Super cute DIY chicken wire cloche!

Have you heard of a Cloche?  It has a few different meanings but I’m going to talk about the one Merriam-Webster defines as – a bell shaped dome cover made of glass or plastic used to display or protect ornamental objects.

I have a glass cloche but really use it more for highlighting things rather than protecting them.   This weekend I decided to make one out of an old lamp shade and chicken wire.  I know what you’re thinking – that’s going to be wacky and you hesitate to look.  Almost like the person in the circus with two heads.  So weird yet intriguing that you can’t help yourself.  I understand.  I had a similar reaction when I thought of it.

But it turned out so cute y’all!  I think you’re going to want to make one for yourself.  So here’s the 411 on the DIY.

Supplies for a Chicken Wire Cloche:

  • Old Lampshade
  • Chicken wire
  • Drawer pull of knob
  • Zip ties
  • Needle-nose pliers
  • Scissors
  • Wire cutters

Start with buying or using an old lampshade.  This one was $2.49 from the thrift store.  I thought it had a nice shape and was the right size for what I needed.  Cut off the entire fabric cover.  Hopefully you’ll get one that has the attachment at the top.  If it is separate, it’s okay, you can still use the chicken wire to secure it together.

Step 1 for making a chicken wire cloche out of a lampshade

We started with a 40 inch square piece of chicken wire.  Place the shade on its side along the edge towards the middle of the 40″ piece.  Roll it into a cone shape.  You’ll have extra but this seemed to be the easiest way to cover the shade with minimal zip ties and pulling.  Once it’s rolled, use the zip ties to secure it in several places.

step 2 of making a chicken wire cloche

Cut the excess off of the bottom leaving plenty to wrap around the bottom of the base to secure it together.  Do the same to the top.  Be careful not to cut too much off.

The chicken wire is wrapped around the lamp shade ready for trimming

You’ll want to cut 18 – 20 small pieces from the excess chicken wire.  We used the pieces like clips to curl around and secure together the lampshade base and chicken wire.  They are barely noticeable.

Cut extra pieces from chicken wire to use for securing the cloche

Attach extra pieces of chicken wire for clips to secure wire to lampshade

Excess chicken wire was used like clips to attach chicken wire to lampshade base for cloche

When you have everything attached, you’ll start shaping and bending the chicken wire around to mold it to the lampshade.  It’s really easy.  Once you like what you’ve done, cut the zip ties off and curl the base under.  We used the needle-nose pliers for the bending and saved our fingers.

I had left over drawer pulls from other projects so I chose one to use as a handle for the cloche.  I got all of these from Hobby Lobby (50% off of course).

extra drawer pulls can be used to make the knob on the chicken wire cloche

Different ideas to decorate a cloche

There are so many things you can do to decorate your chicken wire cloche.  I intertwined a black silk ribbon for this look and sat the cloche on a silver tray to make it a little more elegant.

silk ribbon wrapped around a chicken wire cloche



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This has a more rustic look with four layers of twine wrapped through the top.

Twine is used for a rustic look in this chicken wire cloche

You can also wrap strips of old fabric around it for a shabby chic look!

Strips of fabric used to make this chicken wire cloce have a shabby chic look

And anything goes when it comes to putting things under a cloche.  I think items seem to be emphasized or look a little more special.

Iron finial under a chicken wire cloche seems a little more special

clay pot with moss ball can easily look more important under a chicken wire cloche

It took us about an hour and a half to put this cloche together.   I love it and will put it to good use.   Let me know if you plan to make one and what you think you’ll do with yours?  I bet you have great ideas!

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DIY Barbed Wire Wreath

If you drive around in the country you’ll see several barbed wire fences.  And if you’ve ever had the same fence, you know there are many reasons to change it out; rust, it stretched out, upgrading, broken from animals, or like us, you could have a tree fall on it.  Well since country people (that’s what we are in this post) are great recycler’s, I thought a DIY Barbed Wire Wreath would be a perfect use for the discards.

Materials Needed:

  • Barbed wire
  • Pliers
  • Zip Ties
  • Scrap pieces of fabric (at least 36″ long)

If you don’t have barbed wire sitting around, you can look for some on country roads, ask a Rancher (I bet he has some he’d love to give away), and check areas around the suburbs where they are tearing down the fence to build houses.  They too will probably give you as much as you want.

 

How to make a Barbed Wire Wreath

We started out with several pieces each about 4 foot in length.  That’s just what we had and it seemed to be manageable.  The Mister couldn’t stand watching me struggle to bend and wrap it so he had the grand idea of using plastic zip ties.  Those things are awesome.  Best part is he did most of the remainder of the work. 😉

DIY barbed wire wreath using zip ties to hold it in place

After bending and tying the first two strands, we occasionally wrapped another piece around weaving it in and out. With every piece of wire we used a couple of zip ties to keep it secure.  When the barbed wire strands got to be a little much to hold with our hands, we started using pliers to bend the wire around and hold things in place.

Making a barbed wire wreath using pliers and zip ties

Once we got about two rings done, it seemed to go fairly fast.   When I felt the wreath was as thick and as large as I wanted it to be, the Mister used the pliers to clamp and tightly bend the ends around each other.

Wrapping the end pieces with pliers for a DIY barbed wire wreath

When it was completely secure and we knew if wouldn’t unravel or spring apart, he cut the zip ties off with scissors.

