Google+ Nine Red: DIY Air Plant Sphere

Sunday, February 9, 2014

DIY Air Plant Sphere

I'm so excited to share this project! I had this idea a few weeks ago, and since it was finally raining in California recently, this made the perfect Rainy Day Project.
While finishing up the details of the great Bathroom Project, I had originally planned to make this pot hanger, but overflowing in ferns. Well the ferns mentioned they wanted to live on the mantle, and then I thought a pot might be too big hanging in the corner anyway. I needed something  lighter... literally and figuratively.....air plants! So Pinterest & I brainstormed (see this post) and the embroidery hoops really spoke to my heart.  I tried my idea out, and it worked - so here it is for you.  It's nothing crazy, but it felt good.  This is a very easy & satisfying project, perfect to get your crafty feet wet.  Gather this crap:
 You'll need:

  • 3 wood embroidery hoops - very cheap, I used 10" hoops.
  • Paint & Paint brush (while you're buying paint, grab a few extra colors. They're cheap & really handy)
  • Hot Glue & Glue Gun
  • Reindeer Moss - I got mine at the store, but later found a better deal here on Amazon.
  • Air Plants! I got mine from this Etsy Seller. They came fast!
First up, start painting. Pretty simple. I did mine all white, but I think I might make another one where each hoop is a different color.

Let 'em dry, you don't want your paint wiping off.
Then the fun begins! I started with the solid hoops, which is the inner portion of the embroidery hoop set.  Gently squeeze one inside the other, to make an X:
Yep. It'll be snug, but don't fret - grab the third solid hoop, and either send it inside, or wrap it on the outside of the other two. Don't worry if they move around on ya, there is going to be a lot of that during this project. Just roll with it, you can move them around as you please.
Now take the outer hoops, and loosen them up enough to add each hoop on the outside of your sphere. When you are choosing where to add them, look at the sphere and see where it's too open, and disect that area with a hoop.
Play with your sphere, and gently push around the rings until it's as you like.  You can start to tighten the 3 outer hoops hardware when you are happy with how it looks. Don't over-tighten, just do it enough to keep things from slipping.  Now, it should be pretty snug, and it'll hold itself together. If you feel yours has some loose spots, just use a lil hot glue, and watch your worries melt away....

Let's add moss already!
Sometimes your sphere may look.. lumpy? You can play with it to fix it, or just go with it. I went with it. I think it adds to the organic look of the sphere, handmade & all that, and besides - it'll be gently spinning and know will notice/care.

Back to the moss! Choose which area of your sphere will be the bottom, and start laying the moss in. A dab of hot glue, and a gentle puff of moss, voila. You're so good at this.
Keep layering until you make a nice bed for your air plants. Remember, everything you're working with weighs almost nothing, so the moss bed doesn't have to be the sturdiest thing in the world. Just overlap a few cute pieces until it looks right.
I stopped there. It was hard to stop, the moss is so pretty...  I just wanna put a lil bird in there.
Now add your air plants! Wait-wait, did you soak them? I know - they are unfortunately named air plants, but they DO need water still.  The care card says you can mist them now and then, or you can soak them for an hour a week. I prefer the soak method.

DON'T glue the air plants in. I mean, I guess you could, but why? Just let them rest on the moss, and intertwine with your new sphere/orb/cage thingy.   Also, if they are loose, it will make soaking them a million times easier.
The angle of the photo above makes either the sphere look tiny, or my hand look enormous. I assure you neither are true, the sphere is a pretty good size, and my hands are sort of normal.  I used baker's twine (new favorite stuff! Amazon linky here) to hang the little baby:

What do you think? The hardest part of this project was waiting for them to dry! I was excited to get my craft on.. haha.  I really like how it came out, and I'm so happy there were no major hurtles along the way. I would love to do a grouping of these in many sizes.  Air plants everywhere!!

Ok for your pinning pleasure, the cover shot:

Thanks for reading! If you make some, let me know! Send pictures or post them to my facebook page.

Have fun!


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  1. Cute. I don't think I would have to make two more to hang with those. Different sizes. I think a cluster would look amazing.

    1. I mean I don't think I could stop at one, and would have to make two more. :)

    2. I agree! I wanted to keep going - for this bathroom I only had a little room for one, but multiple sizes grouped up would look GREAT.

  2. What an awesome idea!! Love it! Love, Mom

  3. SHUT UP... this is fabulous! I'm totally obsessed. Consider it pinned.

    1. Thanks Beth!! I'm so happy it worked out as I had imagined, I keep going down there to check on it & stare at it. You guys should make some!

  4. I just found your blog and I love your stuff! I've never heard of air plants before. It's definitely going into my future-crafts arsenal!


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