Categories: Do It Yourself

How to Turn an Ikea Coffee Table Into a Succulent Garden

We’ve all been there: your succulent garden is too big (and continuing to grow) and you’ve got nowhere to put all your new plant babies. You want to show them off inside so all your guests can marvel at your beautiful plants, but you’ve got nowhere to put them! So what do you do? Lucky for you, there’s a way to make that dream come true – here is our how-to guide for turning your boring old Ikea coffee table into a beautifully blooming succulent garden!

1. What You’ll Need

Before you start any project, you have to make sure you have all your tools in place. For your Ikea coffee table succulent garden, you’ll need:

  • The Ikea Lack side table
  • Metal Ruler
  • Utility Knife
  • Pen
  • Horticultural charcoal
  • Potting Soil
  • Pebbles
  • Garden Decorations
  • Succulents

The price of your Lack side table will depend on what color you want your table to be (the black side table is the least expensive). All styles will follow the same guidelines. 

Get this table:

2. Measure Your Garden Space

Once you have all the tools for your coffee table succulent garden, it’s time to start cutting! First, grab your ruler and pen and draw out a 12 in. by 9 in. rectangle in the center of your table. This is where your garden will be, so make sure you draw your square carefully. As any dad would say, “measure twice and cut once.”

The actual size of your “garden” is completely up to you! If you want a thinner garden, shorten the width of your rectangle. If you want two small, square gardens instead of one large one, that’s fine, too! Decide on how big you want your succulent garden beforehand and measure those squares carefully. 

Also important to note, f you decided to go with the white side table (or another light color), a pen will do just fine. However, if you chose the black side table, you may want to consider a white chalk marker or pen to mark your square. 

3. Cut and Clear

The next step for your succulent garden is to cut out the square you drew. Here’s where you get to use your utility knife (which we all know is one of the most fun parts of a DIY furniture project)! Using your metal ruler as a straight edge, carefully begin cutting out your garden space.

Tip: patience is a virtue here. If you make multiple cuts rather than cutting in a sawing motion, your more likely to create clean, straight lines. Think of it like brushing through hair – you don’t saw your hair with your brush! Instead, you make careful, repetitive motions to carefully brush through your hair. It’s important to do the same with your table if you want nice lines.

After you get the square cut out and remove the pressed cardboard top, you’ll see that the inside is hollow with cardboard pieces making a honeycomb pattern. Make sure to clear out the table’s insides so you’ll have space for your succulent garden!

4. Layering Your Garden

The next step is super important for the well-being of your succulent garden: layering your garden elements. It sounds weird, but since there’s no drainage element to this coffee table garden, the way you layer on your garden elements will help ensure your succulents remain healthy as they grow. 

First, pour a layer of horticultural charcoal into your garden space. This will help absorb excess water that your succulents don’t need. On top of the charcoal is where you’ll put your pebbles or gravel, whichever you prefer. Pebbles are great for drainage and helping keep your succulents from sitting in too much water (because, as we all know, succulents are easy plants to have because they don’t need that much water to live). 

Now, some people put a layer of moss between the pebbles and soil – that’s completely up to you as your garden will be fine with or without it. Moss also makes a good decorative element to add to your top layer alongside your succulents. Finally, add in your soil. This completes the bottom layers of your succulent garden and you’re ready to add your plants!

See Also

5. Planting Your Succulents

It’s time for the most important part of your coffee table succulent garden: planting your succulents! By now, you’ve raided your local Lowe’s or plant nursery for all the best succulents, or else you’re utilizing the army of succulents you’ve already collected. It’s time to put these little babies to use and plant them in your recently layered soil! My personal favorite succulent is the Echeveria elegans, or the “Mexican Snowball.”

This would also be where you added any moss or other plants you may have purchased to add a little extra depth and variety to your garden. Don’t be afraid to jazz up your succulent garden with interesting plants and mosses – it’s your garden, so make it as fun and fresh as you want to! Then, the next time you have guests over, they’ll all be thinking, “Wow, I want a table garden like that!”

6. Add Any Final Decorations

Now’s the time to have fun with your new succulent garden! There’s nothing cuter than adding fairy garden pieces to your garden outside, so feel free to include them here. Have a tiny hedgehog on a seesaw you’ve been wanting to put outside? Add him. Hoarding a collection of tiny mushroom pieces in your bedroom? Put them in the garden beside your plants to add a pop of color to your coffee table. 

There’s no limit to what you can do or add to your coffee table succulent garden, so go crazy and have fun! This is YOUR garden, so make it as zany and fun or as simple and minimal as you want. Then, when it’s all done, bask in the beauty of your little blooming garden while enjoying a nice congratulatory cup of coffee.

Have some more tips for how to upgrade your succulent garden or Ikea coffee table? Tell us in the comments!

Featured image source:
Draven Jackson

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