1. Welcome to Taxidermy.net, Guest!
    We have put together a brief tutorial to help you with the site, click here to access it.

natural moss, can I use it?

Discussion in 'Habitat and Exhibit' started by RyanP, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. Can I use natural moss and lichen on my habitat bases? If so, is there anything i have to do to preserve it?
    Any input appreciated. Thanks Ryan
  2. wings II

    wings II New Member

    Absolutely!! Some folks spray a lite mixture of water and glue to seal the moss...others take the base outside and spray with clear acrylic. Both work fine, but know that if you don't seal it, the color will fade with time. :)

  3. How about hair spray?

    Thanks, Ryan
  4. Hairspray... we used to use that as a fixitive for drawings.. but it seems too light to me to really protect and preserve the moss. Maybe though?

    To keep it's nice green color... would "Never Say Dye" work? That stuff you use to preserve the green in plants and colors in flowers? hmmm.... I bought some on a whim from WASCO but havent used it yet.
  5. brandi

    brandi New Member

    getting ready to use a piece of wood i like, it has real moss already on it. didnt know if i could use it so i did a search and waa-laa. its great having a forum like this or i'd be lost, probably not evening doing this.

    can i airbrush some more green to my liking ?
  6. Lone Wolf AK

    Lone Wolf AK Lone Wolf Taxidermy and Wildlife Artistry

    I use mosses I collect in the woods all the time. This process also works great on the dried stuff you can buy in the craft stores.

    A cheap trick I use is to color the mosses to my liking with food coloring (yep, food coloring). Those little bottles in the cake decorating area of the grocery store work fine. I use a few drops of the green and/or yellow in water and mist it on with a spray bottle. I lay the patches of moss I've collected out on a rack, and spray them with the mixture. You can make it as light or dark as you want by adding more/less dye and using additional coats, then let it dry. (OBTW, it's messy, so do this where you don't mind the drips and overspray getting on stuff. Since food coloring's non-toxic, you can do this in your yard and the neighbors will admire your green lawn ;D.

    When it comes time to add to your habitat, just glue it down with Elmer's glue and you can then spray it with matte or satin acrylic spray (such as Krylon). You can also spray with a 50/50 Elmer's mix.

    So far, the mosses I treated this way 9 years ago are still nice and green.

    Just my way of doing it.
  7. Lone Wolf AK do you have any pictures of the finished product?
  8. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    Is it dry and brittle when it dries?
  9. Lone Wolf AK

    Lone Wolf AK Lone Wolf Taxidermy and Wildlife Artistry

    Yes, it's somewhat brittle when dry, but you can mist it with water to soften it up a bit when placing on the habitat. Once it's in place, I don't think the "brittleness" should mtter, as the spray sealer you put on it does a pretty good job of keeping everything together. The client shouldn't be "molesting" the moss anyway ;D.

    I've never tried it, but you may be able to keep it "soft" if you added a little glycerine to the mixture? ???

    Here's a picture of some I sprayed with food coloring 4 years ago, and it's been laying around the shop. It's still the same color as when I treated it.

    Attached Files:

  10. Matt

    Matt Active Member

    That's a great tip, thanks for sharing!
  11. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    Man, a 2 year old post resurrected.

    I'd caution any use of glycerine. It's greasy and will likely create a bigger mess than you bargain for. If you've ever used those "natural foliage" autumn oak leaves, they're treated with glycerine. Anything they touch gets greasy and is likely to be "autumn" colored as well. The 50/50 Elmers should do the trick and like you said, the customer doesn't need to be molesting his diorama. LOL
  12. Well, since then I have used a fair bit of natural moss, just glued it down with elmers or hot glue, sprayed it with Polytranspar fungicidal sealer, then hydro mist green paints.

    For those who want to try this, try first spraying all the moss moderatley with transparent green, then higlight lightly with the metallic bass green and black green. it looks great and I have had no problems with bugs or mold. It will smell very strong for a few days, but the smell will die out soon.

  13. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    Try mixing a little glycerin with the elmers 50% mix.
  14. George

    George The older I get, the better I was.

    I think some of you are addicted to glycerine. That crap is greasy and WILL leave a mess down the road. I actually don't know if it will mix with Elmers Glue as the glue is waterbased latex. Sounds like mixing oil with water and that's not a good idea either.
  15. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    It will mix with elmers, that was the old fish fin flex. I have used it for years. Just a couple of drops of glycerine in a small amount of glue.
  16. Silverose01

    Silverose01 Proud member of LTBBOI

    Great post
    Will the sealing spray work with all plants?
  17. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    Whats the 50% mix? Or is it just a couple of drops? Now you got me confused.
  18. rigbobby

    rigbobby Active Member

    A little glycerine (one or two drops) in a 60cc volume consisting of 50% water and 50% elmers glue (or modpog, or some other hide based glue).
  19. Wildside

    Wildside Active Member

    Thanks for setting me straight.