How to make a simple mesh garland

How to Make a Simple Mesh Garland -- A Pinch of Joy
1How to Make a Simple Mesh Garland

Our front porch decor needed something new for winter.  In fact, it could even use a little bling for Christmas, I thought. We love traditional on the inside, but the outside can be fun and daring.   The mesh wreath I made for Halloween was so quick and easy I decided to try my hand at a simple mesh garland for the front door.   I looked through the possibilities at the hobby store.  The lime green and red kept calling my name.  Hmmmm — gray house with white trim in a neighborhood of  lawns and conventional houses.  Definitely daring.   But –  it’s only up for a month — and in the basket it went! (And wait until you see the door swag I made to go with it!)   Below is a quick step by step of how I made a simple mesh garland.  Scroll down for the video version. Or click here if you want to go directly to the video as it is more detailed and may answer any questions you might have as you make your own. 

2 Supplies


Supplies needed: 
1 work garland (9.5 feet long),  1 roll of 21 inch wide mesh, 2 or more rolls of ribbon in complimentary colors, at least 10 feet of each color. A pair of scissors are necessary and a ruler is handy to have within reach. 

3 Pleat

Measure two feet from end of roll of mesh.  This will make the finished end of the garland.  Begin pleating the mesh at the two foot mark, forming pleats about an inch wide.   Pleats will give the finished garland a more uniform look and you will be better able to control the pouf and fullness of each garland segment. 

4 Cross and Twist

When you have pleated all the way across the width of the mesh, place the edge of the pleat in the center of the first twist tie / chenille stem on the work garland.   Cross the tie and twist securely. 

5 completed
Measure about fourteen inches down the mesh and pleat as before.  If you want a full, lush garland, fasten the pleats in each of the twist ties.  I needed a slimmer version for the space I had, so I only fastened the pleats in every other chenille stem on the work garland.  Whichever you do, keep the length of mesh at about 14 inches. Measure (I usually eyeball it, after I measure a couple of times), pleat and fasten.   Repeat for the length of the garland.  Flatten the secured tie to hold it in place and prepare it for another layer.  Leave a two foot tail on the end of the completed garland.  To finish the garland and keep the mesh from raveling, gather the very end of the mesh and tie a knot as close to the end as you can.  Pull it tight and roll the knot up and into the newly formed pouf.  Repeat on the end where you began the garland. 

6 Add Ribbon
Take a look at the garland when completed and adjust any noticeable differences until the poufs are uniform and pleasing.  You may have to lay it on the floor to do this — especially if you are like me and your workspace is the not very long kitchen counter.  To add ribbon, place the two (or more) ribbons side by side and pleat just like you did for the mesh, using small pleats.  Again this gives you more control of the ribbon, than just wadding it together.  To fasten, lay the pleated ribbon on top of the twisted chenille stem and repeat the cross and twist motion to secure the ribbon to the garland.  

7 Add embellishment

Add embellishments at the ties.  I needed something that would stand up to being handled for hanging, rolled for storage and would not blow apart in the wind.  Plus it need to fit in the space available.  I opted for  glittery dollar store snowflakes wired securely to the garland.  

8 All done

Finished garland waiting for embellishment and your creativity!  This skinny garland will fit in narrow spaces.  If you have more room and opt for the full lush look created by fastening at every twist tie, the ornamentation is limited only by your imagination.  Use these garlands for door swags, to decorate stair cases, to create a backdrop on a buffet table, or a dozen other places.  A mesh garland is very versatile! 

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How to Make a Halloween Wreath

Halloween Wreath from A Pinch of Joy
Halloween Wreath from A Pinch of Joy

I love wreaths of all kinds.  No idea why!  I just like the looks of a lush full circle hanging on a door, a window, a mirror.  It just sings!  I first saw  mesh wreaths on Kristen’s Creations and fell in love with the fullness and possibilities!  It helps that her site is full of gorgeousness and rich colors and tons of creativity and inspiration. 

Halloween seemed the perfect time to try my hand at making a mesh wreath.  I knew I wanted to use a feather boa — just for fun.    I hesitated because I didn’t want to use greenery for Halloween and the black wreaths I found weren’t . . . ummm . . . fun.  And fastening the mesh to the not round grapevine wreaths I found seemed rather daunting.  And then. . . . I found the solution at HobLob.  A sixteen inch work wreath — two levels of round wreathery with twisty stems placed every few inches to hold the mesh and embellishments in place.  The bronzy ribbon for the bow was at the end of the same aisle.  Sold! 

First a series of photos to take you step by step in How to Make a Halloween Wreath.  It wasn’t enough that this was my first  Mesh Wreath.  You’ll also find my first ever video tutorial at the bottom of the post.  It was a spur of the moment decision with no rehearsal (or script!) and done in one take.  Be kind :-)  I hope it will be helpful and answer any questions.  In the meantime, here’s a quick pictorial. . . .

WorkWreath

Here’s the work wreath.  Mine was 16 inches in diameter.

