Making garden art is probably one of my favorite things to do. I find it so relaxing and when it’s done we get to add something new and intriguing to our garden. A few weeks back, we made ourselves this mosaic and moss mannequin with a faux concrete paint effect. No one believes me when I tell them that she was once a dirty, dusty, plastic, thrift store mannequin.
The faux concrete paint effect is so easy to create and who doesn’t love a shapely mosaic and moss corset with lace-ups 😉 She even has a lovely succulicious choker to complete the look.
So in today’s blog post, I wanted to share how we made her and how you can achieve that faux concrete look with a few craft paints and homemade texture paste.
What you need for the moss mannequin
- E6000 glue
- Mosaic tiles and grout
- Wheeled nipper
- Green spray paint
- Faux succulents
- Garden twine
- Plastic mannequin
Amazon sells plastic mannequins, but in my humble opinion, they’re a bit pricy. My bestie found this one for me at a thrift store. Lucky me, so it’s probably worth it to shop around before buying online.
For the faux concrete paint effect:
- Black and white craft paint
- Burnt umber and green oil paint
- Cheap paintbrushes
- Ice cream sticks
- Texture paste
You can either make your own as I did by using this recipe and adding some fine sand or buy it from a craft shop.
RightyO, let’s start off by prepping that plastic mannequin for her makeover and giving her a luscious mosaic and moss corset.
Prepping the mannequin and making the mosaic and moss corset
Grab some 40 grit sandpaper and sand the mannequin all over to roughen her up 😀 Pay special attention to the areas where the texture paste will go; her legs, chest area, and neck. I’m hoping you can see in the piccy below the sanded bits versus the smooth, unsanded plastic. Sanding gives the texture paste something to cling to.
Spray the area where the corset will go with some green spray paint. It will help disguise any mossy gaps later.
Use a wheeled nipper to cut the mosaic tiles in half.
Apply a strip of E6000 glue along the bottom edge of the corset and the top bust area and glue the mosaic tiles down.
Once the glue dries, mix up some grout and apply between the tiles.
Let the grout dry and wipe the excess off with a damp sponge or old tea towel.
Working in sections, apply a thick layer of E6000 and glue the moss down. Squish and push it down into the glue to make sure it sticks.
E6000 is great for something like this. It’s waterproof and dries clear. We used the same technique when we made our Leprechaun shoe planter and she’s still going strong after standing outside for more than a year. When the glue dries, we can start turning the plastic bits into faux concrete.
How to create a faux concrete effect
Mix up a batch of homemade texture paste if you’re making your own and grab a few ice cream sticks. Apply the paste all over the neck, shoulders, and leg area of the mannequin. Don’t worry too much about how you apply it, just slap it on and spread it out so all the bits are covered.
Once the paste dries, (about 10 minutes) mix up some black and white craft paint to make a light grey. Add a few drops of water to make it runny and apply all over the texture paste.
Add a drop of black paint to the light grey mix to darken it a bit and dry brush the darker grey over the first wash of lighter grey.
To dry brush, gently dip the tip of a dry paintbrush into the paint and wipe it on a paper towel or piece of fabric to remove some of the excess paint. You want to keep the tip of your paintbrush as “dry” as possible before painting over the lighter grey.
Aging the Faux Concrete Paint Effect
To create an aged effect, I used oil paints. I find that oils, especially the burnt umber, are richer than their acrylic or other water-based counterparts. But feel free to play around with water-based paints if you prefer. You’ll need two basic colors; burnt umber and sap green. If you’re using oils, mix the paint with thinners before applying the paint. If you’re using water-based paints, thin with water 😉 The paint needs to be runny to get a realistic effect.
Dip an old paintbrush in the paint and turpentine mix (or water if you’re using acrylic craft paint) and while holding the mannequin upright, squish the paintbrush up against the neck area, so it runs down. You want gravity to do most of the work for you.
Alternate between the burnt umber and the sap green and focus on the high points of the mannequin; the shoulder blades, the neck, and the line between where the mosaic tiles join the legs.
Oil paints mixed with thinners dries really quickly so if you find that you’ve added too much “aging” in an area, wipe it away with a clean, lint-free cloth before it dries.
When you’re happy with the look glue a few faux succulents on the mosaic and moss mannequin and wind some twine around her neck to finish off.
You can also add some lace-ups by gluing on a piece of twine.
For that extra aged look, grate up some of the moss and glue bits onto her shoulders and a little around her neck.
A sprinkling of dried herbs will work too 😉
What do you think?
Would you say the moss mannequin was once a plastic thrift store find?
And would you create something similar to add to your garden art?
If you do like the idea of making a moss mannequin for your garden, don’t forget to pin her for later.
Oh and if your mannequin starts fading over time, here’s a great tutorial that will show you how to revive moss and make it fresh and new again.
BTW if you’re looking for some of the things we used, we’ve got you covered Disclosure: Clicking on the links below, means we may receive a commission from Amazon. But don’t worry it won’t come out of your pocket, and it helps us come up with more amazing craft ideas to share with you 😉
And if you prefer to buy rather than DIY
And as always, here’s wishing you a beautiful, crafty week filled with lots of love. Thank you for popping in for a visit.