No matter how rustic or simple, you know I can’t leave an unadorned wreath, right?  🙂  I gathered left over scraps of fabric and ribbon to make a bow.

fabric and ribbon scraps to make a bow for barbed wire wreath

I cut and ripped 2 inch wide strips of drop cloth and muslin in about 36″ lengths.  Stacked three layers of fabric and ribbon together and simply tied a bow to the piece of barbed wire that was sticking out the most.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.



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DIY wreath made from barbed wire displayed with bow on a metal shelf

I love how it turned out and the juxtaposition of the rusty wire with the soft bow.  It’s not that heavy so it can hang anywhere.  Only thing you need to watch out for is that it can scratch wood, walls, glass, etc. if it rubs against it.  I managed to move it around to several places trying to decide where I wanted it to hang.  Do I want it sitting on the shelf I got on my very first trip to First Monday Trade Days in Canton TX?

barbed wire wreath hanging above stove in farmhouse kitchen

Or maybe hanging above the stove in the kitchen?  What about inside the blue door that hangs on the two-story wall in our entry?

 

DIY barbed wire wreath haning in entry on window and door collage wall

I had a lot of fun moving it from place to place while the Mister was so kind (and patient) taking pictures.  I decided to let it hang in the entry after all but have it on the landing shelf located in the middle of the stairs.

I’ll tweak it a little because it’s not actually sitting 1/3 to the right in the old window frame.  That sort of thing will drive me crazy and quite possibly make me lose sleep.  And I know one day when I’m bored, I’ll change out the decor that sits around it.  But for now, I’m done.

Stairway landing that is decorated with DIY barbed wire wreath, finials and an old window frame

Hope y’all like it and want to make one for yourself.  If you have any questions, let me know – I’ll be happy to help!

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How to make a Parcel Box from Pallets

As we all know, a necessity in life is getting mail; bills, letters and cards (yes, some people still do the handwritten thing), wedding invitations, junk mail, etc.  But when you are out in the country and your very long driveway has a gate, the UPS man cannot drive up and plop things at your door like in the city.  So again out of necessity, you need a Parcel Box.  You know, for all that online shopping your daughter does because it’s at her finger tips and dad has Amazon Prime.

Anyway, we had requirements.  It needed to lock, it needed to fit large packages, be somewhat weather resistant, and of course look cute.  So the Mister looked online and found a few options.  They ranged in price from $150 – $350.00.  Say whaaaat?!  The boxes I saw were ugly and nothing that I thought looked remotely farmhouse cute so really they weren’t exactly options.  But the #1 reason we didn’t purchase one online or in store…my Mister is cheap.  Not always in a bad way.  He prefers to see it as sensible.  In this instance, I’d have to agree.  So he thought about it a while and decided a DIY Parcel Box from a pallet would be the best route.

Build a Parcel Box from a Pallet

I know it looks a bit rough but that’s because I didn’t want to interject my farmhouse charm on him right in the middle of his project.  That wouldn’t be very nice.  So I’m calling it “rustic” charm instead.  Honestly, I’m not complaining when the only cost were the hinges and lock.

Parcel Box List of Supplies:

  • 4 pallets
  • piece of galvanized corrugated tin
  • metal hinges
  • screws or nails
  • small link chain
  • crowbar or reciprocating saw
  • pneumatic nail gun (optional)
  • paint (optional)
  • lock latch (optional)
  • lock (optional)

Several businesses have pallets lying around and will give them away to anyone who asks. In Navasota, the local Ace hardware store would be happy to give you each and every one.  If you can’t find free pallets at your local businesses, try online listings like the pallet recycling network or other comparable sites for help.

I think the hardest part of this entire parcel box project was disassembling the pallets.  Tried the crowbar first and ended up using the SAWZALL Reciprocating Saw to cut the nail heads off instead of pulling them out completely.  Once you’ve taken the pallet apart, lay out your pieces and decide which ones you’d like to use.  The Mister wanted our box to be 24 x 24 inches but you can decide what size works best for you.

Inside of a parcel box made from pallets

Once you’ve decided on your pieces, start with the frame. The frame was made by the 2×4 (stringer) boards of the pallet and the sides are made from the deck boards. When planning out the use of the 2×4 (stringer) boards, be careful not to let the forklift slots end up in an inconvenient spot. Additional 2×4 (stringer) boards were used for the top lid frame and the box was also designed to have a slight angle towards the back to shed water.

After attaching the lid to the frame with the hinges, we added a piece of scrap corrugated tin to the top for weather proofing.  It works like a charm.

Tin placed on top of the pallet parcel box

Parcel Box from a Pallets

He added the chain he already had lying around so the lid wouldn’t fall backwards.  I wouldn’t have thought of that until it fell all the way back and broke.

The legs are one continual piece from the top to bottom.  With the legs on it, it’s to deep for a shorty like me to reach all the way down into it but since I’m deathly afraid of snakes and have seen how they like to curl up in unsuspecting places – there’s no way, no how I’m ever lifting that lid…ever.   Aaaaggghhh – I’m getting the heebie geebies just thinking about it.  But I digress.

He had our daughter paint the words on the front.  I don’t think anyone will miss knowing where to drop those precious packages now.



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Final look of Parcel Box made from Pallets

If you want it to look super farmhouse cute, paint it white.  I will probably do that someday, but for now, this project is all him and I’m so grateful.

If you decide to make a Parcel Box from a pallet, send us a photo!  We’d love to see it.