With the bit of extra time I had at my parent’s house this weekend, I got into a crafty mood and experimented with a few projects. First, I made Mr. Lemon a stocking for his apartment, and then I decided to “experiment” a little in preparation for wedding day crafts. I decided to make a moss-covered letter for my parents as a Christmas decoration, just to see if I could pull it off as a DIY project. And I think my little “L” came out quite nicely!
I ordered preserved moss from eBay ($14.00 shipped) for this project, since I wanted my family to keep it permanently. It’s a bit darker in color than the fresh sheet moss, but I still have a ton of it left for future projects. Other than that, all I needed to purchase was a sheet of foam ($7.00), foam glue ($2.99) and some floral U-pins ($0.59) from the local craft store.
I started by practicing my design on cardboard, and once I got it right (with the help of lots of practice on paper and a set of calipers), I cut the cardboard into my template and traced it onto the foam. I cut the foam using a large bread knife and made quite the mess with green foam bits flying everywhere. It’s definitely an “outside” project! Also, be careful if you’re cutting out any sort of design with a flourish, as I accidentally broke off part of my letter… which was quickly remedied with some foam glue and toothpicks!
I just attached clumps of moss by placing a drizzled layer of glue on the foam, and tucked in the ends with the U-pins. It only took about 20 minutes to attach the moss, and I let it dry overnight. The next day, I wrapped fishing line around the entire letter to further secure the moss, and it was all done! Now, if you’re making if for a grand entrance, you’ll obviously need to make much bigger letters. I’m considering using thin wooden letters for the wedding, as the moss was very easy to glue and held well on its own without the pins. This letter was only about 12″ high, and I’m looking to make some that are 20″+. But it was so easy that I’m definitely going to make them for the ceremony… and I just have to figure out which gates and doors I’ll be able to hang them on!
I’ve included the directions I followed below, since I skipped a few steps. 🙂
Making a Moss Signature Letter:
* Tracing paper
* Plain white photocopying paper
* 1 sheet 24-by-36-inch poster board
* Transparent tape
* Straight pins
* A long craft or kitchen knife
* 1 piece 12-by-36-inch green styrofoam, 2 inches thick (or stack 2 1-inch-thick sheets)
* Moss (available in sheets from florists, or gather it yourself)
* 1 package of 100 U-shaped florist’s pins
* Monofilament (fishing line)
First, make a template: Draw your letter at the desired size freehand on the poster board, or trace the letter out of a book or draw it freehand on a sheet of plain white paper and enlarge it to the desired size on a photocopier, using several pieces of paper, if necessary. (Our “S” is 18 inches tall, 12 inches across, and 1 inch wide.) Tape the paper letter to the poster board and, with the scissors, cut it out to make a template.
1. With the straight pins, securely attach the template to a sheet of styrofoam. With the hot-wire foam cutter or a serrated knife, cut the letter out of the styrofoam.
2. Wrap the moss around the letter, securing it with U-shaped florist’s pins.
3. When the letter is completely covered, wrap it with monofilament to hold the moss in place. You can leave the moss loose or, for a more tailored look, trim it evenly with scissors. Add berries and a ribbon if you like, using the florist’s pins.
4. Hang the letter on your front door, or prop it against your front steps. A “present” to go with it may be made using a box fashioned out of styrofoam, covered with moss secured with monofilament, and then tied with ribbon.
[SOURCE: The Boston Globe, November 20, 2005]