paper flowers, Tim Holtz Ink

Paper Succulent Mixed Media Artwork

Ever get stuck for some mojo?  Well, I had a canvas base for a mixed media project hanging on my wall for about 6 months waiting to be finished. I had been waiting for some kind of inspiration to hit. It was kind of an interesting moment between realizing I do NOT have a green thumb and doing something about it. I can’t even keep succulents alive, supposedly the easiest to care for plants.  So in an instant I had a cure to my painting and my horrible gardening skills. I could make paper succulents, no water needed.


The canvas is a 7″X12″ gessoed plain canvas. I had layered Ranger gold & copper paint dabbers and picket fence and broken china Distress paints on the background. When dry, I layered a petals  stencil from Hero Arts with vintage photo distress paint. The lattice-work in the corners is Sizzix thinlits die “corners and coverup” 660220 Tim Holtz mixed media. I did it on card stock and layered the paint to give it an aged patina look of copper. The decals were tim holtz   ideaology remnant rub ons . This picture just hung there unfinished to me until now.

Next I looked around for some succulent designs I liked for use on my base painting. I looked around and found some free cut files for my ancient but great working 1st generation Quickutz Silhouette machine at

I cut out one of the sheets in the 8.5  x 11 format included in the succulent download and then enlarged the flowers/leaves onto two other pages to make them more life-size. I used 5 different colors of card stock paper (burgundy, pine green, lavender, mint green and spring green). I then used my various distress and distress oxide inks to layer on the look of realistic leaves.


The layers worked best when the regular distress ink was applied first and then the oxides. When water is applied the distress oxides will take over and mute out the regular distress ink, so applying the regular distress ink as the base color will make the intensity come through. A final touch of regular distress ink on the edges when they are dry bring back some more intense color as well. I really liked the oxides with these succulents because they make it like the frosty furry look of the real succulent counterparts. I googled images of real plants to get a true color palette and chose the following inks to get the colors to come out on the papers.


After sponging on the colors, I spritzed them with water and shaped them while they were still wet. It was a test of patience to get all these done, so I worked on several at a time in various stages.  They are graduated in size so all you do is add one on top of another and alternate leaves on each level. To hold them all together I used hot glue so that they would stay put on the vertical surface that they were to be placed on. I know that from past experience some  of the paper glues and ATG tapes will fall off in time from variable temperature extremes and humidity levels.

I added a few self adhesive half rhinestone gems to the center of some of the succulents for some bling.

The aloe leaves were cut from a double sided 12×12 sheet of striped green cardstock using my fiskars deckle edge scissors and then inked and run through my fiskars paper crimper for some added texture and bendability.

The paper scraps were cut on my paper cutter and run through the paper crimper as well and glued as a base for the flowers on the canvas.

The swirls were cut using Sizzix Bigz swirl and snowflake die 658185


I laid out everything first without gluing them, and used a standard design theory of odd numbers of objects to have the best visual appearance to the eye and movement around the art piece. Once I was happy I glued the leaf and scrap base and then added the flowers.


The final result made this mixed media piece finally complete and now I can enjoy my new hanging succulent garden that needs no watering.


I have at the bottom a list of supplies I used to make this mixed media succulent garden below and consider it a tip jar if you use the links below to help pay the cost of the blog expenses. It costs you nothing extra you will still get the best prices, but Amazon will pay me a small affiliate percentage if you purchase through the links. Thanks for your support and tell me what you think.


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