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Friday, March 1, 2013

Moss and Burlap Spring Banner {Tutorial}

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Sometime back in late January, right after I finally finished cleaning up the last of the glitter from the DIY Pottery Barn knock off glitter Santa that I made for my sister for Christmas, I was feeling brave one afternoon and I decided that I was going to use moss in my spring decorating this year.




Of course,  I did what any other die-hard, moss loving crafter would do:  I pinned a few mossy projects to a "Moss" board on Pinterest. Then, I clipped coupons for both of the local craft stores and  the fabric store and a bought a whole bunch of the stuff: Sheet moss, preserved moss, sphagnum moss and reindeer moss in two colors!

Seriously!? Who knew?! Reindeer moss in two colors!



After that, I forgot all about it but now that it's MARCH and spring is three weeks away (or so they say)
...and since it has snowed virtually every day this week and the world outside my window has been "black and white" for what seems to be an eternity... I've been longing for a little green.


So, I cleared a path in my studio, I was able to exhume the sheet moss from a bag that had apparently fallen off the table sometime soon after it was purchased.  It then became wedged under the table behind a wicker laundry basket full of silver Christmas ornaments, a basket full of yarn and the five empty cardboard gift wrap tubes that I saved from the holidays....Don't ask.


I also gathered some 12x16 sheets of white cardboard and leftover white burlap and decided to make a spring banner.  Realizing, of course, that it's barely March and that this thing will probably stay up until Mother's day, I quickly overruled "Easter" in terms of a more "decorating friendly" "Spring"...
                                                                                                            I know...sometimes I amaze myself.


Before I tell you what you should do, I'd first like to share a few things that you should absolutely NOT do. You're just going to have to trust me on this. You know, kind of like the  "These are trained professionals on a closed course" disclaimer on car commercials.

  • Don't try to spread glue onto burlap or onto sheet moss or try to glue burlap directly onto sheet moss without something  in between the two.
  • Don't try to iron fusible web onto sheet moss. This also applies to ironing it onto burlap. 
  • Don't try to hot glue burlap directly to sheet moss by applying hot glue to the burlap and trying to press it down with your bare fingertips.
Okay, if you'd like to try any of those things for yourself, by all means, go ahead...but don't say that I didn't warn you. It will end badly.


Following these instructions will save you an hour of scrubbing nasty stuff off of your iron, 3 Band aids and some burn cream. It may also save your children from hearing words that you'd never want them to repeat in polite company and/or writing a tell all book and discussing your crafting adventures on the late night television talk show circuit.


From the cardboard, trace and cut eight flags  and punch holes in the tops of them. (Mine measure 5 by 8 inches with the center of the points at 2.5 inches from the bottom)  Roll out the sheet moss.


Realize immediately that working with sheet moss is a lot like working with glitter and that  you're going to need an excuse for why your high school son is now finding small pieces of green  stuff n his school lunch.

Decide that "it's probably parsley" is believable if said quickly and with conviction. If you have children between the ages of 5 and 18 who live with you, it's a good idea to practice saying the words "it's probably parsley" (until you can do so without laughing) prior to attempting this project.


 Using hot glue  Apply a bead of glue around the perimeter of the flag, squirt a squiggle or two in the center and quickly stick it to the wrong side of  the sheet moss. After a few seconds, cut the flags with sharp scissors.Try to use a hole punch to punch a hole through the sheet moss and cardboard.

After  having to glue bits of moss back onto where the hole punch tore it off of the flag while attempting to punch a hole, decide that maybe having perfectly round holes isn't all that important and use a metal shish kebab skewer to poke through the cardboard followed by a larger Phillips head screwdriver to make the hole large enough to pass some twine through.


At this point, you could be finished with the banner. No, I mean it. I've seen darling moss banners without a finished back...and without words...and without cute silhouettes of birds cut from sheet moss.

Truly, if you'd like to just string it onto some jute twine and hang it up, you have my permission to stop right here.

However, for those of you who also suffer from perfectionism or for whom the words "leave well enough alone" have no meaning in your life, let's continue...Cover your work surface with waxed paper. (again, referring to the "don't ask why, just do it" section of the directions above).

Lay the burlap on top of the waxed paper Apply enough white craft glue to the cardboard to make it stick to the burlap. Draw a line around the edge, make some squiggles in the middle. Smooth it out with a paint brush (or use your finger like I did). Put heavy books on top of the flags and walk away for an hour or so.


Use this time constructively...Don't throw in a load of laundry, shovel  the accumulating snow from the sidewalk or shower and get dressed. Heavens no! Use this time to make sheet moss silhouettes of birds...and to cut the word "spring" from the remaining cardboard and glue it to the rest of the white burlap.


Here's another helpful hint: Put the glue on the RIGHT side of the letters and then stick them, upside down, onto the burlap. That way, they'll be facing the right way and have the burlap showing when you glue them onto the moss...


Trim the burlap on the flags, use the same screwdriver to poke a hole from the front of the flag through the burlap on the back. Hot glue the letters to the moss side of the banner on 6 of the flags. Hot glue the moss birds to the burlap side of 2 of the flags. Weight the whole thing with books.


Here's a second chance to do laundry, read a magazine or, if you live in my area, shovel the sidewalk. After twenty to thirty minutes, string the flags onto a 6 foot section of jute twine. Hang your banner. Stand back, admire your work, take photos (optional).


At my home, the rest of the tutorial goes like this (feel free to adjust to your home as needed.) Hear your son walking through the door from school.  Call him to the dining room to admire the banner with you. Tell him to shovel the walk... because you've been busy.

Yes, I know...I'm waiting for the tell all book...it's not as if he doesn't have enough material....


...especially if he finds out about the "parsley".

Spring Moss Banner

Materials:

1 roll sheet moss
3 12x16 inch sheets of poster board (or equivalent
1/3 yard (approximately) white or natural burlap
6-7 feet jute twine
Ruler, pencil, scissors, hot glue, white craft glue, hole punch (or screwdriver), waxed paper

The bird silhouette that I used came from a Google image search of "bird silhouette".

xo,
Kimberly

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