01 of 06
Make Traditional Moss Hanging Baskets For Scale Miniature and Dolls House Scenes
A Victorian dolls house or scale railway scene needs traditional moss covered hanging baskets, full to overflowing with summer annuals. They are easy to make in miniature scales and make great decorations for summer or winter scenes on model railroads, dolls houses, or streets of shops. The instructions which follow give you the instructions to make the moss basket base. You can use commercial miniature plant kits, coloured railroad scatter, bits of dried or silk plant material or your own miniature plants to fill the baskets with seasonal decorations. Try baskets filled with miniature pine cones and bows for winter scenes.
If you want examples of traditional moss baskets for reference, check out the Pdf (acrobat reader) brochure for the City of Victoria's Traditional Hanging Baskets.Continue to 2 of 6 below.
02 of 06
Gather the Materials for a Traditional Moss Hanging Basket in Miniature
Supplies Needed to Make Miniature Moss Hanging Baskets:
- Dry Floral Arrangement Foam - you need a cube about half the size you want your hanging basket to be.
- Fine Chain - to hang the basket. You will need three short lengths of chain from a jewellery or bead store.
- Jump Ring - Choose a ring that will fit through the links on your chain. The jump ring is used to hold the pieces of chain together.
- Mounting Pins - You can make these from bits of bent florist's wire, or buy commercial mounting pins or florist's pins / staples as shown here.
- Reindeer Moss - to cover the florist's foam.
- PVA (White) Glue
- Your Choice of Plants or Colored Railway Scatter
.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
03 of 06
Prepare Your Miniature Moss Basket Shape From Florist's Foam
Shape the Basket - Begin making your miniature moss hanging basket by cutting a rough cube of dry floral arrangement foam to a cube shape, at least 1/3 smaller than you want your basket to be. If you prefer you can use a suitable size of styrofoam ball. If you use dry florist's foam, round the edges of the cube to make it a roughly rounded shape.
Cover the Basket With Moss Apply a THIN layer of pva glue to the outside of your florist's foam and press bits of reindeer moss into the glue. Roll the shape between your palms to keep it rounded and press the moss into the glue. Set aside to dry.
Note: do not use too much glue to stick the moss to the foam, or you will be unable to insert the wire stems of your miniature flowers into the foam when the glue/ moss layer has dried. The stems of the tiny flowers will help hold the moss to the foam as you 'plant' the hanging basket. If you will be using colored railroad scatter to represent miniature plants, extra glue won't be a problem.Continue to 4 of 6 below.
04 of 06
Prepare the Hanger For the Miniature Moss Hanging Basket
To make the hanger for your moss basket you will need three roughly equal lengths of chain, long enough to reach from the sides of your basket to a support hook or hanger. Cut the chain to three equal lengths.
Join the chain lengths to a small jump ring.
Fit pins through the free ends of the chain. You can make simple staples or pins yourself from bits of bent florist's wire.Continue to 5 of 6 below.
05 of 06
Attach the Hanger Pins to the Moss Basket's Sides
In your minds eye, divide the moss covered ball that will be your miniature hanging basket into three equal sections (imagine a wide "Y" laid out on the top of your ball). You want to place the pins that hold your chain so that each pin is on or just BELOW, the widest curve of the basket, with the pins inserted so the ends point up into the top center of the basket roughly. This will help keep the chain in place. Don't worry about seeing the ends of the pins. When your plants or scatter are in place the pins will be totally covered. Insert the chain pins with the chain attached so that the chain lengths are even to the jump ring loop that holds the chains together (see photo). Adjust your pins if necessary so that your 'basket' hangs properly from a support.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
06 of 06
Plant Your Miniature Hanging Basket
I've made hundreds of actual moss baskets with students and many have trouble with the concept that for moss hanging baskets, you plant the trailing plants on the sides and the top, and the plants which grow upright (geraniums) on the sides and the bottom. This means your basket will grow so that the trailing plants grow through the upright plants and make a full, rounded floral display. The mistake many people want to make is to plant the trailing plants on the bottom and the upright plants on the top, where they just grow in opposite directions to give you a long, columnar basket.
When you arrange your miniature hanging baskets, try to put some 'bushy' miniature plants on the sides and towards the bottom of your basket, and set the trailing miniature plants so that they weave through these plants on their way to hang off the base of the basket.
You can use bits of railway scatter, dried bits of acrylic paint, or colored bits of sponge to represent plants in smaller scales if you wish. You can find kits for plants in dolls house scales of 1:48 to 1:6 or make your own plants to fit into your baskets. You can also cut interesting bits of dried or silk plant material to make plants for your baskets. Try making baskets for Autumn, Winter, or Spring scenes as well as traditional summer baskets with geraniums and petunias. Have fun!