Before & After: TV Variety Show
Finally, something worth watching on television! I bought the corroded metal face from a vintage TV set months ago from my neighborhood junk gatherer, Susan. And at that time I had no idea what I’d use it for; I just had to have it. At home I’d look at it, set it back down, sigh; no inspiration. Then earlier this week it fell and I was taken with the convex shape of its profile … could it be a planter along the lines of my vintage fan project from last December (click here)? I checked, and although it wasn’t quite as deep as the fan’s blade covers, it seemed workable. I gathered my materials and got to work and whattaya know, it was actually perfect! Now succulents put on a variety show — in dazzling color and hi-def 3D — where black-and-white images once flickered … and missing volume and on/off knobs are replaced by matching echeveria rosettes. I really love my updated vintage TV. How up-to-date is it? It’s as flat as most modern wall mounted TVs and I put it up myself, all it took was a nail! Here’s the story …
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This project ended up being even easier than earlier planters. Basically, the project involved filling the face-down open screen area with small-grid wire mesh and securing it in place; easily done by anchoring it with wire onto metal clips welded inside. Then sheets of dried floral moss were used to cover the entire area, followed by a layer of cactus soil mix. Next I placed a sheet of lightweight corrugated plastic (think real estate lawn signs) over the metal frame and using a marker traced its shape. I cut it out with a utility knife, and using rust-colored paint, sprayed the entire shape. Once dry I positioned it onto the frame, and using aluminum tape secured it all around the edge. For extra security I then taped the entire backside, first horizontally, then vertically, with more tape, overlapping the frame a 1/4″ on the ends. Tape done, I sprayed the silver tape overlap with rust paint. When dried I turned it over and had a perfect gridded area in which to begin planting. Using metal snips I selectively cut openings into the mesh, folding back the cut mesh and sliding plants into the openings. Using mesh flaps, and additional moss when necessary, I was able to ensure plants fit snugly. Largest plants went in first followed by ever smaller ones, until the screen was filled to my satisfaction.
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As you can see, the frame itself is not very deep, 3 inches at most. By pushing in, and varying the direction of entry, I was able to fit in quite a few plants, including their stems and roots. This multi-directional positioning helped make the composition livelier, providing a layered effect.
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Of course, the real stars of this TV show, are the succulents: In amazing shades ranging from coolest aqua to fleshly mauve and hottest red-orange; with perfect rosette foliage made of petals and ruffles and scoops … with can’t-be-contained flower stalks ending in pink trumpets, no 3D glasses required.
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I suppose that with the vintage fan blade covers, and now this vintage TV face project, I’ve begun a series: Succulent planters and other gardens made from rusty cast-offs. What’s next? Dunno. But I’m on the look-out …