As all good ideas go, this DIY moss wall popped into my head during an afternoon run. I’ve stared at this blank wall in my kitchen for years, never quite finding the right picture or art to display. Subconsciously, I think I may have been influenced by the increasing amount of plant Instagram accounts I follow. After a bit of googling and a bulk order of preserved reindeer moss in various shades of green, I created a plan to build a custom moss wall to complement the growing plant collection throughout my home.
Creating this floating frame and the moss wall does not require power tools, but you will need a small hand saw to cut the wood at a 45-degree angle. For this, I added a miter box, and a hand saw to my toolbox. This is not a must-have tool for this project. I could have easily joined the corners of the frame at 90 degrees, but I wanted to try something new for building this frame. The hardest part was envisioning how the cut would look; I was afraid I would cut one end at the wrong angle and have to make an unnecessary run back to the hardware store. Thankfully (through measuring twice and cutting once), this fear didn’t come to life.
Aside from the optional miter box, other supplies needed are as follows: Wood glue, 10 ft length of trim, square trim 8 ft, pin nails, pre-stain, Early American Stain, plastic corrugated board, hot glue, Mod Podge, various colors of preserved reindeer moss, pillow moss, gloves, and picture frame hooks or command strips.
Building the Frame
I wanted my frame to be 1ft x 4ft. I cut all the frame pieces at a 45-degree angle using the miter box. The inside structure was made from ½ inch by ¾ in square trim, used as the frame’s support and the moss board’s mounting. To account for the quarter-inch width of the frame’s border, cut the square support trim shorter than the width of your board. I cut the supports to 11 ½ inches and used pin nails and wood glue to attach them.
I added wood glue to the corners of the frame and allowed everything to dry for 24 hours. If I were to build this frame again, I would use a thicker trim than an 11/16 x 2-½ inch board. I wanted a minimal look, but the thinness of the board made it difficult to join together.
Building the Moss Wall
I chose to use a plastic corrugated board because I was concerned with the weight of the final result. Not only was the plastic corrugated board lightweight, but it was also easy to cut through (keeping the power tools out of the equation).
Using a speed square to draw a straight line, I used two corrugated boards to combine and create a total length of 10 ½ inches x 46 ½ inches. I used hot glue and two strips of the leftover board to join the two pieces together on the back. I painted the face of the combined boards green. Do not skip this step! The paint does not stick very well to the plastic board (it will scratch off), but it absolutely needs to be covered, so the white color does not show through once the moss is attached. Let the paint fully dry for a few hours before gluing down the moss. To attach the corrugated board to the frame, secure the board to the square frame supports with two small screws.
I didn’t have a specific pattern in mind before placing the moss. I started by arranging the pillow moss in different places around the board. Once I was happy with the placement, I glued the pillow moss to the board. Using a heavy hand of Mod Podge, I worked in small sections to spread glue over the board. I also dipped the moss onto a plate of Mod Podge before placing it on the board. Once the panel was completely covered, I let it dry for 24 hours before hanging it.
Pro-tip #1: this moss smells really bad. It’s a chemical smell from the dye used on the moss. It will disappear after a day, but you may want to create this in a well-ventilated area.
Pro-tip #2: This moss will dye your hands green and smell terrible. Use gloves to prevent this from happening, and thank me later.
The pillow moss adds a different texture to the moss wall than using reindeer moss alone. One box of pillow moss was enough for this size project. For color variation, I ordered one variety pack with four shades of reindeer moss and one large box with one standard green reindeer moss. For a 1 ft x 4 ft moss wall, I used every bit from the boxes I ordered.
There are many different ways to attach this frame to the wall. Using the corrugated board kept the overall weight of the finished project very light, so much so that I could attach it to my wall using command strips. I did attach D-ring hooks thinking that was how I would hang the final product, but the command strips were so much easier, and I didn’t have to put a hole in the wall.
Overall, this was one of the easiest DIYs I’ve created. It adds greenery to an area that would not have been possible using traditional plants. Moss walls do not need to be watered (because the moss is dead) and hold up best in low-light areas, which is exactly what this area of my condo needed.
For more DIYs check out some of my past projects
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