Monday, July 29, 2013

How to Create a Moss Letter

This post is about creating a large moss covered letter or monogram.  
I've thrown in some tips about using mirrors in your decorating scheme.

Moss covered letters can be purchased at Pottery Barn for $79.  They are 18" - 20" tall.  
And they are covered with real "live" moss.  
I made my own.

I first saw a DIY post at Thrifty Decor Chick's blog.   

TDC was one of the first blogs I began following and I found her on a Dave Ramsey facebook post.  She had posted about their financial journey employing strategies learned from Dave Ramsey and the Dave Ramsey people shared her post.   We had recently finished Dave Ramsey's online course.  
Both  Dave Ramsey and Thrifty Decor Chick have been very helpful to me.  

I already had a mirror over our mantel.
I love using mirrors in my decor because they reflect light, add dimension to flat walls.
They can trick the eye into thinking the space is bigger.
 Our family room is a little dark because the sliders out to our deck open to a covered screened porch and the roof of the porch blocks some light.
That room has a northern exposure, too.
Oh, AND we have a humongous TV sitting in front of half of the slider, which is a decorating sin - to block a window with furniture, but in this case, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.  

See!  There is light trying to stream in around the big, black TV!
The room is a little small and while the TV has a flat screen, it's not one of the flat screens that can be mounted on the wall. Neither my hubby nor I like that option anyway, so it sits on a media cabinet in front of one half of the slider doors.  
The mirror helps reflect the natural light into and around the room. 

ALSO, the mirror hides two vents in the wall above the fireplace.  I think they were part of a blower system that was to recycle warm air from the fireplace back into the room, back during the energy crisis of a few years ago.  We haven't looked into having them removed.

See the vent behind the mirror from this angle?
It's twin is right next to it and you could see it peeking out from the other side.
That mirror may have to stay there forever. 

So, back to the moss letter.  
I already had moss.  
I had the "live" moss left over from a display I did at a vendor show at a Master Gardener's event.  
My friend suggested I fill all my containers and pots I had for sale at the event with moss so they would all have a uniform look.  
It was a great idea and they did look nice.  

I bought the sheet moss at one of my favorite local garden stores, Growing Grounds.  
I took the whole box.  My friend told me I could probably get just a portion of a box, and I think the Garden store staff did offer to sell me less than a box, but I took the whole box.  
I had never worked with it before and didn't really know how much I would need.  
My friend also told me it would last FOREVER and if it started to look a little brown or a little tired, just mist it with water and it will green up and look like new.   Cool!
It's Super Moss - see?  ; )

 It's been sitting in our garage for oh, maybe 2 years.
I just opened it this week when we were in the garage getting ready for our garage sale.
Looks pretty good, doesn't it?
Super moss! 

I see many live moss projects in my future.  Would you like a live moss letter?  

I don't have all the pics for a full-blown tutorial because 
I didn't know then I would want to share with you now.  

I made my own letter out of cardboard.  
I had lots of cardboard boxes from all my Willow House shipping boxes.  
So I cut away one panel of cardboard and then drew the S free hand.  
I had my hubby watch me and guide me so it wouldn't be too wonky. 
 It's a little wonky but I think that adds to the charm. ; )

Then I cut it out with scissors.  
Next I hot glued the moss onto the front of the letter. 
 It is VERY messy so if you try this, be warned.  
Put down newspapers or a drop cloth.  
You'll have dirt and little bits of moss all over. 

Here's another WARNING:  be careful with the hot glue!  
I burned my fingers pressing the moss onto the letter.  Youch!

Then you'll probably want to trim the loose ends of the moss kind of like giving a hair cut just to neaten things up a bit.  

Once I had my S covered with well-trimmed live moss, we took it over to the mirror to hang it.  
Guess what?  
Mirrors reflect and the mirror reflected the BACK of the letter which I had not covered with moss.  
I don't have a picture of the uncovered letter, but you can see in this pic how the back of the letter is visible in the mirror. 

Back to the gluing board.
So I covered the back and sides of the letter with moss and it looked much better up against the mirror. 

 I used wired ribbon with a french script design that I loved to hang the S.
The ribbon came from Ballard Designs but is no longer available.  
I just looped it so the letter could hang from it.
Then I made a small loop to look like the ribbon is tied in a knot at the top.
We tacked it onto the mirror frame with a thumbtack.  Done.

Please note:  when you use mirrors in your decor, be aware of what will be reflected by the mirror.
Is it something you want to see?

Our mirror sits on the mantel and leans on the wall.
The mantel is pretty high so by leaning the mirror, it is angled so that all that is reflected is the ceiling.  Well, we do have a ceiling fan that is reflected.
Just be sure to take the reflection into consideration before you make permanent commitments to your mirror placement. 

So there's my DIY live moss letter.  
It's time to think about adding some touches for end-of-summer-moving-into-fall-decorating.  
Maybe some sunflowers?  Apples?  Owls?


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