Saturday, April 16, 2011

Mossy Decor Balls

Sorry I've been AWOL for these many weeks. Finishing chemo, starting radiation, selling our house and moving have totally wiped me out! The good news is that in the next couple of weeks our life will settle down once more and I can start posting all the great ideas I've got piled up in my brain.

For now, here is one of my favorite springtime projects which I posted last year. I plan on making more of these mossy balls, and soon. Enjoy!

I wanted something fresh and natural looking for my living room and I knew I wanted to incorporate the bright green color of moss with weathered wood and stones. Unfortunately, the natural moss on our hillside is already turning brown and rusty, so I got to thinking how much I loved the color and texture of the Dollar Store moss rocks I had used before. I had looked at their sheet moss and it was too gray and drab for me. I want emerald mossy green!

I gathered the moss rocks I had on hand and 3 different sizes of plastic Christmas balls. After spray painting two a nice brown and leaving the other it's original silver, I planned to slice the curvy parts of the moss rocks off so I would have a bunch of moss covered shapes to hot glue to the balls.

Eww, I did not like it! It looked dumb! So I was talking to my visiting teen age grandson about this and he suggested peeling the moss off the styrofoam "rocks." Who knew the moss peeled off???? He proceeded to show me.

I told him he was a genius and he had saved my project! As you can see the moss peels off in irregular pieces, but you want these shapes for the best results. I used a razor knife to start the process but the moss peels off surprising easily. And if a bit of the white styrofoam sticks to it, it is okay, because you do not want the balls to be totally smooth anyway.

I just used hot glue and started covering the balls. I put the glue on the ball a small area at a time and laid the moss on top, and also the other way, with the glue on the moss instead. It works equally well as long as you have your moss pieces handy because hot glue dries pretty quickly. If it does dry before you get the moss totally stuck it is okay, just add more glue. The extra layer of glue and some of the stuck on styrofoam makes the ball less "bally" and more like a natural shape you might actually find in nature. That is, not a perfect round and a bit lumpy.

Save even your smallest scraps of moss to fill in and cover the edges where they are too straight. You do not want this to look like a bad toupee, but a natural, moss covered surface. Be sure to glue any edges that are sticking up and smooth your joints down. Any hot glue strings that are left on the ball can be readily melted away with your hair dryer once you are done.

I arranged them in my wooden bowl which usually holds all our electronics remotes. (We have SIX!!!! What the heck??!? Ahem. The remotes are now in a basket to the side.) I added more Dollar Store finds, like the polished rocks and pretty gravel, plus a chunk of really interesting driftwood and my favorite feather and paper dragonfly. With just a few little mini spruce cones, this little display is perfect.

It now resides on my painted coffee table (which was a $7 auction find from 28 years ago!!! It is also another blog post!) and it just makes me happy to look at it. I love the brilliant green "moss" and the wood grain of the bowl and grey texture of the driftwood and the polished makes me smile. And the best thing? When I got done with it and was taking my pictures, our grandson took a look at it and said, "That looks cool, Gramma!" High praise indeed coming from a teenager!!

It took 3 bags of Dollar Store moss rocks to do this project so that is certainly affordable. I already had the 3 different Christmas balls on hand, plus the rocks and gravel. If you actually bought what you needed just to make the 3 balls you could certainly do them for under $6 and end up with a very fresh accent for your summertime home. How about some Dollar Store wiffle balls mossified and stacked in a cloche or glass hurricane? I am wondering how this would work on a couple of birdhouses for a bit of cool, mossy goodness? Hmmmm.

I'm linking up to the parties on my sidebar, please visit and see all the fantastic projects listed there! Thanks for coming by and leave a comment, if you will. I love and read them all. And check out my other posts, you never know what you will find!

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