The possibility of growing moss graffiti occurred to me during one of those dull days at work when your thoughts wander. A quick internet search showed me that I wasn’t the first person to ask the question “How does moss grow?” In fact, many genius gardeners had even come up with a recipe for a moss milkshake! Next I wondered if you could use this recipe to grow your own designs and create a kind of moss graffiti, and it would appear that you can!

Project Steps

Gather moss.

First gather together several clumps of moss.

You can find moss growing between the cracks in paving stones, near leaky drains, on trees … basically, moss loves damp and shady places. Mosses do not have roots but use rhizoids to attach themselves to surfaces, meaning that you can easily collect moss by hand or with a spatula.

Clean off as much of the mud as possible by soaking it in water.

Make the moss milkshake.

Put the moss in a blender and add beer (or yogurt or buttermilk) and sugar.

Blend just long enough to create a smooth, creamy consistency, like a thick milkshake.

Pour the mixture into a plastic container.

Create your design.

Find a suitable location onto which you can apply your moss milkshake (a good indicator is somewhere that moss is already growing).

Paint on your chosen design (either freehand or using a stencil).

Tend your graffiti.

If possible, try to water your masterpiece daily with a spray mister.

Soon the bits of blended moss should begin to recuperate, maintaining your design before eventually colonizing the whole area.


Learn more about mosses.

This project first appeared in CRAFT Volume 04, page 111.