Moss graffiti is a lovely, subtle, organic way of making a mural, where you simply encourage moss to grow on a wall to your desired design. Inspired by Anna Gaforth’s beautiful projects, I decided to try my hand at making a moss graffiti in my back garden. I’ve never done moss graffiti before, so hopefully I’ll be making the mistakes, so you don’t have to. :)
It was a lovely sunny day – perfect for a moss graffiti session.
As you can see, the walls are a bit bare. Handily, they are breeze-blocks, so there are lots of nooks and nobbles that will let the moss take hold.
Ultimately, I want to have a quote by poet John Keats growing on my wall;
“Happy is England, sweet her artless daughters; enough their simple loveliness for me”. However, I decided to start small for today, with just the word “happy”, as a kind of test word.
You will need:
- Paper and printer
- Thin card
- Scalpel/craft knife and cutting surface/mat
- Pritt Stick
- Masking tape
- Natural yogurt
- Moss – gather from your own garden or buy from a garden centre
- Choose your font.
- Print your letters – obviously you only need to print one of any letters or punctuation marks that are repeated. Font geeks will love seeing all the detail in the big sized letters.
- Stick the letters up on the wall and mess around with layout
- Glue your paper letters to pieces of card. You could just print straight on to card if your printer can handle it
- Cut out the letters with a scalpel or craft knife. I should really have used a cutting board.
Making the moss “paint”
I used this recipe from Wikihow.
I’d had the moss languishingin a carrier bag in one of my flowerbeds for ages. It had survived fine, and become a home for many happy woodlice. However, I was a bit concerned that some of it had become too dried out, but I’ll just have to see whether it grows or not.
I rinsed the moss before blending, otherwise I was going to end up with mud paint, and not moss paint. Also, it seemed kind to remove the woodlice before blending.
I found that the mix was ultimately much too thin, and I ended up sieving the moss out and mixing with more yogurt to make it thicker.
That still wasn’t really thick enough, and for the rest of the writing, I plan to use just yogurt, moss and sugar, without the water.
It’s just a case of sticking the stencil on the wall with masking tape, and painting in the gaps with a brush.
Despite the runniness of the paint, I still managed to create a fairly neat “happy” on my garden wall, although I had to use a sponge to mop up the drips that ran down the wall.
Now all I have to do is wait for the moss to grow, and regularly spritz the word with water to watch it grow. I’ll be watching my wall spaceand updating you on its progress next week.