Sunday, April 7, 2013

Jewelry Box Moss Garden Tutorial

In my post yesterday, I showed three mini moss gardens in different boxes.

With the silverplate jewelry boxes, mainly the larger one, I’ve had it earmarked as a display box ever since I brought it home. The lid’s hinge had broken off, so no one wanted it, but it had such beautiful detailing, that I just had to make it work.

Displaying the lids upright just couldn’t be simpler. I had some galvanized sheeting, the kind you can buy in small pieces at the big box stores. They have different thicknesses, and I had some sturdy enough for this project, but thin enough to use tin snips on. I cut a piece in a height that measured the distance from the inside bottom of the jewelry box, to the top of the lid when propped on top of the box. (You could cut the sheet to be the exact inside width of the lid, but I just used what I had on hand.)

Once the pieces were cut, I stood them against the inside back of the boxes.

Okay, so call me silly, but for a short period of time I was feeding my kitty Fancy Feast. I really liked the small size of the cans, and also the fact that they had a gold finish. I rinsed them out and saved them, thinking that surely some day I would find a good crafty use for them. That day finally arrived.

They fit perfectly inside the jewelry boxes as mini planters for my ferns. Obviously the ferns will grow up, but until that day, they’re staying put in the jewelry box. My main reason for containing the fern in the little can is that I didn’t want to add soil to the entire box.

Since the sheet of moss had some soil attached to it from scooping it from the ground, I filled up the rest of the box with pea gravel to lay the moss on top of. I used pea gravel because A) it has enough weight to hold the metal sheeting in place, and B) I already had some on hand.

The smaller box didn’t need a plant can, since I only added a votive to the moss, but if later I want to add a plant, I will only have to remove the gravel from the can, and keep it in place.

Once the filling was done, I added a little Perlite (you can get at HD or Lowes) in the can to mix with soil before planting the fern. It improves drainage and aeration. Not much soil to worry about that here, but it's also infused with plant food, so why not I say.

Now the moss is laid in. If you add tealights, you can nestle them into gravel first, then fit the moss around it. There’s no real order here, just make everything fit.

The last part of the assembly is propping the lids. I have this insulation putty that’s actually called cord weatherstrip, because you can tear thin cords of it off

I pulled off a couple pieces and squished them against the top edge of the metal sheets, facing towards the front of the planters.

Then I placed the box lids over the sheets, pushing the puttied sheet’s edge into the lid. If the sheet metal finish isn't your cup of tea, you can always apply silver leaf to dress it up.

Because the sheet metal is fairly pliable, you can bend it a hint backwards, just to insure the lid doesn’t fall forward. (If you wanted to make the propped lids more permanent, you could always use a metal bonding adhesive to connect the lid to the sheet metal. I, however, like to rework my designs so often, that I rarely make anything permanent.)

I obviously have commitment issues.....:)

My next post will have a brief step-by-step of my cigar box moss garden.....
Till then....

1 comment:

  1. Okay, now I am going to be on the lookout for metal tins just so I can do this... thank you so much for the wonderful tutorial! I can't wait to make one for my very own.


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