Jenn here, with a little behind-the-scenes fun from the recent fiesta shoot we produced for Cooking Channel. Using re-purposed Mexican food cans and assorted succulents, we created these super affordable favors for guests to take home at the end of the night. If you’ve ever re-potted a cactus or succulent, you know it can be prickly business! But with the right tools, you can create these pint-sized favors for your next summer bash without getting a scratch. Keep reading for full instructions after the jump!

To get started you’ll need succulent plants, empty cans, a hand trowel, tongs and a small bag of cactus potting soil. We found small, colorful cans on the Mexican food aisle of our local grocery store.

Begin by filling an empty can with a 1-inch thick layer of cactus potting dirt.

Using the tongs, grasp the stalk of the plant at it’s thickest point. Gently rock the plant back and forth until the soil has loosened from the pot. Still using the tongs, pull the plant out of it’s container and place it into the can.

Hold the plant upright with the tongs and carefully fill in the can with more potting dirt by hand. Once the plant is secure, you can add decorative rocks on top of the dirt. We used white gravel rocks from Camille’s garden. The greater variety of plants and cans you are able to combine will make for a more dynamic table display. Inform your guests that these plants need lots of sun, very little water, and send them home with the cactus of their choice!

{Bottom image courtesy She-N-He Photography and Design for, all other images by Jennifer Rose Smith}


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Comments (29)
  1. 1
    celine {starbies and sangrias} August 1, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    That is awesome!!

  2. 2
    Leah // Freutcake August 1, 2012 at 1:29 pm

    The can labels totally make this DIY! Love the “fiesta” flavor.

  3. 3
    Chris August 1, 2012 at 1:59 pm

    What a festive and original favor! I’ll have to remember this for my daughter’s Cinco de Mayo birthday next year.

  4. 4
    this confetti life August 1, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    So cute! Perfect favors!

  5. 5
    Kristina Gulino August 1, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    Oh my gosh, these are so great!! You guys come up with the best stuff! Just shared on my FB page.

    Nook & Sea

  6. 6
    Diane Smith August 1, 2012 at 11:19 pm

    Very clever idea!!! Loved the combination of unique and colorful cans.
    Thanks for all the helpful tips to prepare these wonderful pint-sized
    succulent favors! D

  7. 7
    Lisa @ HR Creative Design Studio August 2, 2012 at 11:24 am

    Thank you for sharing such a fun and festive Fiesta Favors DIY idea and so doable for me!

  8. 8
    Kimi August 20, 2012 at 5:39 pm

    What a cute idea! And perfect for the succulent collecting habit I”m planning to start. 😛 Would it be a good idea to hammer holes at the bottom of the can with a nail, for drainage?

  9. 9
    Debra August 25, 2012 at 11:28 am

    clever, fun, great idea

  10. 10
    jessica25 January 11, 2014 at 10:09 pm

    way cool and now you can grow a pet TickleMe Plant that Moves and closes its leaves when you Tickle It! Just search TickleMe Plant Party favor

  11. 11
    Vanessa April 9, 2015 at 1:43 pm

    very very cute! I love the recycled cans, but wish to note that Hatch (as in “Hatch Green Chile”) is in *New Mexico* — not Mexico. They may seem exotic, but they are not Mexican 😉

  12. 12
    Annie April 13, 2015 at 3:21 pm

    cactus needs a permanent pot/home with drainage hole. period. otherwise it
    will not last. don’t understand why people refuse to acknowledge this when putting out all the cute repurposed planter ideas. and putting a layer of rocks
    on the bottom is not good enough….sharp drainage necessary. One extra
    step, drill hole in can. Then it is no longer temporary.