rooted plants
  2. cactus soil mix
  3. ramekins
  4. aquarium gravel

Step 1:

Gather your supplies and pick out the succulents you’re planning on using. Try to select really small plants or cuttings.

Step 2:(optional)

Put a small layer of gravel in the ramekin first. Since the ramekin doesn’t have a hole for excess water drainage, the gravel helps to keep the plant and soil separate from any excess water that might collect.
gravel on bottom of ramekin

Step 3:

Fill the rest of the ramekin with soil and start planting your specimens.
plants positioned in soil

Step 4:

Add aquarium gravel around the plants on top of the soil. You’re done!
plants in ramekins finished

Many varieties of succulents grow really well from cuttings. If you’re short on plants, there’s no better way to procure them than from cuttings.

Mid Century Modern Planters: Addressing Beauty and Function

ming aralia double-potted

Mid Century Modern Planters

Mid-century modern planters are one of the most coveted home accessories for the indoor gardening enthusiast (if you like mid-century modern decor like I do).

Beauty and Form

  • simple design
  • frequently ceramic (most have been built to last)
  • classic – they never go out of style
  • works well with almost any decor
  • compliments most types of houseplants

Function

Honestly, I love my plants. Half of the allure of having houseplants are how they compliment their environments. But more importantly, the planters you use to pot them play an instrumental role in how well they grow.

Drainage or No Drainage?

Having planters with holes is almost always better then having planters without them. But, if you’re like me, and you spend hours online looking for the perfect planter to compliment your favorite houseplant, sometimes that perfect planter doesn’t come with drainage. When they have drainage, it feels a little like winning the lottery. However, in most cases (in my experience), they don’t.

Potting plants correctly isn’t common knowledge. I know because I’ve done it wrong before. I bought a beautiful planter (similar to this one below) but it didn’t have holes for drainage.
red orange planter

Poor Drainage

At first, it didn’t matter much to me and I went through the motions. I put a layer of aquarium gravel on the bottom, then some moss, and then some soil. I made my plant nice and comfy… or so I thought. Months went by, my plant was dropping it’s leaves like crazy, and it simply looked like it was suffering.

Every so often, I do what I call “plant refactoring.” I have way too many houseplants so now and again, I consolidate what I have, sometimes combining plants in one container that were originally in two. My mission this time was to do something to help my suffering my houseplant’s declining condition.

In the middle of my refactoring session, I lifted my unhealthy houseplant from the planter and it was completely water-logged. I mean, this thing was soaked. The bottom of the planter looked like a murky, smelly pond of water. Pretty gross. No wonder the plant was suffering!

Double-Potting

I looked to amazon for what is called a “nursery pot” that is made of coconut coir (doesn’t have to be). I measured the diameter of my ceramic planter, then looked for the same diameter pot for the inner one.

nursery pot and planter

double-potting example

That way, the plant has the drainage it needs but the aesthetic of the planter. If it needs a height boost, I usually put rocks inside the bottom. The other reason for doing that is because it allows excess water to collect without water-logging the plant.

Best case scenario is that you find the perfect planter and it has drainage as well as a saucer.

Exceptions

There are many occasions where you actually might not need a plant to be double-potted. Basil plants have a very high tolerance to being over-watered. They love water and don’t seem to mind having no drainage. Also, most succulents don’t need much water so the likelihood of overwatering is much less common.

I have some succulents in planters without drainage and they look pretty happy:

haeger planter with succulents

succulents in a clear glass container

top view of succulents in brulee ramekin

succulents in brulee ramekin

Popular Mid-Century Modern Pottery Brands

Morton Shawnee Syring
Haeger California Pottery Coors
Marei Keramik GAINEY Roseville
Coronet Frankoma Hornsea
Haldeman Caliente Pottery of California Franciscan Ceramics Sierra Vista California
Stahl Pottery Hull McCoy
Zanesville Carolina Macbeth Evans
Robinson Ransbottom Bauer Pottery Shawnee
Weller Inarco Red Wing
Hazel Atlas Spara Keramik Cathrineholm
Heath Ceramics Marcia of California Fiesta

small textured planter

white and gold bitossi planter

mccoy planters

Gainey Ceramics Planter

4 Simple Steps to Painting an Art Deco Style Planter | Gold & White

This weekend I really wanted to use up some of my craft supplies. I have a ton of acrylic paint I never use. I bought 2 small cement planters (flower pots, cachepots, etc.) from Jamali in the NYC floral district a little while ago with the intention of dressing them up. They look pretty but it’s often hard to find something that looks more unique. I think each one was around $3-4.

Just so you know, they do have an online store so you can buy from them online, but I didn’t see the actual product I bought on their site so if you happen to be in the NYC metro area, it might be worth physically going there. They are located 149 West 28th street between 6th and 7th aves and are open Monday through Saturday. Attention early risers: Jamali opens at 6:30 am and they close at 5pm so make sure you get there earlier in the day. It can get a bit crowded.

So this is how the planter turned out:

cement planter painted animation

I used an old paint brush that I had lying around, some leftover gold and white paint, and some artist masking tape. I tried regular masking tape first but it was a bit hard to pull off so the artist masking tape proved easier to use for this purpose.

Step 1: Apply the masking tape to the planter exterior

First, I applied the artist masking tape to the outside of the planter. I decided how I wanted to position the tape and how much of each color I wanted to show on each side.

Step 2: Use a brush to paint over the exposed areas

Then I used the brush to paint over the exposed areas coloring each segment. I tried to paint all of the sides in one sitting, which would have been manageable, but I needed a few of the sides to dry a little before finishing off the last side. I didn’t wait for the paint to completely dry before pulling off the tape. I was afraid that if I waited too long the paint might end up pulling the paint up with the tape if I waited for it all to dry.

Step 3: Finish the remaining fourth side

Carefully, I removed the tape as I painted the segments as I went along. After about 20 or so minutes of leaving it alone with 3 of the sides complete, I finished the last side.

Step 4: Fill it!

filled planter with ficus benjamina

Once it was all totally dry, I filled it with one of my plants that was outgrowing a terrarium. What plant is this you ask? It is a weeping fig, a popular indoor ornamental plant (ficus benjamina). I’ll probably devote a separate post on popular indoor species and a few of the things I’ve done to keep them happy.

Also, I have seen that people have used enamel — I believe enamel is oil-based, which is likely waterproof. The one I made is meant for indoor use only. If you want to waterproof this, you can get a spray paint clear gloss from Home Depot or Lowes to spray over your finished work. This will prevent the acrylic from coming off when exposed to the elements. I also think that even if you use enamel, it is still best to apply a clear gloss coat over your work if you plan on using the planter outside.

In general, I was amazed at how quickly the planter customization could be done. I was pleased with the result and happy that I could use up some of my art supplies that have not been getting much use.

planter_craft filled planter with ficus benjamina planter images