Monday 12 April 2021

The Funky Cactus Terrarium Display Dome

Hello everyone and happy Monday!

As another week flies by, it's time for the brand new Simon Says Stamp Monday Challenge and this week, we challenge you to create ANYTHING BUT A CARD!

This project comes with a story as it was originally an idea I had for Tim’s YouTube Live launch of Sizzix Chapter 2 but after the first dome arrived smashed to pieces and the second one went on an around the world trip, it never came to fruition but as soon as I saw this theme, I just knew it was the perfect time to finally make it and it couldn’t have worked better because the Funky Cactus die fit perfectly inside and was a match made in heaven! What’s more, if you're not very green fingered, *holds hand up*, then these are the best houseplants ever, as they will never die on you and it doesn't matter if you never water them!!!

So here we go, finally I get to share my Funky Cactus terrarium project!

To begin with I started by making my cactus and used two of the images from the set of 4 dies, together with a couple of pots and some of the cactus flower heads. Because I want these to be quite thick so they stand alone inside the dome, I cut two of each piece from Mixed Media Heavystock and then adhered each of these die cuts together using Matte Collage Medium.

With all my pieces to form the cacti in front of me, you will have two sections for the smaller cactus and three sections for the larger one, it's time to start colouring them and for this I used a selection of Distress Spray Stains.

COLOURS USED: Distress Spray Stains: Evergreen Bough, Peeled Paint, Twisted Citron, Rustic Wilderness, Iced Spruce, and Cracked Pistachio. Oxide Spray: Speckled Egg

After lightly misting the card, I applied the spray stains and the oxide spray to each die cut section, back and front, one at a time and allowed the colours to blend together and form different shades of green on each die cut. I added colour to the back of the die cuts because once they are in place, you will see all around this piece.

Once they were dry, I then inked the edges with Walnut Stain Distress Ink and adhered the layers to form two Funky Cactus plants.

Moving onto the pots, again I cut two separate piece of each pot and used two different shaped pots. I painted the die cut sections, back and front with a blend of Candied Apple and Black Soot Distress Paints. Once the painted pots are dry and assembled, I placed and adhered the one die cut pot onto the front of the cactus and the second on the back, sandwiching the cactus between them to form a freestanding plant and pot.

Finally, I added the flowers. I inked the flowers using Kitsch Flamingo and Wilted Violet for one cactus, and for the second I used Crackling Campfire and Mustard Seed. I then attached the flowers to my cacti and allowed for them to dry.

Now to build up my terrarium...

...and I began with the corked base of the Display Dome. I wanted the dome to have little feet, and for this I used Hitch Fasteners and adhered four to the base of the cork.

I painted them with a combination of Rusty Hinge, Crackling Campfire and Ground Espresso Distress Paint to create a rusty look to the metal.

Now for assembling the little cacti and I began by pushing a cocktail stick into the cork where I will want my cacti to be positioned. I then attached each cacti to the stick using hot glue to secure them into place.

With the plants in place, I applied a good layer of Matte Collage Medium over the surface of the cork base and sprinkled Art Stones over the top. I used a combination of Mini Art Stones and Art Stones. Allow for these to dry and set into place and whilst that's happening...I coloured the baubles.

I used a selection of various sized baubles, and placed them into a zip lock bag. I added a few drops of Moss Alcohol Ink and with the bag closed, I shook the baubles to give a good ink coverage.

Removing them from the one bag and emptying them into a second, I then added a really small drop of Mushroom Alcohol ink and gave them a shake. This just dulls the brightness slightly and gives more of a vintage feel to the surface colour.

Back to the Art Stones, I would leave them overnight if possible but if not, allow a couple of hours, and by then they should be ready to paint. I used a combination of Distress Paints; Ground Espresso, Peeled Paint, Bundled Sage and Twisted Citron to colour the stones, which I did with a very fine paintbrush that allows me to get into all the nooks and crannies. To add a hint of metallic over the top, I used a touch of Prima's Unicorn Hair Acrylic Paint.

Once these were painted, and I did leave a few unpainted as I wanted variation, I added my baubles, building them up one by one and attaching each with a dab of Matte Collage Medium.

Finally, I added some moss and some curly moss that can be found from any good florist or online.

The base is now ready and all that's left is the dome...

...For this I used another Hitch Fastener, given the same rusty paint treatment as before and I adhered this to the top of the glass dome with Matte Collage Medium before tying twine around it.

I then attached some Design Tape around the bottom rim of the glass dome. With the tape in place, I wrapped twine around the glass and added a Mini Plaquette, tied onto the glass with the twine.

Finally, I wrapped a second piece of the twine around the corked base, before placing the glass dome over the top of the cacti.

So that's my project for this week finished and I hope you've enjoyed the process and feel inspired to make one of your own. It's definitely a fun project to create and once you start, there will be no stopping you!

Don't forget that every week, one lucky random participant has the chance to win a $25 gift voucher from Simon Says Stamp and you can join in up to 5 times, which means you could have 5 chances to winYou have until Monday 8am Ohio time. 1pm UK time, 2 pm CET to join in and good luck....

Thank you so much for taking the time to stop by today ~ stay safe and keep well.
Love Emma xxx

Recipe for project:
Tim Holtz/Sizzix: Funky Cactus
Distress Inks: Walnut Stain, Wilted Violet, Kitsch Flamingo, Crackling Campfire, Mustard Seed
Distress Paint: Candied Apple, Black Soot, Rusty Hinge, Crackling Campfire, Ground Espresso
Distress Spray Stains; Evergreen Bough, Peeled Paint, Twisted Citron, Rustic Wilderness, Iced Spruce, Cracked Pistachio
Distress Oxide Sprays; Speckled Egg


  1. My kind of house plant!! Maybe I could keep this one alive! lol

  2. Wow, this is amazing Emma! I have the funky cactus die on order and would love to try this. (Haven't seen the display domes here in Australia, bit nervous about them surviving in the post :) Thankyou for the fabulous tutorial, Cathy x


Thank you for all your comments and messages, they are all appreciated and I hope you'll come back and visit again soon...
Emma ~xx

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