Thursday, July 12, 2018

Sturdy, Cheap and Fast D.I.Y. hedges (UPDATED)

    A long while back I grew tired of loose lichen as hedges; it was either too big, too small, too disorganized or too easily moved. A chance trip to a local dollar store found me looking a a cheap door mat in natural autumn colors (it being the height of summer this item was in the "for sale cheap" section), it struck me that the stiff natural fibers of the mat would make a decent stand-in for the branches of a hedge and the durable rubberized fabric base would hold things together nicely. I thought to myself "Heck, if it doesn't work out I can just use it as a doormat in a few months" I went big and spent the $3.00US on it. I took it home and it lay in the "Projects-Someday" pile until Trunkmonkey dropped by with his 15mm Lace Wars figures. The scenario requires hedged fields, and the lichen towered over the figures in a most unsatisfactory manner. I quickly grabbed a box-cutter and sliced off a few strips of the door mat and deployed them onto the table. They looked much better, aside from the slightly garish colors. see below;

I guess they would be fine for those three weeks in the Fall when the hedges are changing..... 

     As I was tidying up after the game I took a look at the impromptu hedges and considered what they would need to get a more uniform look. Foliage, and a more consistent color foliage at that! I rummaged around in the paint locket and found a tester-pot of green-gray latex housepaint. A quick stir showed that it had not gone off during storage so I grabbed a stiff cheap brush and my shaker of fine turf from Woodland Scenics and got to work.

the source of it all, I only used about a third of the doormat so far

  I made a pile of thin slices of doormat  by turning it over 
and cutting the backer material with a box-cutter

then I wet-brushed an very irregular coat of paint over the tips of the bristles

and sprinkled the wet paint with the fine turf

after it had set for a minute or so I tapped the loose turf off into a tray and set the hedge aside

I was rather happy with the results so I finished the lot

about twenty-five feet of hedges in just over an hour
 and at a cost of under $10.0US

     My next project will likely involve cutting it into irregular shapes to use as patches of heath or tall I have to run back to that store and see if they have any doormats left.

     Well, I went back to the store and they are all out, the local Big-Box store (Lowe's)  had similar doormats at $15.00US so I passed on buying any more just yet. But, while I was there, I spotted some samples of outdoor durable carpet. They were free so I grabbed a few, these are made of a substance similar to the outdoor carpet that I have been using to make table mats but in different colors; to me they looked perfect for experimentation.

the samples are roughly 6" square I chose the brown and the gray for my first test

narrow lines of brown latex housepaint

a thorough dusting of fine turf

a couple of sharp taps to knock off the loose turf material
viola! a small garden patch in 28mm or a farm field in15mm

a 28mm Egyptian fellahin surveys my work

thinking about crops I tried a different approach, 
I sliced the hedge material into very thin strips then did the usual paint-and-flock , 
these should work as rows of standing crops when placed on a earth colored base

1 comment:

  1. A nice quick and easy solution for some effective looking hedges.