Here in Southern California, cacti of all kinds decorate the landscape with their prickly silhouettes. As a New Englander, more accustomed to maple trees, evergreen forests, and snow (lots of snow), this scenery fascinates me. The shapes and colors, the way the sun hits the sand, the sheer variety of flora and fauna surrounding me – itĀ all serves as endless inspiration for art projects, from drawings to watercolors, paints, and more.

This cactus sculpture is one such project. With a keen interest in sustainable art that reuses as much as possible and consumes as little as possible, this project checks all the boxes.

There are steps, yes, but this project thrives on the process, so let your kids (or yourself!) explore the materials available to you. Don’t have popsicle sticks (eat some popsicles!), find another rigid material that could do the trick. How about a knife from those pesky, seemingly impossible to un-request to-go packs that came with last night’s take out meal? Instead of using paper for the nopales of your cacti, find some bubble wrap, packing material, or paper bags? The options surround you if you know how to see them!

  • Cardboard Tube
  • Cardboard Base
  • Markers, Paint, or Crayons
  • Tape or…
  • Hot Glue Gun*
  • School Glue
  • Scissors
  • Popsicle SticksĀ 
  • Toothpicks
  • Paper or Bubble Wrap
  • X-Acto Knife*

*adult use only