How to Create...Alien Flora

Materials Needed: Small Piece of Styrofoam, File or Rasp, Plant Look-alikes, Wire Cutters, Tacky Glue, Green Flock or Rock Debris, Paint & Brushes

alien flora
» The final alien flora piece on a flocked base.

This is a simple piece that looks very unique and eye-catching. It was created from a decoration bought at a dollar store.

Although the decoration was meant to be placed in a vase, cutting the stems off of each decoration and gluing them onto a base produces a realistic terrain piece.

alien flora
» The Styrofoam with smoothed and rounded edges.

I first took a small piece of Styrofoam and shaved down the sides with a file. I tried to make them as smooth and rounded as possible.

alien flora
» Dollar stores are really useful for picking up cheap decorations!

This was the decoration as I bought it. I used wire cutters to cut through the wooden sticks attached to each piece. I chose not to use the large paper leaf in the rear.

alien flora
» Sometimes it's tough to get the pieces to stand up before the glue dries.

Glue the large, heavy pieces first. You may have to be innovative in order to hold your pieces in place while the glue dries. I made use of a popsicle stick and paint container to brace this piece.

alien flora
» The large sphere is actually much heavier than it looks!

If any of your pieces are top heavy, like the large sphere attached to the wooden stick in this snapshot, use a small rock to brace the bottom of the wooden stick and prevent it from tipping over. You can paint and flock the rock so it will be unnoticed at the end.

alien flora
» The curly grass is a great addition to the piece.

Finally, I added the long, curly grass-like strands to the base. Dab a small bit of glue on the bottom of each strand and jab it into the Styrofoam. They are very light and will easily stay in place.

alien flora
» You can see the rock I used (now covered with green flock) to brace the spherical plant.

Lastly, paint the base your desired mix of green and brown. I chose to go 100% green this time for a more jungle feel.

Then sprinkle flock or rock debris onto the paint before it dries to give the base a nice texture. Flocking the base makes it look more realistic.

alien flora
» Another shot of the flocked base of the alien plants.

Dried basil or paprika (the kind bought at the supermarket in the spices section) can simulate leaf clutter extremely well.

I didn't use them on this piece, but in retrospect, they would look nice around the base of the plants.

alien flora
» Your friends will definitely ask how you made this piece!

That's all to this piece. Dollar stores are great places to find unique (and cheap!) pieces to turn into terrain.

It's really true that once you've built a few terrain pieces, you begin to look at everyday objects in a different light and judge their possible uses in building terrain.