How to Make a Paper Cactus

Cacti come in many varieties and shapes.
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If you want to make a special gift for someone who loves cacti or who lives in a hot, arid climate, a homemade card is always a thoughtful gesture. Using basic items that you probably already have on hand, you can make a paper card that looks similar to a real cactus in its native sandy environment. For a Christmas card, try drawing on a colorful string of lights and adding a star-shaped sticker as a topper to the cactus.

Draw a cactus onto a piece of green paper, and cut out the shape with sharp scissors. Turn the cactus over, and check the shape; the side of the paper that you did not draw on will be the front.

Cut a square of fine-grit sandpaper about 1/2 inch larger than the cactus all around. Do not use expensive scissors, because cutting sandpaper may permanently dull them.

Turn the cactus so that the backside is facing up. Rub a glue stick all over the back of the cactus until it is generously coated with adhesive. Affix the cactus to the center of the sandpaper, and smooth out the surface with your fingers.

Draw needles with a black marker, or make them out of glued-on pencil shavings or other textural items.


Attach your cactus to a folded piece of paper, or add lined paper to the back to make a card.

About the Author

Jourdan Townsend has been writing since childhood. Her articles appear in a collection of student works at the University of Oklahoma as well as in the school's "Honors College Journal." Townsend also composes poetry, some of which can be found in an edition of the "Anthology of Poetry by Young Americans." Townsend holds a Bachelor of Arts in communication.