17 April 2011

A Living Wreath for Spring

We made a new wreath for our door for the Spring season. It practically made itself. We went to visit my parents who'd just returned from a trip to Florida and brought us back some Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) and Ball Moss. (Tillandsia recurvata) I'd wanted to make a wreath and asked my Mum if she could give me any tips on making the base with grape vine. It just so happened that she had one she'd made and was about to toss, so I got that instead. My Husband's Mum gave us a couple boxes of miscellaneous crafting supplies, and inside one we found tiny birds and bird houses, and we went from there.

  Kaia and I covered the wreath base on one side with Spanish Moss, and cut 6 lengths of floral wire to secure it with.

Evenly spaced out on the wreath, I wrapped the floral wire around the front and twisted it tight in back to tack the moss to the wreath. Roughing up the moss a bit was enough to obscure the wire in front. I selected a few pieces of the ball moss and wrapped and twisted floral wire very loosely around their roots, just enough for them to sit in, but not pinch. Then I ran the ends of the wire through the wreath and twisted them in place around the vines.

 I dunked the little wooden birdhouse in water and Kaia painted it with watercolours.

 I love it! Since we will have to spray this wreath with water to keep it alive, I sealed her birdhouse with Mod Podge.The little birds were white plastic, I gave them a coat of Mod Podge as well and we covered them with blue glitter. When they'd dried, I put another coat of Mod Podge over the glitter.

Ideally, teeny, tiny eye screws would be best for hanging these things with. Not having any teeny tiny eye screws on hand, I decided to use nails. I put the smallest nail I had in the roof of the birdhouse, but I didn't have any nails teeny tiny enough for the bird. Instead, I used the wire clippers to trim down a pin to pretend to be a nail that wished it was an eye screw and carefully tapped it into the bird. I used hot glue to attach the second bird to the roof of the birdhouse, and tied thread to the nails to hang them with. I did also put a little dob of hot glue inside the birdhouse entrance hole and pushed in some little broken twigs to make it look nesty.

I threaded them onto an embroidery needle and used that to push through the vines of the wreath and tie in place.

Right now the wreath needs to be sprayed with water every couple days, which Kaia loves to do. Come summer, though, it will be humid enough here for the moss on its own.

I am in love with how the watercolours came out on the birdhouse! I am definitely getting some more - bigger - houses to have Kaia paint for us to hang outside.

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