Inspiration is everywhere!
Recently, while reluctantly racing through the mall, I caught a glimpse of these amazing wall art instillations. I loved how they were made from natural materials. Immediately I thought “Hey, I can do that”! So, my kids and I recreated them.
And the great part is that you can make them too!
These moss canvases are durable and simple to make. Plus, the BEST part is that they double as small world play spaces for children! Dual purpose art, that functions as a toy too? Yes please! I love it!
To use as a play mat, lay your moss canvas flat on the floor, and add small toys (like animal figurines or peg dolls). Then enjoy hours of imaginative play! When it’s time to clean up, simply hang your creation on the wall. Then when not in use, you can enjoy it as a unique work of art and decoration too!
Follow these simple steps to make your own.
- A variety of preserved mosses and lichen. Readily available at craft stores and on Amazon, this material is often packaged for use in terrariums. For variety, I also used several shades of sheet moss.
- Elements collected from nature (twigs, pinecones and so on)
- One, or more, stretched canvases (I used two)
- Craft glue
- A few acrylic paints in neutral/ green tones
- A medium to large size paintbrush
- Artificial plants with green foliage
The first step in the process is to lay out your basic design. I used two canvases (you can use as many, or as few as you chose). My idea was for them to hang side by side on the wall, and together create one continuous design.
To start, I used various shades of acrylic paint and a large brush to loosely fill in an abstract design. This design will help guide you as you glue on the moss later. It will also serve as a background, so that none of the white canvas shows through the final piece.
Be free and have fun with this part. It doesn't need to be perfect of precise. Play with undulating shapes, spirals and abstract shapes. Also paint the sides of your canvas too for a polished look.
Once your paint is dry, or at least mostly dry, it's time to start adding natural materials!
I started with the flattest thing first, which was the sheets of preserved moss. These were easy to cut into shapes with a pair of scissors. Loosely try to mimic the shapes of your painted design. It doesn't need to be an exact fit, just try to get it close.
Apply a liberal amount of glue onto your canvas and press moss down flat with your hands.
Once you have a fair amount of space covered in the sheet moss, begin moving on to bulkier material.
The next thing I did was add various shades of reindeer moss, once again following the pattern I had crated with the paint. Be liberal with the glue, applying it to the canvas and then gently pressing the moss into it.
This is where you will really add some flair and interesting detail. It's time to add the biggest elements!
I started with the artificial leaves. First I pulled them off of the thick wire that they came adhered to. Then I put a large spot of glue on the canvas and place the stems into it. To hide the steams I added a bit of reindeer moss on top of them.
Now is also the time to add small pinecones, sticks. lichen and anything else interesting you have collected form nature (or from the craft store).
This will add both depth and extra interest to your creation! It will also provide plenty of fuel for imaginative play.
Allow a few hours for the glue to dry completely. Then gather small animal figurines, peg dolls and any other small or miniature toys you have.
Let your imagination run wild!
Store and admire!
When you are done playing, instead of just tucking your creation behind a shelf, hang it all the wall to admire! When not in use these small world play canvas make exquisite wall art!
They are lightweight and easy to hang. Mine rest on just a couple of pushpins.
Sit back and enjoy your masterpieces!