I stopped into the PTO Resale Shop in Ann Arbor recently, on the lookout for anything I could use for miniature making, and found a bag of tiny woven straw bells for 25 cents. They had jingle bells inside of them, so I suppose they were meant to be used as holiday wrapping decorations. I immediately thought of the fern planter my mom has, so I decided to try my hand at making a mini fern from the roll of floral tape I had in my stash at home. Basically you sandwich a length of wire (I used #28 copper wire which I painted) between two lengths of floral tape with tacky glue, let dry then cut out the desired leaf shape using the wire as the stem. I cut off the rounded end of the straw bell and glued a button in the opening for a flat bottom. I covered the base with thin felt and added a tiny silk ribbon around the base. I packed the inside of the basket with a glued wad of clipped cotton fabric to resemble soil, then glued each fern leaf into the substrate.
It came out looking very realistic (which you can't tell in my crappy PhotoBooth picture), and I'm thinking of making up a bunch of them and selling them on Etsy. I could also do half-inch scale, as well as other kinds of plants. Do you think there would be a market for them in the mini world? I have been trying to come up with mini things to make and sell on Etsy to augment our income, but I keep drawing blanks. This is the first time I feel like I might be onto something. What do you think?