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Tuesday, August 23, 2011
About 50 new styles and colors of deco poly mesh arriving any day now! So many new colors….chocolate, navy blue, shades of gold. New stripes include lime, turquoise, pink, black, orange and black, orange and blue…..great college or school color. More colors in the 10 inch rolls….plain and metallic.
I’ve also added a new category “Complete Mesh Inventory.” That way, you won’t miss anything new.
Stay tuned! All these items are already posted on the website and show “out of stock” right now……I’ll get them updated just as quick as they arrive……so don’t get discouraged when you’re browsing the and see all the “out of stock!” The newest items always show up first…..so browse past the first few pages to get to the items already in stock.
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Cupcake decoration made with deco poly mesh. This was my first project to use the 2 1/2″ mesh ribbon, and adjustments had to be made along the way. The overall project turned out just fine though. This cupcake measures about 16″ at it widest part and 17-18″ in ht.
This project started with chicken wire, wire cutters, and a tape measure. I wear old dress leather gloves. Garden gloves are too bulky, but you need something to protect your fingertips. This roll of chicken wire came from Lowe’s and cost around $8.00. I’ve made several projects off this roll already, and still have a lot left. I also used an empty ice cream bucket minus the lid and handle.
I needed enough wire to go around the bucket. The bottom wire just needed to be long enough to tuck under the bucket and the top portion needed to be long enough to attach to the rounded portion that would be the cupcake top. Any similar container would work.
Cut the wire and shape around the bucket.
I taped the bottom edges of the wire to the container using clear tape, but duct tape or anything would do. You could cover the bottom of the container later if desired.
Roll out another piece of chicken wire to cut as the top portion of the cupcake. This piece was about 26 or 27 inches. If your piece is too big, you can always mush down the size a bit. Better to cut too large a piece than too litte.
I needed a rounded shape for the upper part of the cupcake, so I used a basketball. Just wrap the wire around the ball to get the shape.
Gently peel back the wire to remove the basketball.
I just wanted a dome shape to fit down over the cupcake base. Just keep molding and shaping the wire until the desired shape and size. I had to crunch down the edges quite a bit to get the final shape. It started out a little larger than I needed. But, that’s the good thing about chicken wire, you can just keep molding and scrunching until you get your shape.
The wires sticking up from the cupcake base were pressed inward and the top dome portion placed on top. Wire edges were the secured together. You may have to occasionally clip a wire so you have something to wire together.
I chose a White Metallic 2 1/2″ mesh ribbon for the cupcake base and Pink Metallic for the top. Used white chenille stems (pipe cleaners) for the base and dome. The stems were cut into thirds.
Start adding the white mesh. Place a chenille twist anywhere along the bottom edge. Just give it a couple of twists. Anytime you can fasten the stems to more than two pieces of wire it will help stabilize the frame and keep the twist from slipping and sliding.
For some projects I may place all the twists then come back and start with the ribbon. But for this project since I was working with a more narrow ribbon, I placed a twist, attached ribbon and continued on around the base. Sometimes the twists work out pretty evenly and other times they don’t. Just make adjustments as you go. And remember you’ll always be able to go back and fill in a gap after you’re done if you need to.
I kept the loops rather small and tight going around the base. The raw edge of your beginning piece can just be tucked to the inside of the wire. Just place a small bunch of ribbon into the next twist and continue working around the base.
I noticed the label on the ice cream container at this point, and thought that it might show through. Covered it up with white label paper just in case. Just continue working around the base. You may find that the chicken wire has too big a gap and no place to put a twist. When this occurs, just add in a chenille stem as a base to add your twist to. When you reach the point that you’ve covered it all the way around, cut the ribbon with a 3-4 inch tail and when fastened in the last twist, tuck the tail underneath the wire.
You made need to reshape the dome portion a little. For the dome portion, I went ahead and put the twists in place before I started the mesh. I also wanted the dome portion to have more depth or size to it, so I chose to use two ribbons and made the loops a little larger and a little farther apart.
The pink and purple ribbon was started together in one twist, raw edges tucked under the wire. The ribbon is the same on both sides so you don’t have to worry about it twisting. Continue working from one twist to the next going all around the dome. I made the dome twists just a little larger, about 3-4″.
Once you’ve completed the loops, cut the tail 4-5″ and tuck to the inside. Look around for any gaps and fill with loops of mesh. I did this by cutting strips about 6-8 inches, folding and just tucking the tips into the holes. This project was for my own use, if I were making it to give away or sell, I would secure the loops with a stem. Also take this time to tuck in the chenille stem ends.
A RAZ Sequin Spray was used to decorate the cupcake. The sequin balls were cut off leaving a short piece of wire and hot glued to the mesh. A red ball was cut with enough wire left to look like a long-stemmed cherry.
Little bits of Glitter Strip Garland was cut and hot glued as “sprinkles.”
This was a fun project to make and easy to do! It would make a great birthday table decoration, baby shower or Christmas. And the fun part is, you can make it in any color combination – red and white with Peppermints, black and orange with spider sprinkles for Halloween.
Monday, August 15, 2011
Leave it to Martha Stewart to come up with simple, elegant ideas. These are clear Hurricane lanterns or clear glass vases covered with tissue paper in assorted colors. Actually, there is only one color used per vase, it’s the layering that makes it look shaded. Clever!
I would use battery powered candles in this project.
Great idea from Martha……and you could just change the tissue paper for the occasion. Love the ability to use something once and discard it…..when it’s as inexpensive as this would be.
Click on the photo to see the directions and more photos.