22Materials

Materials needed: 1) Base– 1 roll  21 inch wide Deco Mesh (or other brand).  I used a sheer fabric with spider web glitter that was with the mesh display and was 21 inches wide.  2) Secondary color –1 roll 5 inch wide mesh  3) Optional: filler material as the 6′ long feather boa 4) Ribbon for bow or readymade bow 5) embellishments such as a fall pick and a package of the lime green tube ribbon I used.  

24aTwist tie

Gather and pleat one end of the mesh and fasten it to the work wreath  using the pre-attached twisty stems.   Move down the mesh about one foot and repeat.  Since the twisty stems are about four inches apart your mesh will loop or puff and provide the fullness for the wreath.

24bottom

When you complete  bottom layer, move up and repeat the process on the top layer. Do NOT cut the mesh, just move  up

25leave a tail

When I completed the top layer, I cut the mesh leaving a 20 inch tail  to hang behind the long ribbon tails I planned to use.

26add secondary color

Add secondary color to top row only.  Use the same gather and pleat method and fasten into the twisty ties exactly as you did the base layers.  The only difference:  use 8 inches of mesh between each fastener instead of the 12 inch loops used for the wider layer.

Add feather boa

Add boa or other optional filler.  Fasten to top layer, gently laying the boa between the base layers.  Leave some looseness in the boa, without letting it loop or pull tight. 

28 ready for embellishment

The boa will begin and end on either side of the 10 inch loop bow. 

29 add lime and bow

Add bow and embellishments.  I made the bronze bow ahead of time and then looped the lime green tube ribbon behind it for a pop of color.  Insert a fall pick, nestled under the bow and up the side.  Add groups of three lime ribbons cut in random length to each twisty stem around the wreath for movement and fun.

D O N E !

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How to make old art new again

Renewing Old Art (yes, you can!) -- A Pinch of Joy

How to change mat colors -  quick, easy and no cost  A Pinch of Joy

How to make old art new again.  And make it coordinate with new room colors.  And do it quickly,  easily and at almost no cost.   That was the challenge in our dining room makeover. 

I found this picture at a garage sale a few years ago.  Someone was selling off the almost new contents of their office,  including artwork.  This reminded me of a spot in one of our favorite hiking areas, a place called Highbanks,  in the spring time.  When I got it home, the title of the piece is “Spring”.  It’s pretty good sized – 48 inches by 38 inches –  and very heavy.  For a while it hung in the living room.   However, a perfect spot opened up when we did the dining room.  Except  the mat colors made it look way too heavy for the light, airy and meditative vibe I was going for.   Plus I didn’t think they really conveyed “Spring”.   

Wall Art.Old

So I unceremoniously turned the picture upside down on the dining room table and began to disassemble it.  I had pictures but when we changed computers last fall,  those photos were among the missing.  I did edit in the mat colors below so you can see how dark it was.   

I experimented with the color swatches for several days, trying different combinations to pick up different portions of the picture.  I really liked the one that picked up the orangey color, but again the over all effect was not the serene feeling I wanted.  Finally I decided to go with the wall color and the color of the adjacent hallway.  They didn’t jar or call attention to themselves and blended with both the wall color (since it IS the wall color)  and the colors in the picture. 

I carefully removed the dust cover so I would be able to reuse it.  Some are stapled on, the better ones are glued and a little tricky to get off in one piece.  A sharp thin knife helps.   Then I slipped out the mats, being very careful not to let them bend and become nicked or creased.  I placed them on a tarp on the garage floor, which was the only work place big enough to hold them both flat.

Then . . . .the secret to new mats that are quick, easy and  no cost.  Drum roll please. 

The very same paint that was used to paint the walls.  Yes, just latex paint.  I used a small roller just wide enough to cover the entire mat and quickly did a light coat of their respective colors to seal and prime the mat itself.  When that dried in about 30 minutes.  I came back with another coat.  Thirty minutes later a third light coat.  I let them dry over night to be sure they were thoroughly dry and would not stick to one another or to the glass. 

I carefully cleaned the inside of the glass (and missed one fingerprint at the bottom that no one else can see but that screams at me!).  Then I reassembled the entire thing, following exactly the same steps as in disassembling except in reverse.   The hardest part was getting the dust cover on straight and in one piece, but even that was fairly easy. There were so many options for color choice, but I like this one because it flows with the  strong wall color and does not compete with the wall or the picture.  That lets the print speak for itself. 

It does that and quite clearly too.  When my friend saw it, she exclaimed “Oh, that’s the spot in Highbanks where we go hiking.”  I don’t know if the artist even knew Highbanks existed when he painted it.  But it was great to know that the print elicited the same positive thoughts of hiking on a beautiful spring day in at least two people.   Art that speaks to people!

I’m so glad you stopped by today!   Be sure to follow A Pinch of Joy so you don’t miss a thing! 

Subscribe by email  on the sidebar  or follow on Facebook, RSS feed, bloglovin’  twitter  and check out my  pinterest boards.   If you found this helpful or inspiring please share below!  Your support of A Pinch of Joy is  appreciated!

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