Monday, December 3, 2012

moss covered letter {tutorial}

this is super complicated stuff. so complicated that i’m sure this particular blog post will be recieving hits for years to come.

i mean, cover a cardboard letter? in MOSS? from the DOLLAR STORE????

googiemomma: blazing new trails in the world of cheap crafting. get on board or get left behind.

all kidding aside--this trash came out super cute, and has held up surprisingly well considering this door gets opened and slammed approximately 1.5 billion times per day by little hands not renowned for their delicacy.

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at one point in this home decorating adventure i had collected a bunch of k’s, painted them gold and hung them on the living room wall. that phase passed, but i was left with many golden k’s scattered through the house.

sounds like a cereal, doesn’t it? enjoy new GOLDEN K’s! nutritious and delicious!

anyway, you can get the cardboard letters in all different shapes, sizes and fonts at any craft store, and with the ubiquitous 40% coupon they’re not too pricey.

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mine was already painted gold, as explained, which isn’t totally necessary but definitely doesn’t hurt. you are going to see some of the letter if you look closely, so a quick slap of paint isn’t a bad idea. green or brown or gold or maybe black.

the moss is from the $1 store. i bought two bags—one goes surprisingly far. that junk practically explodes when you open the bag, like some sort of dried fungus bomb.

what’s missing from this photo is the elmer’s glue. i initially thought the glue gun was the way to go. turns out the base coats with elmer’s glue was better.

also missing is the disposable foam paintbrush for spreading the glue.

oh, and the clear spray i sealed it with at the end.

okay, so my supplies photo is virtually worthless. just admire how visually pleasing the arrangement of items is, and how dramatic the shadows are and then move on.

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a quick word: this isn’t hard, but it is time consuming because i let each layer of moss dry for 12+ hours before doing the next one. you’re pretty committed. and the moss gets everywhere. so pick a spot to do this where you can just let it be for a couple of days. you know—like the middle of your kitchen counter, which is where i did it. :/

o1 drizzle the glue.
o2 spread the glue.
o3 smush on the moss.
o4 allow to dry completely.
o5 take it outside and shake and brush it off. you’re going to lose a LOT of your moss. better now then when it’s hanging on your front door, right?
o6 glue again, in all the spots that are bald/sparse.
o7 smush more moss.
o8 allow to dry again.
o9 take outside and brush it off again. pay attention to making sure the crevices are free of moss. you want to keep it looking like a letter, right?

at this point you may be fairly well covered. i did the whole process with elmer’s glue in the bald spots a third time before moving on.

the last few bare spots i hit with the glue gun and stuck some moss on. after three rounds there were just a couple places that needed a bit more, and i was ready to not have a fine layer of moss on my kitchen counter.

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i hot glued some black grosgrain ribbon to the back and hung it on the front door.

i have one of these cheap wreath hangers:

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it could be spray painted, but turns out it’s exactly 1” wide, the same width at the ribbon i used on my letter. since the glue gun was already hot…

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that right there could be the crafter’s motto:

“since the glue gun was already hot…”

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and there you have it.

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after it hung for a day i decided to spray it with some clear sealer i had. it didn’t change the look much at all except to make it a little shiny (it was a gloss, which is why i hesitated using it at first) and i kind of like that. it sealed it up nicely and pretty much none of the moss has fallen off in the couple of weeks it’s been hanging!

$2 for the moss, probably about $4 for the letter, the rest of it i had. compared to these, at $79 a pop…whelp, looks like i saved myself a cool $73.
i call that #winning

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