If you’re like me, you probably have remnants of chicken wire tucked away in garage corners, barn attics or tool shed shelves. We use chicken wire for a lot of projects around Iron Oak Farm, especially with the animals. It’s the chicken keeper’s best friend for predator security. But after we finish up a project, there’s usually a bit of left over on the roll. After the many coops we’ve built over the years, we’ve collected quite the smodge podge of small amounts that really won’t build anything substantial, but I can’t bring myself to throw it away because…well it’s chicken wire…and it’s useful for so many things! Like fixing a hole in a fence, tightening up a chick brooder, or even making suet cages.
I’ve never really thought about chicken wire in any sense other than utilitarian purposes until the other day when I was shopping at a Christmas store and saw a collection of adorable potpourri ornaments. They were reminiscent of an antique bird cages with black metal wire bent in beautiful scrolls and a tiny hinge to allow one to swap out a different scent of potpourri. With one look at the price tag, I thought what any self respecting do-it-yourself-er would think…I can make this!
This version isn’t quite as ornate as the beautiful scrolling wire ones I saw at the store, but I kinda like that it has a “chicken” flare and it serves the same purpose.
After struggling with pliers and chicken wire for an evening, I came up with a sort of “pattern” that makes each ornament somewhat consistent to the next, which is helpful if you want to give a fellow chicken keeper a set of ornaments as a gift.
You will need:
1. chicken wire
2. wire cutters
3. hot glue gun
5. Elmer’s glue (or the like)
6. 1-2 sparkly pipe cleaners
7. paint brush
8. And your favorite blend of potpourri. I used cinnamon, but if you have an artificial Christmas tree, you could select a nice evergreen fragrance, to give your tree a scent of the real thing.
To begin, cut your piece of chicken wire so that you have 3 rows of hexagons. A row of 8 hexagons at the top, then 7 in the middle row, and 8 in the bottom row. Leave the exposed wires connected at the top and bottom of each hex, and leave the half-hex wires on one side of the sheet (A & B). In the next step the sheet will be rolled into a tube and A & B will wrap around the other side to secure the tube.
Fold the tips of the exposed wires toward the center of the tube. It will make a kind of “daisy” shape.
Apply the glue with a paint brush to all surfaces of the wire. Drips will form, but if you keep smoothing, eventually it will all even out.
Now, the fun part…glitter the heck out of it! Apply more glue and glitter in places that may have been missed and allow to dry thoroughly. I found that the silver glitter produced a nicer result than the gold because it was more similar in color to the wire. But be creative!
Next, take your pipe cleaner and coil it upon itself into two flat disks. You should be able to get two disks from one pipe cleaner.
Bend the remaining pipe cleaner into a horseshoe type shape.
Fit the “feet” of the pipe cleaner horseshoe through the center of one of the coiled disks, and re-bend the feet out to secure. The one with the loop will be your hanger, the other disk will finish the bottom of the ornament.
Fill the chicken wire tube with potpourri. (You might have to select some larger pieces that won’t fall through the holes) and carefully bend the top wires over in that same daisy pattern securing the potpourri inside the wire cage. (Be careful not to knock off too much glitter.)
Use the hot glue gun to attach the pipe cleaner disks to the top and bottom of the ornament. They will fit nicely in the center of the wire “daisy” shape and hide the raw wire ends.
Attach the pipe cleaner hanger to the other side, and you have a lovely chicken inspired, scented ornament for the tree!
Let me know if you make this ornament, I love to see the creative things our readers come up with! Share your photos and stories by leaving a comment below, on the Community Chicken’s Facebook Page or visit us at Iron Oak Farm.