Learn how to make your own decorative moss bowl with preserved moss for this home accessory with a wow factor! ⟹
Moss is boss right now! The color is so vibrant yet it can be more understated than using florals. This fact makes it fit in well with all decorating styles for an indoor dash of nature with a clean, simple look.
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I went to the antiques fair in Round Top, Texas for the first time in the spring and there was one vendor in particular whose decor I couldn’t get out of my mind. They had so many gorgeous preserved moss bowls in different containers and sizes!
If you’d like to check them out for yourself, they do have a website and the bowls are beautiful and well made. Here is a snippet of their offerings on botanicanc.com.
At the time I didn’t know where I would use a moss bowl and wasn’t sure I wanted to drop several hundred dollars on one since I change out my accessories a lot. But I filed the thought away in my head under “things I could probably do myself.”
When I was playing around with using touches of green and blue in the family room for summer, it seemed like the time to give it a try (you can see my summer home tour here.) I got online and did some research. There are many kinds of moss bowls…ones that use different varieties of moss from the craft store all the way to live moss bowls that you take care of like indoor plants.
The preserved moss for the moss bowl.
I was really after the vibrant, mounded look that I had seen in Round Top. And I wanted maintenance-free preserved moss for sure. I found this beautiful moss that had good reviews on Etsy. It is preserved and then dyed with a shade of green. I chose shade “B”, their best seller. It comes in pieces that look like this:
You can find the exact moss that I used here.
The container for the DIY Moss Bowl.
I decided I wanted to use an oversized bowl for lots of impact and no other decorations on my coffee table for a clean summer look.
In my stash of old decor I found the perfect sized bowl. It has great visual weight at 21 inches but it was red and black. Not all that summery.
For my moss bowl, I wanted a light colored container, so I spray painted it with some antique white spray paint!
Assembling the moss bowl.
I wanted the moss bowl to have the round, mounded above the container look so I wanted to start near the very top of my bowl. I cut a piece of foam core slightly smaller than the diameter of the bowl for a base for the moss. I did this by turning the bowl upside down on the foam core and tracing it. Then I cut inside the circle about half an inch with an Exacto knife.
This was a great solution for filling the bottom because I had such a large volume container! If you have a more shallow container you may not need to use anything or maybe just some wadded up paper or plastic to fill to your starting level. I did hot glue the foam core in so it wouldn’t shift but you may not want to hot glue your container if you are going to use it again without the moss.
This moss comes in various sized pieces in a box like this. Because of the large container I was using, I ordered two boxes.
This is a natural product that was once alive, so the back is a dirt/moss combination just like if you dug up moss in your yard. The pieces can be crumbly and you have to handle them carefully. Also because it is dyed, your fingers will be a bit green after working with it, but it washes right off.
This is one of those DIY projects that you eyeball and work with until it looks like what you want! But basically here is what I did:
- First, I laid in a layer of moss on the foam board. I thought I might hot glue the whole thing together. The instructions do say that the moss can be glued but I found that there was not much point so I stopped gluing early on. In my experience it is simply not something that you can neatly glue. If I held this sideways or upside down, the moss pieces were definitely coming out.
- After the base layer of moss, I added more moss mounds and pieces until all of the gaps and foam core were covered. I put the little scrap pieces in where I needed them. I also kind of shaped the pieces with my fingers as I went when they were in place to help keep them in rounded, separate mounds.
- I used nice full solid pieces just in the middle on the top to give it the overall roundness. I smoothed and tucked and fussed until it looked like this:
I’m really pleased with the way it came out! No, it is not as perfect as the beautiful bowls I saw in Round Top, but I’m a pretty harsh critic on myself and this passed muster for me. I will definitely be using this again next summer if not more often!
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