You’ll need wire cutters to cut the chicken wire. I like to wear an old pair of dress leather gloves. Garden gloves are too bulky and you need something to protect your fingers from sharp edges.
Roll out the wire and press it down to make it easier to cut. I used about a 30″ length on this project. I apologize for the photos….I don’t have a neat craft area….my are is the packing table in the shop. But it works fine…….just not too attractive)))
Roll up the wire in the shape of a cone. Wire edges together from the cut ends. Just keep experimenting until you get the shape you like.
This was my finished shape.
At this point, check the size of the opening depending on what you plan to put inside the Cornucopia. For now I plan to use some artificial gourds and squash.
Choose your materials – color of mesh and ribbon. I already had some Copper Metallic Ribbon open, so I chose this to go around the opening. I wanted a couple of rows of a contrast to the rest of the body. The mesh I chose was a Fall Multicolor Check. It looks more red/green in this photo but it actually has a good bit of gold, orange and mossy green. The deco poly mesh was 21″ in length. In retrospect, a more narrow mesh would have been easier to work with, but these were the colors I wanted and it was what I had. The chenille stems or pipe cleaners, were a pumpkin orange color.
Start the twists around the opening. The copper metallic ribbon used was 4″ in with and light weight, so the chenille stems were cut into thirds for this ribbon. Once the deco mesh was started, the stems were cut in half.
Pinch up the end of the ribbon and lay into one of the twists. Doesn’t matter where you start.
Bunch up about 2″ and place in the next twist. Work all the way around the opening.
When you get back to your starting point, just re-open that twist and place your last bunch there. Don’t cut your ribbon….you’re going to drop down to the second layer and go around again.
Drop down about 1 1/2″ or so to start your second row of twists. Your spacing won’t always work out evenly, some may be a little high or low, but you can always fill in gaps later as needed. Sometimes I place my twists on the chicken wire completely before I start with the ribbon, on this project though, I placed a twist and then did my ribbon. Continue working all the way around again.
When you’ve finished the second round, cut your ribbon, but leave a long tail….18″ to 24″. Just tuck to the inside for now. At a point later on, I applied hot glue to the wire edge that was showing and covered it with the ribbon tail.
Start the mesh. The Chenille stems were cut in half for the mesh. When tying on the Chenille stems, try to wire them in where they won’t slip and slide by connecting through more than 2 pieces of the chicken wire. This also will help stabilize your form. Bunch up the mesh and lay down in the first twist. Close tightly with a couple of twists. It doesn’t matter where you start. Tuck the raw edge to the inside.
Continue bunching a couple of inches of mess and go to the next twist. These bunches were much tighter than what I use for a wreath or garland and more difficult to handle for sure. So, if you have a more narrow mesh I would suggest using it. Don’t worry too much about gaps at this point, you can pull and loosen bunch later as needed or fill in gaps with extra mesh. Again, I placed the twists as I worked around the Cornucopia trying to prevent gaps as best I could.
Continue with the mesh working your way to the tail. Typically I would work all the way around the Cornucopia, but after about half way, I started working from one side to the other, leaving the bottom with no mesh. I wanted the Cornucopia to sit flat and not be too easy to roll over.
Cut the mesh and tuck the tail to the inside.
The inside looks messy, but we’ll work on that a little later.
At this point, I thought the Copper Metallic Ribbon didn’t stand out quite as much as I wanted. Had I used a more narrow deco mesh, it probably would have been find, but I decided to beef this up a little bit and went back with more Copper Metallic Ribbon around the opening. I just re-opened a twist and started another round, this time making my bunches a little bit larger. Worked all the way around the opening twice and then it looked the way I had wanted.
At this point I started tucking the chenille stems out of the way. Any gaps were filled by cutting pieces of an orange metallic 2 1/2″ mesh and tucking into the gap. These were not wired or tied in any way. I just cut a piece of ribbon, folded it over and stuck it in. Now, if I were making these to sell or give as a gift, I would have taken more pains and attached it securely, but this was for my backyard party coming up in October))
After the gap was filled, it not even noticeable that it’s a different mesh.
The long tail we saved from the first rounds of Copper Metallic Ribbon are ready to be glued to cover up the wire edge.
Just apply hot glue to the edge and press the wire edge of the Copper Metallic Ribbon to it. I used scissors or something to press the ribbon as I go to protect my fingers. Work all the way around the inside covering up the wire. You may have to lift up your first round of ribbon a little to do this.
Also I cut a piece of the mesh I used and tucked inside the Cornucopia to help the gaps or openings be less visible.
If you shape has gotten a little off while you’ve been working on the Cornucopia, just work with it. That's the good thing about chicken wire, you can shape, re-shape, it’s very flexible. Choose your embellishments. I had something called flame grass in red and mustard gold. The ends had to be cut off a bit and I didn’t hot glue any of my embellishments in.
To make the Cornucopia permanent and secure I would have done this, but when the fall gourds, mini pumpkins and Indian corn are available at the farmer’s market, I’ll want to use some of these. Spanish Moss or Wood Wool would be another good bedding material. For our backyard party, I’ll probably use a bed of Sweet Gum, Maple and Hickory leaves that have turned. Another good reason for not hot gluing anything…..
Check the bottom side since it is made of chicken wire. Don’t want any raw edges to scratch your table top. Raw edges can be turned inward and you can place it on a folded napkin or place mat to protect the table. Again, my Cornucopia was made in mind for outside decorating. I’ll post more photos this fall when I fill the Cornucopia with fruits of the season)))