indoor garden

making an air plant display… finally

air-plant-display-for-outdoors

This is a post long, long over due. About three months over due to be honest. Lost pictures aren’t to blame for this delay. It’s more of just putting so many other projects in front of it. We bought a handful of air plants from the Marie Selby Botanical gardens on our whirlwind road-trip through Florida, and they have been clinging to life ever since. The air plants traveled along with us, hanging out in our hotel windows. Once we got them home they have been constantly hopping around locations in our house looking for the perfect home.

epiphytes-air-plants-hotel-room

Air plants are amazing plants that don’t require soil to grow. They grow on other plants and objects taking in water and nutrients through their leaves. To care for them, spritz the plants with water 2-3 times a week and give them indirect sunlight. Giving them a good soak helps too. Ryan gathers them up once a week and puts them in a bowl of water for a few hours.

We did well keeping most of them alive, but it is definitely time to get these wonders in their ideal conditions. After bouncing around a few ideas, we eventually went with a triangular shape Ryan sketched up. We liked that it could sit on windowsills or hang on the wall and get all the light it needs.

structure-sketch

Using scrap pieces of wood from the shed, we were able to finally take this project off the to-do list. We wanted it to be different than anything else we had seen floating around the intraweb with a little added pop of color.

air plant display

Here’s how we made our air plant display:

supplies-for-air-plant-structure

We took a 2×4 scrap board (that we already had) and cut it into three 12” pieces. Then, we ripped each piece straight down the middle to create a narrower look. (I had already put the first coat of paint on the board before Ryan cut it.)

cutting-down-the-middle

A 30 degree angle was then cut on each end. Both cuts were made angled towards the center.

making-30-degree-cut

After all the cuts were made, I sanded each of the three 12” pieces on all sides and rounded the sharp edges just slightly. Then, I applied a few more coats of paint on them. We went with an outdoor paint made to withstand the elements since the air plants will be spending some of their days outside taking in the Georgia heat air.

spray-paniting-with-outdoor-color

After four coats of Sail Away Satin Blue, we were ready to assemble our air plant display. Before we put together the frame, we went ahead and hammered two nails into the inside of each piece. To line them up, we laid the 3 pieces of the frame together and marked the nail locations. We spaced the nails just over 2” apart centered in the triangle. Be sure to leave space between the top of the nail and the wood frame so that you have room to wrap the wire.

hammering-in-the-nails

Once the nails were in, we were able to screw the pieces of the frame together. Pre-drill the holes for the screws to help prevent the wood from splitting and to recess the screw head. Then, attach the pieces of the frame with a wood screw long enough to attach the two pieces with the screw perpendicular to the outside piece. We used a 2-1/2” wood screw.

nail-placement

Putty was placed over the screw heads and sanded down flush to be painted (again) to give it a clean finished look. In hindsight, painting would have been the last step right before attaching the wire.

putty-on-the-nail sanded-piece

Using a pair of needle-nose pliers to hold the cut end, we wrapped the the copper wire a few times around the first nail. Then, we pulled the wire towards a nail on an opposite side and wrapped it around the second nail a couple of times. We kept crisscrossing the wire creating a web in the middle of the frame. When a wire was finished, it was cut with the remainder wrapped tightly around the ending nail.

wrapping-wire

Last, but not least, a frame hook was attached to the back of the wood frame to give us multiple display options.

It was a little tricky, but we got the air plants into their new home to be displayed. We are loving how the air plant frame goes with the green shade of the house (as it will be outside on warm days) and the feel it gives off sitting in the window.

air-plant-display air-plant-display-for-outdoors

Now, we are just hoping to continue to see growth and multiply these cuties. One even has a pup (a baby air plant)! We have a few more air plants to wrangle, so we’ll be back with more stand/display projects, hopefully sooner rather than later.

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    How to display plants indoor? (42 DIY Projects) - Craftionary
    November 29, 2015 at 3:33 pm

    […] their hard work how about you mount an air plant on your wall as a trophy with this simple to follow Air plant Frame tutorial. The frame consists of wooden slabs spray painted and attached with […]

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