Making Chickenwire Dress Sculptures for your Yard
In today's post I am going to walk you through the how and the why of making DIY chicken wire sculptures that will add whimsy and fun to any yard decor. Additionally, I will show you how they can be reinvented for the seasons.
Have you ever had that project that lives rent-free in your brain that you know in your heart is your destiny? That project that kinda scares you because you have no idea where to even begin and if doesn't turn out the way your heart envisions it, you are in for a world of disappointment?
Well, this is that project for me, you guys. After transforming my blah foursquare in Maryland into my boho beach house with a few cans of Benjamin Moore Paint, and after paint pouring my driveway to match my new funky house, and after DIYing a Covid garden entryway, It was time to make my own DIY Holiday yard decor in the form of these wild and fun dresses.
What dresses? THE dresses! The dresses I see all over Pinterest that are sculpted out of chicken wire and painted fantastical colors. I have a huge yard and no matter how much I plant, nothing makes a HUGE impact. Someday I hope to have it really landscaped with gravel paths, and secret gardens, and benches to sit and read. ( I personally will never sit still and read on a bench but I so love the image and I'm sure one of my neighbors will enjoy it.)
So I've dreamt of some way to get BIG landscaping on a small budget. The way I see it, small $$ plus creativity always equals more than what you can actually buy. Seriously, haven't you found that solving your decor problem with cash may work but getting clever with a workaround is much more satisfying and often looks better than what you could have bought at a mass-manufactured home goods store.
So Back to these dresses. My giant DIY holiday chicken wire dresses! Now my vision is to use these sculptures in my garden to bring big impact and color while my garden develops over the years but right now it is October and you know what that means right?
Everything is about getting our yards super spooky so we can scare small children and then give them candy.
So my daughter Sadie and I decide we can build the dresses now and make them into ethereal ghosts for now and then repaint them for each season moving forward. Some people have seasonal wreaths, but we will have seasonal garden dresses.
Just think of it, for our Halloween DIY decor they will glow spookily, for Christmas DIY decor we can paint them sparkly white and add boughs of holly, and then for the spring we can plant vines all around them and watch them morph into gorgeous live flower dresses.
OK. Now that we have a DIY handmade holiday decor plan, we need to get to work.
I've made an entire video of the process here for you to enjoy, but I've also added some basic instructions and tools you will need for those of you who like to skim fast, and declare "I got this" and run out the door to get your hardware supplies before you even get to the end of this blog.
So, here are the tools:
*Chicken Wire from any hardware store. We got 1" openings in a 50-foot roll and we used 2 rolls to get 4 dresses and we have some left over.
*Gardening gloves: You want to be able to use your fingers so don't use anything so stiff you cant mold the wire
*Landscaping stakes (to hold the frames to the ground and to hold your hair back)
*Neon Paint of your choosing
*A DIY partner or two: This project really worked better when you have a helper holding things in place and taking over when you stab yourself with chicken wire and need to take a break.
The basic process is to create a form from your wire. Wrap it around something, or someone to get a basic cone shape.
Are you ready to get this party started?
From there it's really up to your own imagination. You can make it simple or keep adding more and more layers until you get just the look that you are going for.
We decided to make varying heights and sizes so we could really play with the technique. The only trick is getting your connections to stay in place. because the whole thing is wire it was pretty easy to twist the joints together. If we ran into any issues we just grabbed some zip ties.
You can leave yours white for a ghost-like look or paint them fun neon colors as we did. Whatever you do, make sure you've had a tetanus shot (or wear more protective clothing than we did) and have fun with this.
If you give it a try please make sure to post it and tag me so I can see it!
Remember that in any DIY adventure to #takethewin my friends. It may not turn out exactly like a Pinterest photo, but as long as you had fun trying you gotta #takethewin!