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These DIY gifts are succulent: Los Osos studio offers workshops on succulent wreaths and more

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I have approximately 128 DIY related pins on my crafty board on Pinterest. I have attempted zero of them.  

A WEALTH OF SUCCULENTS:  Joan Martin Fee shows Diane Toman, Cindi Karlen, Sandy Ashby, and Lana Hollady how to make succulent wreaths at the Design Studio in Los Osos. - PHOTO BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
  • PHOTO BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
  • A WEALTH OF SUCCULENTS: Joan Martin Fee shows Diane Toman, Cindi Karlen, Sandy Ashby, and Lana Hollady how to make succulent wreaths at the Design Studio in Los Osos.

I think about making the wine bottle glasses or the farmers’ market T-shirt tote. And then I think about how those crafty attempts might play out: with my hand gushing blood or with a million pieces of T-shirt on my floor and something that doesn’t even remotely resemble a tote.

So I happily signed up to undertake a crafty pursuit under the supervision and expertise of Joan Martin Fee at Heidi Borchers and Friends Creative Studio in Los Osos one rainy Sunday afternoon. Our mission was to create a decorative wreath using drought-friendly succulent plants.

IF THE PLANT FITS:  Attendees of Joan Martin Fee’s succulent workshops can think outside the wreath and make a succulent planter using a stylish shoe. - PHOTO BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
  • PHOTO BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
  • IF THE PLANT FITS: Attendees of Joan Martin Fee’s succulent workshops can think outside the wreath and make a succulent planter using a stylish shoe.

The process was simpler than I could have hoped for. We started with a wreath made of moss that would serve as the soil for our succulents. Then taking a pen or pair of scissors, you simple poked a hole in the moss and then shoved your succulent—chosen from a large table piled high with locally sourced succulents of all varieties—into it. And the succulent stayed put! Well mostly. Rebellious succulents were put in place with a greening pin. The process was repeated until the wreath was filled out, which took just under an hour. 

“This is like a crafter’s dream project,” Martin Fee said. “I like this because it’s simple, it’s gratifying. You can’t go wrong.”

MADE WITH LOVE:  Diane Toman works on a handmade succulent wreath at the Design Studio in Los Osos. - PHOTO BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
  • PHOTO BY DYLAN HONEA-BAUMANN
  • MADE WITH LOVE: Diane Toman works on a handmade succulent wreath at the Design Studio in Los Osos.

The succulent wreaths can hang on your door or garden wall. They can even be brought in and used as a centerpiece for a holiday meal simply by adding a candle to the center and some festive red flowers to the wreath. Martin Fee said that if properly taken care of, the succulent wreaths can be a holiday gift that will last for years to come. 

“What we like to stress is that it’s all here for you,” Martin Fee said. “You don’t have to bring anything, you don’t have to clean up.”

While a wreath with just a few succulents on it could cost you $130 from a local nursery, a succulent wreath workshop that will leave you with a handmade personal gift to give to a loved one will cost you just $50 for a fully filled out 9-inch wreath or $80 for an 11-inch wreath.

- BLACK THUMBS MAY APPLY:  Even those who just can’t seem to make plants grow can handle taking care of a succulent wreath. They’re happiest when outside and simply need to be sprayed with water every once in a while. The next succulent wreath workshops will be Saturday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m. at Heidi Borchers and Friends Creative Studio, 1299 Nipomo Ave. in Los Osos. The cost ranges from $40 to $80 depending on if you’d like to make a succulent wreath, Christmas tree, or shoe! Private crafting workshops of four people or more can also be arranged. Go to Joan Martin Fee’s website, creativemetime.com, to sign up. Heidi Borchers‘ site is heidiborchers.com. -
  • BLACK THUMBS MAY APPLY: Even those who just can’t seem to make plants grow can handle taking care of a succulent wreath. They’re happiest when outside and simply need to be sprayed with water every once in a while. The next succulent wreath workshops will be Saturday, Dec. 5, at 1 p.m. and Tuesday, Dec. 8, at 6 p.m. at Heidi Borchers and Friends Creative Studio, 1299 Nipomo Ave. in Los Osos. The cost ranges from $40 to $80 depending on if you’d like to make a succulent wreath, Christmas tree, or shoe! Private crafting workshops of four people or more can also be arranged. Go to Joan Martin Fee’s website, creativemetime.com, to sign up. Heidi Borchers‘ site is heidiborchers.com.

If plants aren’t your thing, the studio also offers workshops on edible gifts from the kitchen, sea glass jewelry, and mosaic projects. Check out studio owner Heidi Borchers’ site for more information. Crafters who want to get their DIY on solo style can purchase moss wreaths for their own succulent crafts at topiaryartworks.com

Ryah Cooley is pro-succulents and other water-saving plants at rcooley@newtimesslo.com.

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