• Mixed Media Mel

Framed Floating Ferns

I have been wanting a #staghornfern for some time. I have seen some giant ones and was apprehensive about getting one before having somewhere to place it. Then I saw some baby ferns mounted on wood plaques, fell in love and just needed one in my life asap. My initial plan was to get one fern and mount it on a small piece of teak I had, his name would be Staggy. That, however, is not what happened. I typically prefer to shop my local nursery, but they only had larger ferns in baskets, and I was looking for a little guy. You can order them on Amazon but I actually ended up going to Lowe’s. There were quite a few to choose from and I ended up settling on two ferns (there were both so cute). So, I had Staggy and Elvis and needed a new plan for mounting since they both wouldn’t fit on the plaque I had.

I tried to find a larger wood plaque or plank that both ferns would fit on at the craft store. They had multiple options that would have worked but the quality of wood itself would not have worked. Staghorn ferns need a lot of moisture so if I were to mount them onto wood it would need to be a type of wood that is less susceptible to rotting like teak or cedar. The type of wood they had available would not have held up. I then figured that I’d need to order something online, so I went to leave and happened to pass by the window frame. It caught my eye on its own and then the idea hit me to have a floating window with floating ferns. That's right, I said it, FLOATING FERNS.

I found these cool flower wall decorations and thought they would be the perfect base for Staggy and Elvis. Staghorn ferns don’t actually need soil, they are epiphytic plants, meaning that they grow on the surface of another plant and collect their nutrients from the air and rain/water. My plan was to attach the ferns to those so I could hang them ‘in the window’. I purchased some sphagnum moss (available at any plant store, near the orchids or indoor plants) to use at the base and around the root ball of the ferns. The moss will help to keep the ferns moist which is what they prefer and also is prettier to look at. The flowers were just white plastic/wire, I first spray painted them so they’d match a little better. After the paint dried, I was ready to put everything together.

When you are ready to assemble make yourself a workspace with some newspaper, the moss can get a little squirrely. First thing to do is unpot your fern and shake off as much soil as you can from the roots. If you are mounting them to something similar to the flowers (wire bases, baskets etc.) you want to start off by placing some moss on the base. I used a spray bottle of water to keep it moist, so it stuck together better. Once you have some moss on the base take the fishing line and attach your fern. If you are using something similar to the flowers, start by tying the line to the base and then zig zag the fishing line around and over the ferns root base to attach it. (If you are using a wood base you will need to attach 4 nails and use those as the anchors for the fishing line.)

Once your fern is securely attached, add more moss to hide the fishing line. If you used wood, voila you’re done!! If not, simply use your fishing line to attach your fern to it’s new home. I used fishing line and clear thumbtacks to secure the ferns in the window. I then added a couple small decorations to the frame itself and hung it in the doorway to the craft lair. That particular doorway is where my cat-boys playhouse is so no one actually walks through it, which made it the perfect floating frame location. Staghorn ferns like a lot of indirect sunlight so, if hanging in-doors, be sure to choose a room that gets a lot of light. They also like to stay moist so spray it with water and soak it occasionally. They do grow quickly so you may need to move them after a few years to a larger area. Also, don’t forget to name them!!

What you need:

· Staghorn Fern (or similar air plant)

· Window frame, wooden plaque (of a durable wood) or similar

· Sphagnum moss

· Fishing line

· Spray bottle/water

Pro Tip 287: It's always good luck to have cat boys sleeping on your desk.

What to do:

· Unpot fern(s) and shake off as much soil as you can from the ferns root ball

· Place some moss on the base, then the fern, then some more moss around it

o Tip: The moss is easier to work with if you keep it moist with a spray bottle

· Mount your fern to its base with fishing line

o Wrap the fishing line over and around the fern to secure it to its base. If working on wood, hammer 4 small nails at an angle in a square pattern under where your fern will sit and use fishing line to secure

o (Note) I mounted my ferns onto the flower shape first and then attached them to my window frame. Depending on what you are mounting them on you can get pretty creative with how you mount them.

· Add some more moss to cover the root ball and camouflage the fishing line and/or nails

· Be creative with your ferns new home!! Remember to mount it onto something that can withstand the moisture they will need and keep them in a well-lit area

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Mixed Media Mel 2019

Get your craft on!!

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