Wednesday, September 17, 2014

bird.i.y.: How to Mount a Staghorn Fern (and a comedy of errors)

This project was an impulse for me. I went to a neighbor’s house for a party on Saturday and saw one hanging on her wall. I will admit I had never even heard of a staghorn fern, but I knew immediately that I wanted one for myself. I mean, it’s a plant, on a wall, that looks like a deer. Who wouldn’t want that?

So I immediately (or Monday night when  I realized I needed to do a DIY this week) ran to Bachman's to buy the fern. I also needed a block to mount it on, and some hanging accessories. On my way to Bachman's, I got the brilliant idea to stop at Goodwill (isn’t it always a brilliant idea to stop at Goodwill?) to see if they had something cheaper than the wood block I was planning on buying at Michael's. Determined to only buy a wood block and a cheap picture that has hook screws and wire (since I was no longer going to Michael's), I happened upon this gem and had to buy it. I mean, dogs in a pink bathroom…it’s a must-have.

Anywho, I found what I was looking for in the form of an old cheese plate. If I can teach you only one thing today, it’s that with a little imagination, you can find almost any craft need at a thrift store. For real. I left Goodwill with what I needed and headed to Bachman's.

At Bachman's, I was determined to only buy the fern and sheet moss. But then I saw this and remembered that I once told Chris that if he ever saw one, to buy it for me. Well, that was reason enough to buy it for myself. I mean, a little fairy plant that looks like peas…it’s a must-have.

So I left Bachman's with the fern, the fairy plant, and peat moss. Not sheet moss. My bad. Luckily, as I was in the middle of the project back at home, I remembered Nora had recently done a DIY that required moss, so I texted her:
“Do you have any moss I can have? I bought the wrong stuff and don’t feel like putting my bra back on.”

 What you need:
~ Wood block and hanging accessories
~ Staghorn fern
~ Hammer and 6-8 nails
~ Fishing wire
~ Sheet moss

Sisters always come through, and five minutes later, I was at Nora’s door in sweatpants and no bra. And a tank top, too…I’m not that indecent!

The actual project itself is pretty easy. 

Here are the steps you should follow:
1. Attach your hanging device to the wood piece, if there isn’t one already. Make sure it’s strong enough to hold some weight.
2. Draw a circle, about an inch larger than the circumference of your plant, where you’d like to place the plant on your wood piece.
3. Hammer about 6-8 nails (leaving at least an inch of nail above the wood) in the outline of the circle.
4. Spread the sheet moss (not peat moss) in the circle.
5. Remove the fern from the pot and break the roots until you have about 1-2 inches of dirt and root under the plant.
6. Place the plant over the moss.
7. Tie a piece of fishing wire to one of the nails.
8. Wind the wire over the plant, around the plant, connecting all the nails and making sure the plant is secure enough to the wood piece (eventually it will root).
8. Tie off the fishing wire to a nail.
9. Hang the plant.

Sounds easy enough.

Here’s what I did:
1. Buy a piece of wood that doesn’t fit where you actually want it to go.
2. Take your bra off, it’s craft time.
3. Attach the hanging device to the wood piece without even thinking/measuring if it will be the right placement
4. Draw a circle, hammer in the nails (I did one thing right).
5. Realize you have peat moss, run (braless) to your sisters.
6. Add sheet moss, tear plant, put plant on wood piece.
7. Wrap fishing wire only around the outside of the plant.
8. Try to hang the fern.
9. Have the fern fall off the wood piece on your face.
10. Reattach the fern to the wood piece, using about 20 yards of fishing wire to make sure it's secure.
11. Hang the fern, realizing it doesn't look good where you wanted it.
12. Take out screws and wire and move them to a new location to see if the fern will look better a bit higher. (It doesn't.)
13. Finally find a new place to hang it that you love.
14. Take out screws and wire and move to their original place so the fern looks perfect in it's new location.
15. Take lots of pictures and hope that the fern is still on the wood piece when you wake up the next morning. (It was.)

And that is how is should and shouldn't be done. A true comedy of errors, but I must say I am delighted with the finished product.

megan bird


  1. What a fun piece! (I do believe we are sisters in crafthood...we do crafts the same way, lol. You needed another sister, right?)

  2. i think the best piece of advice here is bras off, it's time to craft! hehe.

  3. love the paint with the dog. Also can you come decorate my house.

  4. That's adorable!


    This totally sounds like me crafting! Well aside from the bra bit. I'm old fashioned like that.


  6. Another great project! And I love being bra free - kind of miss those days, until I'm done nursing I have to at least have a cami on!

  7. It turned out so cute! And I love your bright blue wall. If only I had a sister to run to braless. It'd be awkward to run to my brother's house for moss without one on. ;)

  8. Bahahaa. Whether or not I have to put a bra back on, helps me make a lot of decisions :)

  9. This was so funny to read! It sounds like something I would do. It came out great though!

  10. I've never heard of one! It looks cool!x

  11. Hahaha! I love you two!! And I get more and more impressed with your crafting skills everytime you post! You ladies need to start selling these! xo Tammy

  12. That turned out great! And love the dogs in the pink bathroom. And just think that you could have missed this gem if not for the crafting supplies hunt.

  13. love your little indoor garden ! such a cute idea

  14. This is outstandingly funny,- playwright worthy dialogue- I truly laughed out loud, and I SO needed that.
    Love it, and the darling little pea plant,. You are a gem
    xx, Elle