Sunday, January 29, 2023

How to Make a Moss Covered Heart

I've always loved using natural elements in seasonal decor and floral arrangements. If it's made of twigs and moss, dried leaves, nuts, acorns, pinecones, dried flowers etc. I'm on it. When I can create something that's holiday related and I can use it year after year, then all the more fun.

Back in 2016 I'd been seeing a lot of gorgeous heart forms covered in moss on Pinterest and in boutique vintage markets and floral shops. Whether it was cardboard, a paper mache puffy heart, wooden cutout, grapevine wreath, or a variety of other forms... I was determined to come up with my own mossy heart creation. Here's a post where I shared How to Make a Moss Covered Heart from 2018.

Here are some pics and a few basic instructions from that 2016 post.

This is what I started with: a large paper mache puffy heart form that's hollow on the back. I had wanted a fully formed, front and back, but couldn't find one, but this one worked out anyway. just don't look at the back!


If you've worked with loose moss before, you know how messy it can be. I had some sheets of moss, and some bits and pieces left over from a flower arrangement I'd done the week before, for the mantel. This unfortunately wasn't the kind of moss that comes with a webbed backing. It would have been much easier if that was what I was working with. Some tutorials said to use a hot glue gun, but since I was working with different sizes of clumps I thought some white glue would be a better adhesive. I just used some Tacky Glue watered down a bit.

google images

That idea of loose moss was really hard for me to work with. I managed to make one heart with the loose moss, and one with a roll of moss mat and cut around the form leaving plenty of room to mold it to the form. The latter was much easier, but a bit of a different look.

Leave at least 3/4 of an inch all the way around the form.

Peel off the paper backing...

My first attempt was to try hot glue, but as you can see that just didn't work well. It started drying too quickly and I didn't have time to adjust the moss around the molded form. (and yes, it does look a little odd from this angle) This time I used Tacky Glue which is like a thicker form of Elmer's.

Once you've fitted the moss matting around the paper mache form, you can trim the mat closely to the edges. I cut "darts" like in sewing, to allow for the proper fitting.

Then I used clothes pins to make sure that everything stayed well in place. I left this to dry completely for 24 hours, but you could give it a short time if you just are careful not to tug or move the moss matting.

After the clothes pins were removed I had a perfectly shaped moss puffy heart.

I have a Pinterest Board called Mossy/Woodsy Things where I've collected some pics of the detailing on some of the moss hearts. Many of them used several layers of ribbon, thread, and twine to wrap around and corral any loose moss, which is a perfectly beautiful organic look.

olive green organza ribbon

I had seen examples of hearts wrapped with thread and twine, giving the moss a little more  containment. I love that organic look, and I definitely needed more "stay-put power". I had a section of olive green organza ribbon that I had used the last Fall, and it added one more layer of security and texture. 

Then came the olive green sewing thread, wrapped around and around. Don't do it in a circle, just cris-cross and work it around quite a few times. Click on the image and then again for a BIG close up.

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Then gardener's twine.
I unraveled the twine and just used one section. 
google images

Then I rummaged through some of my loose florals and found a few silk rosebuds, hydrangeas, and ivy. I wanted it to look like spring, but I also wanted to be able to change out the flowers with some fall leaves and berries. I ended up just tucking the individual pieces into the ribbon and yarn wrapping. Lately it's been used exclusively as a Valentine's Day decor piece.

Check out the 2018 version HERE for instructions with the moss. Sorry I couldn't take my own pics of the process, I was on my own and I looked like the "Abominable Moss Man". I didn't want to get near my camera.

How I'm using it this year...

Here we are back to this year, out in the Garden Room hanging on the Holiday Cupboard for Valentine's Day. Each time I use it, it changes up a bit. I add a bird, or different flowers, but this year I changed out the bird then added in small pink rosebuds and tucked in a small Valentine.

At some point I changed up the ribbon to hang it with a stamped "LOVE" red graphic ribbon. After this season I'm going to have to restring some of the gardener's twine as this has become a bit loose.

Earlier in the week when I posted my Valentine Pocket Pillow, I shared a bit of the sitting area with the wicker settee and a red toile quilted coverlet. Here's a closer look.

I have the moss covered heart hanging on the Holiday Cupboard.

On the coffee table/bench...

The wooden coffee table/bench my dad made me years ago has an old crate with a transferware Churchill teapot and a basket filled with faux paperwhites. A ginormous old candy box from the 40's or before, and then a rare very old Nunnally's chocolate box.

A red and white vintage fleur-de-lis tea towel adds a bit more Valentine vibe.

Old garden tools are gathered in the grocery store metal hand basket under the table.

The LoveBirds Pillow cover is from Elliot Heath Designs

Did you catch my last post with my Valentine Pocket Pillow?

Here are a few more posts over the years where I've used my mossy heart.

Hope you'll come by the link party on Monday evenings.

joining in here:

The House on Silverado,  Love Your Creativity at Life and Linda
All About Home at Common Ground and Follow the Yellow Brick Home
Inspire Me Monday at My Uncommon Slice of Suburbia 
 Met Monday at Between Naps on the Porch 
  Inspire Me Tuesday at A Stroll Thru Life  Home Imagined at the Antique Journey
Wednesday Link Party at Our Tiny Nest
 Wonderful Wednesday at Eclectic Red Barn
Turnabout Tuesday at My Wee Abode,  Centerpiece Wednesday at Karin's Kottage
Share Your Style at French Ethereal,  Vintage Charm at Our Hopeful Home,  
Thursday Favorite Things at Follow the Yellow Brick Home,  
Home Matters at Southern SunflowersGrace at Home at Imparting Grace
Farmhouse Friday at  County Road 407  Fabulous Friday at WM Design House 


  1. I love how you did this, and I always wondered. It's really pretty.

  2. Really cute Debra. Happy Weekend. Hugs. Kris

  3. Debra, this is the sweetest Valentine I've seen in a long time. I love the organic effect the moss gives your heart, and the vintage illustrations are perfect.

  4. I’ve looked high and low for the paper mache hearts. Any sources please?

    1. Hello there, I think I found mine at Michaels, but that's been about 7 years ago. I did see Amazon had some but were small. Sorry, I'm not much help.

  5. Debra, your heart is so pretty. I rarely get myself into a crafting mode, but saving these directions for future in case I do. It's so pretty, and would make lovely valentines for friends. Thanks for sharing.
    I love seeing your special valentine touches around your home. I'm pulling out things this evening, ready to welcome February.

  6. This is SO pretty, Debra!! I LOVE how chunky and thick that heart looks with all the moss on it. You did a beautiful job of adding the ribbon and florals too looks beautiful. What a perfect decoration for this time of year!

  7. Oh the tacky glue worked perfect! Love your heart and all of your garden room decor for Valentine's Day!

  8. Wonderful covered moss heart, I love how you have decorated your garden-room.

  9. Debra,
    I love this moss covered heart. Congratulations, you are being featured on Thursday Favorite Things. I hope you stop by.

  10. Debra, your heart is stunning! I didn't even see the sewing thread at first. Had to do exactly what you suggested: make the photograph larger! Isn't it funny how adding in all these little things add such depth to a project? Lovely!

    I know you already wrote back, but I did want to say how much I loved adding your post at this past Wednesday's Share Your Style #377 for you. <3 Enjoy it in every rendition! I didn't realize how big it is until seeing it on the hutch. ;)

    Happy Valentine's Day to you and your hubby,
    Barb :)

  11. Great tutorial, really good photos showing steps!


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