Moss Initial Tutorial

Once upon a time when Cute Husband and I were a-courtin’ back in the Dark Ages, he used to tease me about all of my craft supplies neatly organized and labeled in clear shoe boxes.  One box in particular especially tickled his funny bone; it was marked “Moss.”  This box was a source of much amusement and was often brought up through the years.  Who would have a box labeled Moss?  WHY would one have enough moss to merit its own box, let alone a labeled box?  I have no defense for my organizing & crafting insanity other than to simply say it was the 90s and I was going through a topiary phase.

Fast forward about 15 years.

I was randomly searching on Etsy and came across some moss-covered initials and thought $40 each?  Surely I can figure out how to do those myself.  And then I opened up my Pottery Barn catalog and saw these and almost fainted at the $79 price tag ~

Suddenly Cute Husband seemed VERY interested in the contents of my Moss box.  As well he should be, I made one just like it for about $7!

I started with a wooden initial I found on clearance at Marshalls that I have around my house.  I traced it on some 1″ styrofoam with a Sharpie and then began to cut it out with a utility knife {if you don’t have an initial to use you can just sketch one out}.

When you’re cutting the “inside” spaces, it’s best to do it in small pieces and break them off as you go so that you don’t break your initial form.  {If you’re one of those lucky ducks with an easy letter like ‘I’ or ‘L’ well then good for you; I’m going to just go sulk in the corner about the challenges of my “Gness.”}.

Don’t stress about this part too much.  It does NOT need to be perfect, I promise!  Just get the idea of your letter and be close to your lines and it will be good enough.

The next step is to trace your letter onto some colored cardstock.  I like to use moss colored so it will blend in with my moss {duh!}.  It’s OK if you don’t have cardstock that’s big enough; you can patch it together.  This will enable you to hang your letter on a mirror if you wish and not have a reflection of an ugly styrofoam back!

Onto the moss!  I buy the moss for my moss box at Michael’s.  They sell several different kinds, but this is what I prefer.  It looks the most “natural” in my opinion and works great for a project like this {they sell a similar looking version in “sheets” but then you’d have to cut it which wouldn’t give you natural edges}.

I start adding moss in small pieces on the top of the letter with my hot glue gun.  Please be warned, hot glue and styrofoam react quickly and it’s very easy to burn yourself doing this.  I recommend using the end of pliers or tweezers to push the moss pieces into the styrofoam and not your fingers.  I say this as someone who no longer has fingerprints, so please trust me and use caution!

You then want to prop your letter against something so you can add moss to the external and internal sides, completely covering your styrofoam.

Then flip it over and “clean it up.”  This entails pulling off all your hot glue tendrils and covering up any last exposed bits of styrofoam.  Now it will look great against a mirror or hanging on a glass French door!

Flip it back over and add a ribbon and figure out where to display your DIY bargain!  {it will give your ribbon a bit of stability if you stick a floral pin through the ribbon into the back of the styrofoam}.

After all this snow I am very happy to see a bit of bright green in my house.  I know real Spring isn’t quite here in New England but I know it’s coming!

{Many of you had asked about the moss ‘G’ hanging from the fireplace screen in my living room.  While recently experimenting with different locations around the house it met an untimely fate when an unamed Cutie made a mad dash through the Dining Room.  So I took this opportunity to create a tutorial while making a new one!}

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63 Responses to Moss Initial Tutorial

  1. Erin says:

    I absolutely love the moss initial!! I looks so perfect with the ribbon hanging from the mirror. 🙂

  2. Megan says:

    It looks fabulous, awesome work!

  3. Tabitha says:

    I saw this in the Pottery Barn catalog and loved it until I noticed the price, too. Thanks so much for sharing this. I’m going to give this one a try. It’s fab!

