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From regular side table to succulent centerpiece

Turn a plain IKEA LACK side table into a conversation piece. Take it from a regular coffee table to a living centerpiece, a beautiful succulent table.

IKEA items used: 
Lack side table

LACK side table | Buy on IKEA.com

Other materials and tools: 

DIY succulent table instructions: 

Step 1: Define the planting area

The final planting area for the succulents must be drawn out. In order to obtain the most accurate template possible, it is advisable to work with a measuring tape.

measure planting area

Related: A stencilled accent table for succulents


We decided on a planting hole with a length of 30 centimeters and a width of 23 centimeters. These dimensions leave enough space for the plant to be staged, as well as a sufficient margin for regular use. For example for placing glasses.

Of course, the shape and size of the subsequent succulent bed can be individually adjusted. So smaller planting areas are just as possible as imaginative shapes.

Step 2: Cut out the plant area

After the drawing, the space for the succulents must be cut out.

To make the cuts particularly straight and precise, you can lay out the measuring tape along the interface and fasten it with adhesive tape.

With a cutter knife the line can be cut straight like on a ruler.

When all four sides of the drawn rectangle have been cut out, you can carefully lift the cut out tabletop with the blade of the cutter and remove it.

A honeycomb-shaped cardboard appears underneath. In this layer, move the cutter knife along the sides. Then, remove the cardboard from the table as neatly as possible.

Step 3: Waterproofing

Next, insert a plastic film into the hole that was just created. This is particularly important for the succulent table. If not, it would swell after a few weeks due to the moisture of the irrigation water.

lay plastic film

Therefore, when lining the hole it is extremely important to make sure that the film has no holes or tears. Also ensure the plastic covers all parts of the hole created. If you want to be on the safe side, use a small tub or bowl instead of a film.

Step 4: Repotting

After the space for the plants in the table has been prepared, you can start preparing to repot the succulents.

First, fill the hole in the table with expanded clay balls (aka LECA). This improves the drainage properties of the later substrate and thus ensures that the risk of waterlogging is reduced. This drainage layer is particularly important when planting a succulent table. As there are no drainage holes through which excess water could run.

add potting mix

Next, fill to about half the hole with cactus soil.

In contrast to normal potting soil, this is more suitable for the cultivation of succulents. Cactus soil is better adapted to succulents’ soil and nutrient requirements. And thus, offers them a more optimal environment for growing.

DIY succulent table IKEA Hack

Now the individual succulents can be carefully removed from their old pots. Remove the old soil which sticks to the root ball of the plant. But be careful with the fine roots of the plants. They should not be damaged under any circumstances.

DIY succulent table IKEA Hack

The plants freed from their pots can now be arranged in their new home. Once the right arrangement has been decided on, fill the remaining gaps with cactus soil and lightly press on in. Excess soil on the table can only be carefully removed from the edge by hand or with a damp cloth.

Step 5: After care

After the succulent table has been completed, proper care of the plants is particularly important, as repotting is a major burden for them.

For this reason, the plants should not come into contact with direct sunlight during the first week, as this will stress the plants.

In addition, succulents should only be watered a week after repotting to relieve the weakened roots.

DIY succulent table IKEA Hack

Once the first few weeks have been successfully completed, the succulents prove impressively why they are so popular.

If you offer them a bright, sunny place, the robust plants hardly need any maintenance. In fact, excessive watering can even harm the plants. For this reason, you should always make sure that the plant substrate is completely dry before each new watering.

Head to my blog for the complete tutorial and more succulent care tips.

~ by Janie