March 9, 2013

DIY: How to make a faux moss word


I am SO EXCITED to get this project up on the blog for you all to see! I've had this idea floating around in my head for ages but I was worried it wouldn't turn out as good as it looked in my head so I had put it off for a while. Last weekend I decided to give it a go and I'm so glad I did. I love the result and I hope you guys will like it too! :) :)

You will need:
Foam core (a.k.a foam board - foam board with cardboard on either side)
A printer - or drawing equipment.
A sharp cutting knife. I would recommend a thin snap off blade style knife, this way you can make sure your knife is always nice and sharp.
Glue - I used Helmar Tiger Grip - one of my favourite glues
Green paint - try to use a green that is a bit darker than your grass flocking
Grass/moss flocking - you can get this from most hobby stores.
Newspaper
Masking tape
Cutting mat
Double sided tape

Step 1
Print off the word you want to create. If it won't fit on one piece of paper just print if off on two and join them together as I had to do with mine. You can see where the pieces join through the letter a.
Stick your word onto the foam core using double sided tape.

Step 2
Using your knife cut around the letters.
This step does require some patience. Take it slow. If you are getting frustrated with it just put it down and do something else for a while. If you rush this stage you can very easily cut through a letter. If you do cut something off just use your masking tape to attach it again.

Once you have finished cutting out your word check for any weak parts and apply some masking tape to strengthen. For example, the join between my r and a was a little bit on the flimsy side. As you can see it does get quite thin in that spot.

Step 3
Scrunch up some newspaper strips and tape them onto the word. 

By adding the newspaper and masking tape your letters will get a more natural shape.

Step 4
Papier-mâché time! I used the my tiger grip for this but a watered down PVA glue really is the best thing for Papier-mâché. I just didn't have any on hand.

I'm sure most of you know how Papier-mâché works. 
Apply some glue to your word, put small strips of newspaper on top and apply another coat of glue to the top of the newspaper. Continue this process until the whole word is covered.

Tip: A plastic bag makes a perfect working surface for this project! It means less mess and the bag should just peel off the word when you are done!

Step 5
Paint your word green. Use a greed that is darker than the colour of your flossing. The paint is really just to disguise any areas that might have been missed with the flocking. 

Step 6
Apply your flocking. Flocking is actually a lot easier to work with than I thought. Simply apply your glue with a paintbrush, fairly generously and just stick the flocking on top.

Keep going until you have finished your whole word. Leave to dry for a few hours (check the lable of your glue to see how long it needs to set) Once it is dry give it a gentle bang on the back and shake off any excess flocking. If you have any bald spots simply apply some glue and add more flocking.

FINISHED! Now you can stick it on your wall and admire your handy work.

BUT HOW DOES IT HANG?!
There are a number of projects out there designed to hang odd items like this one.
For a temporary display I would go for blu tack or 3M picture hanging strips.
If the strips are to wide to hide behind your letters simply cut them down the middle.
For a more permanent set up I would use a good double sided foam tape.

Well guys, what do you think? :)

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