  4. Carla says:

    Ok, I have to admit… I stink at decorating, I don’t browse Pottery Barn, and I generally would never have thought about using moss. BUT this looks absolutely gorgeous! It’s sooooo simple but it’s just perfect. Love it with the ribbon, love it over the mirror.
    {Found you from Someday Crafts}

  5. Ginna says:

    That is so cute! I would of never thought of doing that!

  6. Clydia says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this! This is my project for this weekend! Love it!

  7. LUUUUUUUUUUUVVVVVE IT! Great job! I was wondering where a I could get a “GOOD” moss!

  8. Jalinda says:

    Great tutorial, thanks for sharing!

  9. Jori says:

    What a great idea! It is going on my project list. Thank you SO much!!

  10. Emily says:

    So beautiful! My mind is going crazy thinking of all the places I could put mossy letters! 🙂

    One question…do you find that the moss “sheds” much?

  11. feltsocute says:

    Not at all ~ We had one tied to the front of our fireplace screen { you can see it here} and children and dogs brushed against it all the time without incident. In addition, we were constantly moving the screen every time we built a fire and never had a mess!

  12. Beautiful! I love it and so much better of a bargain when you DIY.

  13. Julie says:

    Amazing…sooo me!! I also saw on PB…would never pay that, and can not wait to make…I already have initials…and dollar store here in Ohio has the moss for $1 a bag!

  14. Ann says:

    Hi! I found you at Somewhat Simple. This is such a great project! Thanks for the detailed instructions. I have seen these in catalogs and on TV but never knew exactly how to make them. It looks so nice on your mirror. Well done! I’m looking forward to exploring your blog. Thanks for sharing. ~Ann

  15. Stacy says:

    I have a thing for moss. I {heart} moss. So I LOVED this! I am actually working on a moss project myself 🙂 I am going to feature this tomorrow! Thanks for linking up!

  16. I love this and think I’m going to make one! My spring wreath hasn’t sprung yet, this might be just the thing!

    You are genius with the cardstock on the back. Super tutorial, I’m going to Stumble this 🙂

  17. Chris says:

    This is lovely! I need to do something similar with our newly painted mirror.

  18. Kalee says:

    This is amazing and will make the perfect addition to our home for Spring. We’re preparing for an adoption next year and so I’ve been trying to think of ways to make our home more cozy (we just moved here a little over a year ago so we’re still decorating) and this is a phenomenal idea!

  19. Jill says:

    Wow, crazy how overpriced some things are huh? I didn’t know it was so easy to make one on your own though, thanks for sharing. I don’t think I ever would have thought I wanted a moss decoration but I really love your G on the mirror! It looks so elegant! Now of course I’m wanting one.

  20. Bella says:

    Oh that is wonderful, just beautiful. I don’t blame you at all for DIY,, gosh, I can’t imagine paying that for one letter, he he.

    I love the ribbon you used to hang it, everything just looks darling!!
    I’m going to tweet this girl!!

    Come link up if you want a chance to be featured for a whole week on my blog!!!
    Bella Before and After **Amaze me August**, and if you want to win an Avocado Painting, come enter myGIVEAWAY HERE, I really appreciate the support.

    Bella 🙂

  21. super cute! I saw this on transformation thursday – we are a G also, so I wanted to see how hard this would be to make! 🙂 I love it, thanks for sharing the tutorial.

  22. Kelsey says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog and commenting on my yarn letters! I am semi-addicted to letters myself! I love your moss covered ‘G’ – I’ve been wanting to try a moss covered letter myself!

  23. Kyo says:

    VERY nice! I love this idea. I’m gonna try it.

  24. Teresa says:

    I love the monogram. I will be getting the supplies this week-end to make one. Thanks!

