Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Thumb is Still Green!

As you may remember, I bought three different flower/plant kits while I was in Chicago at the Bishop International Show.  On Sunday night, I decided to tackle the palm kit I purchased. 

This kit was created by Jan van den Doel of Holland.  He was very nice at the show and was great to help point me towards kits that were more beginner oriented so I wouldn't get frustrated.

Below is everything that was included in this kit.  The major difference between this kit and the Parlor Fern I did earlier in the week was that this one came with laser cut palm fronds instead of me having to cut them.  I was happy to see that as I really wasn't ready to spend so much time cutting again that night. :-)  Also included was a small pot, wire for the stems and a small bit of brown paper.  I had to supply the clay for the pot as well as glue, paint and dried coffee grounds for the dirt.

 To give you a better idea of the size of the palm fronds, I'm holding one of the largest ones on my fingers.  You can see the detail on them.  There were 12 total.  The wire came in four pieces and you had to cut each wire into thirds so you would have enough stems to complete the plant.  It was easy enough to cut the leaf away from the main paper.

Honestly, I think the next step was the hardest.  You had to apply a small amount of glue to each wire and then carefully glue it down the center of each palm frond.  Below you can see two completed ones from the top and the one on the far right is showing what it looks like on the bottom.  You do this to each of the twelve supplied leaves.

Now it was time to color them leaves.  My original thinking was to use a thinned down paint as I did on the fern, but I had another idea.  I had recently purchased a set of 100 markers that are acid free.  I choose a couple different shades of green and got to coloring each frond.  On a few of the fronds I used a lighter shade on the tips and I even used a light tan on a few so that it would have some natural coloring. I have never owned a palm that didn't get some dead spots on the leaves.  When it comes to plants that are real and not made of paper and wire, my thumb turns a deep shade of brown and I have a bad habit of killing them. :-(  Poor houseplants start shaking and crying as soon as I bring them into my house.  One day I will stop trying and needlessly killing innocent plant life.  

I forgot to take a photo of the next step so I'm going to explain it to you and you can see the end result in this picture.  After all your fronds have dried and you are happy with the color, take two or three pieces and wire them together at the base. Then you tear off a small piece of the brown paper, put some glue at the bottom of the bundle of stems and wrap the paper around it.  The reason I said to tear the paper is because it gives you a rough edge as opposed to a clean, straight cut.  As you see in the picture below, it does give the impression of multiple stalks growing from one clump...just like real life!

Once you have done all your bundles, fill the pot with some florist clay, top with a layer of glue and sprinkle on your dried coffee grounds.  Then you press each bundle through the glue into the clay and let dry.  Once I had inserted all my bundles, this is what I had. While happy, I couldn't wait to start shaping the fronds. However, I was a good boy and waited until the glue had dried. 

Here you have the finished product.  I'm happy with it.  I even bent one of the small fronds a bit extra so it has the look of a real plant in my house. HA HA

I really enjoyed doing this kit.  I found it much easier than the first one as there are fewer steps and far less cutting.  If you are looking to do a first plant, I would really recommend this.

I hope you have enjoyed my latest adventure and I thank you for taking the time to read my blog and see what I have been doing.
Till later!


  1. This is my favorite plant. I loved it when you bought it and I love it now!!! I can hardly wait to see it in the house!! WOOO HOOO to you!!

    You are the master!!

  2. Hey Dale! I tend to kill houseplants too! Great idea to bring miniature ones in that you create! Very nice job!

  3. DB, I loved it too and could hardly wait to make it. The Master isn't me however...it is Jan who created such a beautiful kit. :-) I'm going to have to see about getting more of his stuff.

    Gina! Love seeing you here. :-) thanks for the compliments. Perhaps the two of us need to look into getting a support group together for plant killers. LOL

  4. Hi Dale!
    House plant killer here too!!!!!!! I love them to death...lol! Still trying, still killing...

    Love your Palm!!!!!!! So happy to see the how to! Thank you for sharing the process.

    So happy to have found your blog.

  5. Is this the meeting of "Plant Killers Anonymous"? - Well, I'm Birgit and I always kill my plants by giving them too much or not enough water... (LOL).

    Thank you for taking me with you in your palm-making-process. And although there was no cutting this time it was total fun... ;O) Hope you'll start the third kit soon!


  6. if that were a real plant at my house it would be totally brown, good job though and thanks for sharing how it's done

    Mini Hugs

  7. Thanks everyone for the fun comments. I'm going to have to work on a badge for our "plant killing group". HAHA

  8. I don't know how I get so lucky :) I forget the dang things until they look droopy and then water them too much. Somehow they survive this abuse :) I think I'd have better luck with these though, they look amazing! Especially your first one in the elephant planter. That's great! I love all of your projects, you have a wonderful imagination and a knack for placement in your mini scenes. Keep up the great blogging and thanks for your kind comments on my own blog :)

  9. It may be a kit, but you have put it together so well, you must have real nimble fingers.

  10. Tara, thank you so much for the kind words. I'm sure my mini plants will far outlive anything real in my house. HAHA

    Dave, not sure how nimble my fingers are. I'm really thankful for tweezers and reading glasses. :-)