If you are looking for a prickly companion that won’t die with a lack of water, we’ve got an excellent project for you. Make this on-trend dish garden using our In The Hoop Cactus Pincushions collection. This collection uses a simple double hooping technique that we’ve demonstrated in this video.


  • OESD’s In The Hoop Cactus Pincushions #12529 embroidery collection
  • OESD Heavy Weight TearAway Stabilizer
  • Green felt for cacti
  • Bright colored felt for flowers
  • Embroidery Thread
  • Pincushion stuffing
  • 10″ round dish
  • Floral foam
  • Floral pins


For our dish garden, I’ve used a round dish around 10″ in size, and a piece of floral foam.

I made about 8 cacti to fill it. You’ll want to play around with your dish to see what number of cacti you’ll need to make. It’s better to make too many than not enough! We used a variety of green felt so that our dish garden would have a little more interest when it was complete.

You’ll want to carve a piece of floral foam to fit inside your dish. We used a serrated bread knife that has been retired from the kitchen. Depending on the size and shape of your dish, you may need to use adhesive to secure the floral foam inside. Ours stayed nicely put due to the rim around the top of the dish. Once you’ve wrestled your foam into place, you can use pins to start to arrange your cacti, floral pins are perfect for this application, they are a double pronged pin that seems to secure things pretty firmly. You can find them at your local craft store, or easily online. If you can’t get floral pins, regular sewing pins will work fine; you’ll just need to use more of them.

Continue filling up your dish with a variety of cacti, varying color and size, the wider variety of colors, the more realistic your dish garden will look!

Once your garden is planted with cacti, you can start to add some embellishments. Simple white glass head pins make perfect “spines”, and your flowers can be made with felt- but we used cork! The cork can be cut using an electronic cutting machine- if you use one, be sure to place your cork face down on the cutting mat. It makes a much cleaner cut this way! You can also trace and cut your flower shapes by hand.

Once you’ve made one dish garden, you won’t be able to stop seeing future gardens when you look at empty containers… they make the perfect gift for the black thumbs in your life. Enjoy!

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