Saturday, April 23, 2011

I Find my Green Thumb...The Parlor Fern

Some of you may remember that I purchased 3 different plant/flower kits while I was in Chicago at the Bishop International Show.  Well, I had some time today between loads of laundry to finally get to play with one of them.  I thought the first one I would tackle was the Parlor Fern.  I had planned on dividing the kit into two smaller plants but once I got started I just couldn't stop and now I'm going to have a heck of  a time finding a spot for this sucker, but I'm sure happy with how it turned out.  This is my first plant kit.

This particular kit was made by Kimberly Hammer of Ambrosia (cost, $20).

Here is everything that came in the kit.  It included a small gold pot (not the one pictured on the cover of the kit, but a nice ceramic pot anyway), a small amount of florist clay, some dried coffee grounds, a stack of ready to cut/paint leaves and a finished leaf as an example. 

The first step according to the directions was to paint the leaves, but I decided I wanted to cut them into a spear shape first so I could make sure to get paint on the edges of the leaves as well. Now that I have completed the kit, I don't think the initial cutting makes any difference if you do it before or after painting.  I used two different shades of green as well as a little black.  As you can tell, I mixed some up and left a big puddle of various shades of green on my lid.

This is one of the leaves while I was painting it.  I was really sloppy as she suggested and made sure to also paint the stems.

As I painted each leaf, I stuck it into a piece of foam to dry.  Here is a picture of all my little leaves, stretching to get some sun near my back door.  They look like happy little leaves to me.

After the leaves were good and dry, the next step was to cut each leaf into tiny little strips to look more like a fern and less like spears. :-)  OK.  After finding my tiny embroidery scissors I started cutting.  Then I cut some more.  Then I had lunch.  Then I cut some more and finally I cut more.  PHEW! There are a lot of cuts on those 20 leaves. As I progressed, I got better at it so I hopefully was able to hide some of the beginner leaves in the "back" where they wouldn't be seen. HAHA

The next step is to take the container you are using and fill it with florist clay.  On top of that you spread a thin layer of white glue (I used Tacky Glue) and then sprinkle the dried coffee grounds on top to look like dirt.  I'm using the little Celadon Elephant planter I also purchased at Bishop. I'm liking the look so far.

After you get the "dirt" sprinkled on and pressed down into the glue, you have to start inserting the leaves into the planter.  You start with the largest and work your way down to the smallest leaves, spacing and turning the plant as you insert.  After I got all the leaves pushed down into the planter, I shaped them up to make them look a bit more natural and ruffled up the leaves a bit so there was some "movement" to them.

I'm happy with how it turned out.  Now I have to figure out where I'm going to put this thing. HAHA  It sure doesn't fit where I had planned, but isn't that part of the fun of doing miniatures? 

I think my next project will be the palm I purchased.  that kit is different from this one and features laser cut leaves.  I'm curious to see how it turns out.

Till later!


  1. The fern looks great and I love the elephant planter!

  2. Plants look terrific!! Great job!!

  3. Thank you for this great post - quite a tutorial - I could see you cutting and cutting and cutting... and after that... cutting! But it was worth the effort, and chosing this elephant was a great idea. Wonderful work, you really have a green thumb, no doubt.

    Happy Easter to you, your family and your elephant fern!

  4. Thanks ladies for the kind words. Birgit, you should have seen me when I was cutting. I'm sure I was crossed-eyed when I was finished.

    Hope everyone has a great Easter.

  5. I Love the Elephant planter Dale.... now he looks like an Elephant with a tree on his back.... LOL! Thanks for showing the steps on making this kit... I have not yet tried any plants.... It's on my someday list!

  6. Thanks! I love an elephant with a tree on his back. He is a strong elephant and he'll bring me lots of good luck with his little trunk pointed up in the air like that. Such a happy fella!