  25. Kari says:

    This looks wonderful! Thanks so much for sharing this great tutorial! I’m visiting you from Shabby Chic 🙂

  26. Karryann says:

    Love that(G) the best one yet- absalutely leaving work to head for Michaels … Just Beautiful.
    A new follower, ill be back for more inspiration and ideas ..LOVE IT

  27. Laurel says:

    I love this! And such a great tutorial, thanks! We’re featuring all things GREEN this week at the M&T Spotlight and I’d love for you to submit this:

  28. Lina says:


    I love it! And I think we were thinking along the same lines this week because this was my project as well 🙂


  29. Oh my…I think I am in love. We have a brand new JoAnns and I think I will hit it up for the supplies for this amazing project! Thanks for sharing. Happy Weekend. I popped over from Amanda’s Weekend Bloggy Reading Party to say hi.

  30. Wendybv says:

    That is just gorgeous 🙂

    Visiting from Serenity Now!

  31. Trisha says:

    I am so in love. It looks perfect hanging on your mirror.

  32. I’ve been DYING to make one of these. I love it hanging on the mirror! It’s gorgeous! I’m cracking up about your “moss box”. So funny!

  33. Tara says:

    LOVE it! I’m into the moss stuff this year. 🙂

  34. thank you for sharing a great tutorial! i am going to make one of these this week! maybe even two!

  35. So cute! What a great spring craft!

    I am visiting from Chic on a Shoestring, I would love if you could stop by

  36. Katrina says:

    IN LOVE! must make one today 🙂
    Thank you for the idea!
    Just started blogging myself, come check me out 😉

  37. SHANNON says:

    Such a great idea! I can’t wait to make one for my home now.

  38. Trés cute!!! Yours looks just as nice, if not better than the PB version. 🙂 You gave me a great laugh with your story of the moss box…thank you!! 🙂

    Thanks so much for joining my Weekend Bloggy Reading party. 🙂 Have fun finding some new reads. Hope you’ll stop by Serenity Now again soon! 🙂

  39. Erin S. says:

    Love this! I live in the Pacific Northwest, the land of moss, and I still love it! Great idea!

  40. Kristy says:

    I love this and think I might try it tomorrow! I already have moss and an initial, just need the material for the form.

  41. I totally love this. I brought a bunch of moss home from our lake house this summer and I just know I can use it for this. Thanks for the inspriration.

  42. I love it! I am going to make one of these this week. Can’t wait. Thanks for sharing.

  43. Aaron says:

    I know what I’ll be doing this weekend!

  44. Miss Char says:

    What a great project, I love your “G” hanging on the mirror. Great job and thanks for sharing.

  45. jessica says:

    Soooo cute!! I’ll be linking 🙂
    (let me know if that’s not okay)

  46. feltsocute says:

    Totally fine {and thanks!}

  47. J. Hill says:

    This is a great tutorial! I am going to link to it from the Mad in Crafts facebook fan page. Thanks for joining the Mad Skills Link Party!

  48. Elisabeth says:

    That’s it! I’m making one of these. Too cute and easy to make, too. Thanks.

  49. Tammy says:

    This looks great! I think I may have to try it also – I’m also a “G” and would love to hang this near my front door.

    If I wasn’t worried about mold, or allergies, or if the snow was melted from my backyard, I think I’d even try the green floral foam and grab some moss from the yard and make it “live”.

  50. Elizabeth says:

    I love this! Thanks so much for the awesome tutorial!!

  51. This look fantastic! I’ll have to give it a try!

  52. I love this! I featured it on my blog (I hope that’s ok!). If you’d like please grab a button!

  53. Jane says:

    This is beautiful and I will be trying to make one tomorrow. I hope mine will look as good as yours!

  54. Jane says:

    I made it today and love it but wanted to ask how you attached the ribbon to the mirror frame.

  55. This is lovely. Hope to see you at My Dream Canvas!

  56. I finally was able to try this out. Thanks again for the awesome tutorial!

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  58. Dusti says:

    I used this craft for one of my craft parties and they were so cute. I used the moss sheets as it was a little less messy. So cute!!

  59. James Foo says:

    Do I need to water the moss? Are they real moss? If they are real, how long will they last?

  60. feltsocute says:

    It’s real, but dried, so you don’t need to water it. Mine is well over a year old and still in perfect condition.

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