Plus, they’ll never die.

By Real Simple
Updated October 20, 2017

If you can’t seem to keep any type of plant alive (even one as low maintenance as a succulent or cactus) or you’re just looking to try something new, opt for paper foliage. These designs look so life-like that your family and friends won’t notice they’re not real... until they get up close. We worked with designer, maker, and handcrafted lifestyle expert Lia Griffith to create a DIY paper succulent project you’ll want to tackle this weekend.

Real Simple readers can find the patterns for the succulents here. Plus, get 20 percent off your annual membership to with the code liagriffithreal. Members get 40 new DIY downloads per month and access to a library of 1,700 project downloads (everything from home décor projects to party decorations). Head to for more information.

Take a look at the directions below:

What You Need

  • Paper Succulent Patterns
  • Sheets of colored paper (in green and purple shades)
  • Markers (in green and purple shades)
  • 20-guage floral wire
  • Scissors
  • Low-temp hot glue gun
  • Wire cutter

Follow These Steps

  1. Gather materials.
  2. Trace and cut out paper according to pattern.
  3. Use marker to shade pieces as shown.
  4. Curl paper pieces with scissors.
  5. For “flower” succulent, glue and cross over tabs at base.
  6. Cut wire in about four-inch strips. Poke through the base of each succulent and cut wire down.
  7. Glue and stack succulent pieces.
  8. Place foam in a vase or container. Glue moss to the top surface, then poke succulents into place.