DIY kids activity: Staghorn mount reindeer decoration
December holidays are great for getting creative with your kids. Here are seven easy steps to make your own staghorn mount reindeer decoration.
All you will need is the following:
- Staghorn fern
- Mounting board – We used a split log, but you could use any flat piece of wood
- A bag of green moss
- Some small nails
- Wall mounting device of your choice – this may depend on the surface you decide to mount on
- Twine, fishing line or wire
- Hammer and possibly a screw driver
- Red Christmas ball ornament
- A reindeer face cut out and /or winking eyes
- Coloured markers, crayons, pencils or paint to decorate your reindeer face
- Glue, pins, double sided tape
First things first, you will want to set the hook that will attach to the wall. Whatever you decide to use is up to you and the mounting piece you decide on, but begin with placing that before anything else. We used two nails and a piece of twine, but you may prefer a picture frame hook.
Next, grab your nails and hammer in 4 to 6 small nails in a square or circular shape where you will be mounting the staghorn onto your chosen piece of wood. This will secure the plant on the mount.
Before you place the plant, it is important to loosen and prune the roots some. This helps better absorb moisture in its new environment as well as adapt to the new surface it will call home. After pruning make sure to water the plant.
Once you have pruned the plant, place the fern in the middle of the circle of nails. We also took into account the direction of leaves. By considering these details it will make the final presentation feel right. There is no wrong way, but sometimes one side of the plant will look better than another.
Now, grab the moss and pull apart a chunk, soak it slightly and make sure to squeeze out any drippy moisture. Wrap the moss around the base of the plant to contain the dirt and roots of the fern.
Once fully wrapped, cut a long piece of twine and tie a knot on a nail. Criss-cross the twine over the base of the plant and wrap it around the tops of the nails with each cross. This will be the only security the plant and moss have so make sure to hit every nail and wrap around the heads well. You could also use fishing line or wire.
Choose whatever fits you and your style. You may need to secure some of the leaves together at the base and angle them in the correct position to look most like reindeer antlers.
Once the plant is well secured it will almost be ready to hang…. but first you need to add the reindeers face. Colour, decorate and assemble your chosen reindeer face, and/or eyes and nose.
Now secure the face in the best location on your staghorn mount board so that the leaves of the fern resemble the reindeer’s antlers. We used pins and double-sided tape to secure our reindeer face and/or eyes and ball ornament nose.
Hang your reindeer staghorn mount in a prime position in your home to add holiday cheer. To keep your plant healthy, check the moss every so often to make sure the moss is moist. The dryer your home, the more often you will need to water it. Make sure to also place it in a brighter room to allow enough sunlight, however it should not have direct sunlight.
When you do water, spray them to give them a rain-like experience (be careful not to spray your reindeer face). You can purchase some of your supplies needed for this project, as well as get helpful advice from your local GCA Garden Centre.
For more gardening tips and information, visit www.lifeisagarden.co.za or join the conversation on Facebook: www.facebook.com/lifeisagardensa.