Last year I made a miniature Christmas tree ornament adorned with lights. This year I used the same technique for the lights and decorated this sweet Holiday cactus. This little guy makes me so happy; I hope he makes you smile as well!
You could also do a little Santa hat instead of the lights (or do both! There can never be too much Christmas cactus spirit!)
Let’s get started! (Or Pin/Shop for later!)
If you’d prefer a downloadable or printable version of this pattern, an inexpensive, formatted, and ad-free PDF can be purchased HERE or through the “Shop It” button above!
Our festive little cactus is worked flat as usual, and then joined together in the same style as my Ragdoll patterns. The pattern is made up of 6 separate pieces, plus the lights which are stitched on.
- 3.25mm hook;
- 1.75mm hook for lights;
- Bernat Super Value in Topaz;
- Red Heart Soft in Guacamole;
- Small amounts of four or five different brightly coloured yarns for the lights (I used a light weight yarn but any yarn will work; worsted, embroidery threads, etc);
- Black crochet thread for wire;
- 6mm Safety Eyes;
- Tapestry needle
Stitches and Special Terms (US Terminology):
Ch – Chain
St – Stitch
Sc – Single crochet
Inc – Increase. Work 2 sc in the same st.
Dec – Decrease. Work a regular sc decrease.
Hdc – Half double crochet
BLO – Back Loops Only
FLO – Front Loops Only
Reading this Pattern
This pattern is a little different than my usual patterns in that the assembly will be completed as we go, rather than done at the end. So make sure you read each section carefully before moving on to the next.
Cactus Arm Panels (make 2) with 3.25mm hook:
We are going to start with the arm of the cactus. Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row. Using green:
Row 1: Ch 4, Sc 3 across (3 sts)
Row 2: Sc in first st. Leave remaining 2 sts unworked. (1 st) Chain and turn.
Row 3: Sc (1 st).
Tie off. Repeat rows 1-3 for second arm panel. Do not tie off second panel. Instead, place the two panels together, ch 1 and crochet around the outside of the panels to join them. (Sc, ch, sc) in the corners of the arm (i.e. the side that will attach to the cactus). Slst to first st and tie off.
Cactus Body Panels (make 2) with 3.25mm hook:
The cactus body panels are worked from right to left, meaning each cactus panel is worked on its side. This is so we can create vertical ridges by crocheting in the Back Loops Only. Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row. In green:
Row 1: Ch 10, sc across chs (9 sts)
Row 2: In BLO: Sc 8, inc (10 sts)
Row 3: In BLO: inc, sc 9 (11 sts)
Row 4: In BLO: sc 11 (11 sts)
Row 5: In BLO: dec, sc 9 (10 sts)
Row 6: In BLO: sc 8, dec (9 sts)
Tie off. Repeat rows 1-6 for the second panel.
Now it’s time to decorate! Insert 6mm safety eyes or stitch on eyes using black crochet thread and add a mouth.
Next, using a 1.75mm hook (or the smallest hook you have), use your black crochet thread to surface slip-stitch across the front cactus panel in a zig-zag design to imitate a wire, starting on the top right-hand side. Tie off.
Finally, using your tapestry needle, weave brightly coloured yarn around a stitch several times so that it starts to imitate the shape of a bulb. Repeat along each wire. I like to make the stitches somewhat slanted to make it look like all the lights are hanging in the same direction on each wire.
Alternatively, you could sew on beads or bells!
Assembling the Cactus
Next, we are going to join the cactus panels together and attach the arm (before moving on to crocheting the pot).
Cut a length of green yarn, approximately 30cm/12″ long.
Place the two cactus panels together, matching up all sides.
**Make sure the front is facing you as you crochet around the outside.**
Starting on the left side at the top, begin attaching the panels together by chaining one and single crocheting around the outside of the panels in green.
Crochet down the side, being sure to (sc, ch, sc) into the same stitch for each of the two bottom corners to give the bottom a nice rectangular shape.
Stop when you reach the other side of the cactus.
Attach the arm by inserting the arm between the two panels (placed approximately in the middle) and sew it in place by sewing through all three pieces, the top panel, the arm and the back panel. Tie a knot to secure and hide the yarn tails inside.
Continue crocheting up the side. When you get to the arm, crochet in the stitches of the front panel only since this portion is already sewn shut.
Lightly stuff your cactus when you reach the top. Continue crochet across, topping up stuffing as necessary and close with a slst to first st and tie off. Poke the yarn tails back inside the piece.
Move on to the panels for the planter below!
Planter Panels (make 2) with 3.25mm hook:
The planter panels are worked from the bottom up. Ch 1 and turn at the end of each row. In brown:
Row 1: Ch 5, sc across (4 sts)
Row 2: Inc, sc 2, inc (6 sts)
Row 3: Inc, sc 4, inc (8 sts)
Row 4: Sc across (8 sts)
Row 5: In BLO, hdc across (8 sts)
Tie off. Repeat rows 1-5 for the second panel.
Time to plant!
Cut a length of Topaz yarn, approximately 30cm/12″ long.
Place the two planter panels together, matching up all sides.
Starting on the left side at the top, begin attaching the panels together by chaining one and single crocheting around the outside of the panels.
Crochet down and around the bottom, stopping at the top of the other side. (Sc, ch, sc) in the corner.
Lightly stuff the planter now.
Insert the cactus between the two panels and sew it in place using the length of yarn that you set aside earlier by sewing through all three pieces, the top panel, the cactus and the back panel. Tie a knot to secure and hide the yarn tails inside.
Crochet across the top of the planter, crocheting in the stitches of the front panel only (since this portion is already sewn shut). Don’t forget to (sc, ch, sc) in the other corner before you close. Close with a slst to first st and tie off. Poke the yarn tails back inside the piece.
Attach a loop of yarn or an ornament hook and you’re done!
Enjoy! I hope this little cactus is the only prickly part of your holiday season!
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