Craft project: How to crochet a Devil’s Tongue cactus that you can’t kill!

If you're a keen crocheter (is that the right word?) or even if you're just starting out, this fun crocheted cactus project is for you. It's a cute project that'll impress friends when they spot your crocheted cactus on display on your mantelpiece. How cool would it be to be able to say 'I made that myself'? And even cooler is that this is one houseplant that you can't kill haha!

If you’re a keen crocheter (is that the right word?) or even if you’re just starting out, this fun crocheted cactus project is for you. It’s a cute project that’ll impress friends when they spot your crocheted cactus on display on your mantelpiece. How cool would it be to be able to say ‘I made that myself’? And even cooler is that this is one houseplant that you can’t kill haha!

This step-by-step crochet project is taken from the newly published craft book ‘Crocheted Succulents’ by Emma Varnam. It’s one of many woolly houseplant projects in the book that you can made at home. Go on – create a whole greenhouse full of fluffy succulents and cacti – you know you want to!

The projects are easy to follow, can be completed in no time at all and don’t really require much in the way of materials. Plus – just how relaxing is it to be crafting something with your hands? I love getting stuck into a craft project that I can come back to when I’ve got some free time. I figure I’d rather be crocheting, sewing or knitting rather than fiddling on my phone when I’ve got nothing else to do. Plus, that sense of satisfaction when you’ve finished a project is a wonderful feeling.

So today, I’m sharing just one of the projects to make a funky Devil’s Tongue cactus, and the tutorial is below. But that’s not all – the fantastic news is that I’ve got THREE extra copies of the newly published Crocheted Succulents book to give away to three lucky winners so read on to learn how to make this fluffy cactus yourself and enter the giveaway today!


Extract reprinted here with permission, Crocheted Succulents by Emma Varnam, published by GMC Publications, £14.99, available to buy from and all good bookshops

Ferocactus latispinus

This cactus, native to Mexico, is usually globe-shaped or spherical. Its ferocious-looking spines, from where it derives its common name, are usually red. I have recreated the spiky effect by using tinsel yarn.

Finished size – The cactus is approximately 4in (10cm) in diameter.

You will need:

  • Robin Double Knit, 100% acrylic (328yd/300m per 100g ball):
  • 1 ball in 045 Forest (A)
  • Rico Design Creative Bubble, 100% polyester (98yd/90m per 50g ball):
  • 1 ball in 018 Dark Red (B)
  • 3.5mm (UK9:USE/4) crochet hook
  • Polyester stuffing
  • Tapestry needle
  • Floristry wire
  • Floral foam to fit pot
  • Small alpine grit
  • Plant pot approximately 2½in (6cm) in diameter

Tension is not essential for this project.

The cactus is worked in spirals using the standard amigurumi technique (see instructions below). Place a marker at the beginning of each round so you know where you are in the pattern. You crochet each segment in yarn A, then embroider the spines on afterwards in yarn B.


A clever way to start an amigurumi shape is use a ‘magic ring’.  This is a neat way of starting a circular piece of crochet while avoiding the unsightly hole that can be left in the centre when you join a ring the normal way. Magic rings are nearly always made with double crochet stitches, as this creates a tight, dense crochet fabric.

  1. Start by making a basic slip knot. Pull up the loop and slip this loop onto your crochet hook.
  2. Before you tighten the ring, wrap the yarn over the hook (outside the circle) and pull through to make the first chain.
  3. Insert the hook into the ring, wrap the yarn over the hook and pull through the ring so there are two loops on the hook.
  4. Wrap the yarn over the hook again (outside the circle) and pull through both loops.
  5. You have made your first double crochet stitch.
  6. Continue to work like this for as many double crochet stitches as are stated in the pattern instructions.
  7. Pull the yarn tail to tighten the ring and then continue working in the round as usual.


Using 3.5mm (UK9:USE/4) hook and A, make a magic ring (see instructions above).

Round 1: 1 ch, 6 dc into the centre of the ring.

Round 2: 2 dc into each st (12 sts).

Round 3: (1 dc, dc2inc) 6 times (18 sts).

Round 4: (2 dc, dc2inc) 6 times (24 sts).

Round 5: (3 dc, dc2inc) 6 times (30 sts).

Round 6: (4 dc, dc2inc) 6 times (36 sts).

Fasten off. Leave a long yarn tail to create the segments.


Tinsel yarn can sometimes be quite difficult to use. Always crochet in good light and don’t worry too much if you make a mistake – it’ll just look even more natural!


To make each segment, fold the circle in half to create a semicircle, and using the yarn tail, 1 ch, sl st two sides of the semicircles together. When you are three-quarters of the way along, remove the hook. Take a length of B and your tapestry needle and over-stitch on the seam. Stitch 3 times in the same place to create each spine. As a guide, stitch about 5 sets of spines on each segment, approximately 3 sl sts apart. Then stuff the segment with a little polyester stuffing. Complete joining both sides of the semicircles together. Fasten off and weave in ends.

When you have made eight segments, attach all eight with some small sewn stitches at the top and some small stitches at the bottom. Insert some floristry wire through the base of the cactus. Cut some floral foam to fit the pot and insert the wire into the foam to secure the cactus in the pot. Then fill up the sides with small alpine grit.

And there you have it – a fantastic crocheted cactus that’ll never die! And the great news is that you can win a copy of the Crocheted Succulents book for yourself in my giveaway below. I’ve got THREE copies of the newly published book to give away to three lucky winners so enter via the Rafflecopter now – Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway open to UK residents only. Competition runs from 17th May to 17th June 2019. The winner will be contacted via email and will need to provide a UK delivery address to receive their prize.


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Cassie Fairy
Cassie is a freelance writer with a Masters degree in lifestyle promotion studies. She loves to 'get the look for less' so regularly shares thrifty fashion posts, DIY interior design ideas and low-cost recipes on her blog.

24 Responses

  1. I am making a cushion for my daughters room and then will start making teachers gifts ready for the end of term

  2. I would love to start making blankets for my local animal shelter. Crocheted patchwork would be perfect

  3. I helped my Granddaughter knit a Clanger {from the Tv show} for her dad for fathers day. I hope he likes it.

  4. I’ve deemed 2019 to be the Year of Amis so I’m making a crocheted doll/toy/stuffed whatever for every letter of the alphabet. I just finished a Gnome for G and am almost done with a Hare for H. One of your patterns may need to be my S.

  5. Finally, a solution to not being able to keep succulents that might be poisonous for our cat! I need to make this

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