How to Make Artificial Moss for Halloween Props

  • 01 of 10

    Recycle Dryer Lint to Make Fake Tombstones Look Old

    Front yard Halloween decorations
    Kenneth Brown / EyeEm / Getty Images

    How do you get your Halloween yard props to stand out and look more authentic without having to buy genuine antique and weathered tombstones, statues, pedestals, pillars and columns? Those fake tombstones you buy or make—usually from foam—can get some instant aging by applying faux moss made from common, everyday clothes-dryer lint. You know, the warm and fuzzy stuff you should be cleaning out of the lint filter of your dryer after every cycle.

    Artists and designers Shawn and Lynne Mitchell, authors of How to Haunt Your House, the go-to book for Halloween home and yard haunt DIYers, include this clever craft among their assortment of prop-making techniques. 

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  • 02 of 10

    Do a Load of Laundry and Save the Dryer Lint

    halloween how to ideas dryer lint craft
    Get that warm and fuzzy feeling when you claw-out all that lint from your filter. Photo by Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Here's a good motivator to do an extra load or two of laundry—the more dryer lint, the more faux moss you can make. Those with a multi-pet household are at an advantage here. Put away that lint roller. More cat and / or dog hair = more dryer lint. Wash a load of light-colored clothing—you've got light-grey -tinged dryer lint. Wash a load of dark colors—you've got dark lint. You get the idea.

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  • 03 of 10

    Wad-Up Lint; Gather Your Tools & Ingredients

    halloween how to fake moss
    Once you have plenty of dryer lint, it's time to gather your ingredients to make faux moss. Photo by Lisa Hallett Taylor

    Once you have a big fuzzy wad of lint in hand (or faux hand, as pictured), it's time to gather your other tools and ingredients to make faux moss.

    Tools and Ingredients

    • 2 or more plastic bowls
    • Latex or thin disposable gloves
    • Dryer lint
    • 2 or more shades of green craft paint: dark, medium, light for your favorite shades of moss
    • Craft glue
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  • 04 of 10

    Put Ingredients in Bowl

    dryer lint halloween how to project moss
    Place lint into bowl. Photo by Lynne Mitchell

    Place some of the dryer lint in one of the bowls (pictured).

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  • 05 of 10

    Add Paint and Glue

    making tombstone props for halloween
    Add paint and glue to dryer lint. Photo by Lynne Mitchell
    Add some of the craft glue, then squirt the paint from one or more of the green craft paint bottles to get the desired color of moss for your tombstone, statue or pillar.

    "It's not an exact science," explains author Lynne Mitchell. "It depends on how much lint you have. Use enough glue and paint to change the color and make it tacky enough to apply."

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  • 06 of 10

    Mix Gently

    making fake moss halloween
    Mix gently, but don't mix colors completely. Photo by Lynne Mitchell

    Use a gloved hand—preferably a real one—to gently mix the lint and liquids until all are moss colored. The green paint should not be mixed completely—you don't want a big muddy-looking glob. Once your mixture resembles something delicately "mossy," it will be time to apply it to your prop.

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  • 07 of 10

    Moss Your Prop

    fake moss prop for halloween
    Apply faux moss to areas of prop. Photo by Lynne Mitchell
    Make sure you apply the faux moss immediately, before the glue and paint in the mixture dry out. Apply pieces of the mixture with gloved fingers while the moss is still wet. Press it into the prop surface, at the bottom, and to areas where moss would naturally gather and grow on cold, damp tombstones, statuary and pillars.
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  • 08 of 10

    Let it Dry

    halloween how to projects
    Allow faux moss to dry before adding highlights. Photo by Lynne Mitchell

    Allow faux moss to dry after applying to prop. If needed, drybrush some lighter green mixture or paint on the moss for a highlighting effect.

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  • 09 of 10

    Add Grunge Details and Faux Moss to Prop

    faux moss how to halloween lynn mitchell
    Grunge details and faux moss are added to a stone cross-style prop. Photo by Lynne Mitchell
    Here, Lynne Mitchell has aged a hand-made stone cross-style tombstone prop made from styrofoam. Mitchell added "grunge details" to the carved prop by drybrushing it lightly with white paint, then used a brown wash to "grunge it." Her final step was to add faux moss to random parts of the prop for additional aging effects.
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  • 10 of 10

    Faux Moss Invades Your Yard Haunt

    halloween tombstone props
    Halloween tombstone props in yard.

    Details like the Mitchells' faux moss technique help to make their Pensacola, Florida, yard haunt, Mitchell Cemetary, appear authentic. Since the recipe is easy and the materials are free, don't you think it's time to haunt your own yard?

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