Mini Garden Decorating: Miniaturizing Martha
Please enjoy this blog before it’s moved to the Miniature Garden Society’s Christmas & Winter Holiday section! – I would be remiss if I said I only look to Martha Stewart for holiday ideas for the miniature garden. In fact, I look to her for just about every craft or recipe idea that I get and ask myself, “What would Martha do?”
Sometimes I do the complete opposite from what she does, sometimes I jump to Pinterest for more input, but most of the time I take her lead but put my own twist on it. This holiday is no exception as I stumbled across a couple of her ideas in my local Home Depot store and instantly thought: “It’s time to miniaturize!”
Click to enlarge the photo. Find the parts and pieces in the photo above:
– Mini Christmas Tree – see more options here.
– Pusch Norway Spruce – shrub on right, limited availability though our store.
– Red Thyme (left)
– Dwarf Mondo Grass (middle)
– Platt’s Black Brass Buttons (right)
– Miniature Light String – found almost anywhere
– Terra Cotta Flagstone Sheet
– Mini Patio Mix Kit (for locking-in the stones so they don’t wash away.)
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You Can’t Make A Purse From A Sow’s Ear
Remember the saying, “You can’t make a purse out of sow’s ear?” It’s usually referring to the futility of attempting to make something nice from poor material, but also refers to trying to make a bad idea look good. I broaden the idea to include who to turn to for inspiration or advice and only follow the experts that I respect. What goes in is what comes out, right? (We think about eating the right food all the time, but do we really think about the diet our soul is on?)
So, choose ideas that you like, make you giggle or tingle. Not only will your creation stand the test of time, it is a delight to sit back and say, “Hey, I made this!” I’ve even surprised myself with the miniatures that I’ve made at times. Lol!
Beads for Balls
The only color of bead I had a lot of, and in different sizes, was gold – so gold it was! Simple plastic gold beads from jewelry strings and garlands found a dollar stores or garage sales. Make sure they are loose beads, not permanently strung. The teenie-tiny beads are micro beads and, funnily enough, Martha has her own brand too.
For each project, I coated the form with Aileen’s Tacky Glue and then dipped it into a bowl of the medium-sized beads. I filled in the gaps with the bigger beads one at a time, then poured the micro-beads on top, gently – very gently – push them into the cracks where there was glue showing. Don’t fuss with it too much after this step and let dry.
If it’s a hanging idea – make sure you attach a hook or wire on it first so anything you glue onto it will hide the wires.
Great Christmas Balls
Our friends over at Garden Therapy got this ball rolling the other week. I just had to try it again, once I saw Martha’s version.
Do this in two stages after wiring the loop on, glue the beads on half of it. Let dry. Then do the other half. You’ll drive yourself nutty if you try to do it all at once and we need you sane, the holidays are upon us!
Okay, it didn’t come out half as chunky and fun as Martha’s but it’s still pretty. I’ll be on the lookout during my holiday shopping – and now probably throughout the year – to find different-sized and more colorful beads to use for next year.
See different styles of miniature Christmas balls that I made for Garden Therapy and the wiring basics here.
Keep in mind that if you want to use this outdoors, use silicon glue, do it in stages, and let each stage dry for at least 12 hours in between gluing sessions.
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Oh! Little Golden Tree!
Martha’s tree was about 18 inches tall but, in miniature, you can make a “big” one to go in the garden bed, 4-inch or 6-inch tall for a bigger presence. Or a tiny tabletop decoration, about 1″ to 1 1/2″ and prepare to be blown-away with your own creative cuteness.
The form was cut from a piece of floral Styrofoam and then gently rolled on the tabletop to make the surface smooth. Can be staked easily if you want a bigger one for the mini garden bed.
To help fill-in the space and add some dimension I included the string of tinsel (not wire tinsel.)
You can stick a wire in the base of the cone for something to hold onto while you coat it with the Aileens Tacky Glue. Then put the string garland on, letting the ends hang down (cut them off after it dries.) Roll in the medium beads. Stick on some bigger beads, sprinkle with the micro beads and use the stake to poke it somewhere so it can dry upright.
The big baubles in Martha’s wreath certainly makes a statement. Think bigger if you are going to be decorating your in-ground miniature garden so you can see it from distance.
Other places to hang your tiny wreaths include any arbor or gazebo, of course, but also consider hanging it right in the middle of the tree for a focal point. You can hang on the back or casually lean it against or on chair or garden bench too. Hang it on a fence post or a miniature lamppost.
For the miniature wreath, I found a little round disc from my jewelry findings to use as the base. You can cut a disc from a plastic yogurt lid, or snap the end off of a discarded spool. Put a loop on it for hanging before gluing the beads on it. That tiny bow is made from a piece of ribbon that instantly frayed when I cut it too short – it works though. ;o)
The light string I used for this photo is the 25 foot, LED, plug-in lights so I could wind it around the tree AND make a lit wreath for the trellis. It worked and it really help to lighten up the rest of the garden too.
I used about half of the length of wire and made the wreath first, and used the last 6″ of the wire to wind it back through the wreath hold it together. Then I strung the rest of the length on the tree. See all our light strings here.
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