Fancy something truly unique on your walls that is totally different from pictures but still resembles art? Try framing moss!
Not the type of moss you harvest from your lawn or the types found growing through the crevices of your garden wall. Those can be used indoors for decoration, but given the amount of water they hold, framing living moss to hang on a wall will, most likely, cause damage. Living moss walls are possible with expensive irrigation and drainage systems.
Preserved moss is the game-changer
This is not the same as dried moss, which is essentially just dehydrated. Some can be misted with water to bring them back to life. There are species of moss that have been found in Antarctica after 1,500 years that have been revived by British scientists. Only use preserved moss or it will hold moisture.
Preserved moss was once living and then treated with a preservative. This is how it’s able to retain its colour and texture. And, they can be dyed too. You can get moss in various colours from arts and crafts stores and online marketplaces.
How you piece your frame together depends on how you approach the project. It can be an artful presentation, or you can take the approach of biomimicry.
Biomimicry is about replicating nature. Art is anything you want it to be.
As a family project, you may want to include the children and teach them what types of moss would be found growing on driftwood, and glue the moss to the wood or twigs and put those in the frame.
As an art project, any preserved moss of any colour and any size can be used to create a colourful picture frame entirely made of preserved moss.
A creative method of working with moss for art is to vary the colours, the textures, and the densities.
There are thousands of species. Some are carpet-like, others grow more vertical like clumping species of moss that are typically found growing on gravel. These can be several inches tall. Spreading (carpet) mosses found in the woods are generally under an inch in height. They have a bigger width than height.
For a standard picture frame, preserved sheet moss can be framed behind the glazing. For taller varieties, the glazing may need to be removed for the frame to accommodate the preserved plants.
For a truly unique display, combine preserved moss with dried flowers. Some suitable types of plants for botanical art include daisies, violets, and pansies. Frame the moss first, then add the layer of dried flowers. Depending on how far the moss and the flowers protrude from the frame, it could be displayed glazed or unglazed.
Preserved moss does not require protective glazing. Dried flowers probably will as UV rays could bleach the colours of the petals and leaves.
Working with moss and dried flowers is a project that is super affordable as all that is needed is glue, the dried flowers, some preserved moss and the frame can be repurposed multiple times by replacing the backing board that the botanicals get attached to.
Now you too can hang a replica garden on your wall.