Framed Dried Grasses

About: Steward to about 20,000 trees on 40 acres.

Bring nature indoors with a grouping of framed dried grasses.   Some thrift store frames can serve to showcase nature's plumes,  even after their season.

Picture frames..about 12" x 14" OD
Matting paper (I used brown kraft)
White glue
Wooden spacers..1/8" x 1/8" (I cut my own but try balsa found at hobby shops)
Decorative grasses (dried)

Glass cleaning materials
Flat-blade screwdriver
Drinking straw
Hot melt glue gun

Step 1: Pre-Assembly Tasks

Before starting anything else, find some decorative grasses and take about 10 cuttings from the top, about 15" long.  Tie the cut ends together and hang the bundles in a dry, airy place to dry for a couple weeks.  Direct sunlight will fade colors.  

I found my frames at a thrift store.  The glass needed cleaning but they were in good shape and matched.  Look over the paper available in craft stores and, based on the colors of your grasses and your taste, get some for the matting for the grasses.  I had a roll of kraft paper and used it.

Step 2: Assembly

Remove the mounting board from the back of the frame.  When you remove the mounting board, often heavy chipboard, use a flat-blade screwdriver to bend the staples flush with the rabbet on the inside of the frame.  Wipe the frame to remove dust and clean both sides of the glass.  This is a good time to install mounting hardware if you need to.  

Apply a small dot (1/8" dia.) to each corner of the mounting board and affix the matting to it.  While the glue dries, select the individual stems you will use and cut them to length.  Be sure to look at both sides of the stems since there can be significant color differences.   Treat the stems gently because they are dry and may start to crumble.  

With the matting secured, determine the final arrangement of the stems.  Working with one stem at a time apply a tiny amount of glue to the stems near the cut end.  Quickly but gently position the stems to the matting.  Once all the stems are glued in place you can remove any glue threads.  If there are small bits of the grasses that have come loose, use the drinking straw to blow them off the matting.  

Break pieces of spacer to roughly fit between the staples in the frames.  Use a small dot of hot glue to hold them in place.  Just a little.  They are spacers not really holding anything together.  

Position the frame over the matted grasses and pick them up as a unit.  Flip them over so the frame is down and the mounting board is up.  Use the screwdriver to bend the staples down.  Just enough to hold.

Sign, date and hang your grasses.  



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