Thursday, February 24, 2011

Recycled crafting

I really love making useful and pretty things from other stuff that has been discarded for some reason. I get this from my mother. If something appears remotely useful, she won't throw it away. Amazingly, she has most of it organized in bins or neat stacks. I can usually go to her house and say "Hey, Mom, do you have...?" and most of the time she does!

Last year I made a wreath from some old barbed wire fencing we removed from behind the house.

Bird House and Barbed Wire Wreath

Alas, the fence post was rotten and got knocked down and the birdhouse fell apart. The wreath, however, is still hanging up in my yard. I also have a star shaped wreath that hangs on my bottle tree in the west end flower bed.

Bottle Tree

Yes, those are outdoor "Christmas" lights, though I prefer to call them festive lights. Really they can be used to illuminate any party or celebration. Plus, they just look cool.

Working with barbed wire is not as difficult as one might think. You will need a couple of tools to make your work easier and protect your hands from injury. Fencing pliers and a pair of leather work gloves are all you really need. If you want to use other types of wire to "tie" the wire into the desired shape, you will also need some pliers appropriate for cutting it.

If you've made wreaths before, the concept is the same. Twist, bend and secure the wire in whatever way is easiest for you and then hang it. I don't recommend hanging a barbed wire wreath on your front door, or on anything you don't want to get scratched. They are perfect for outdoor accents because the wire will last for years and they are practically indestructible.

I like that I can leave them in the yard without worrying about weather or animals destroying them. In fact, the weather only adds to their appeal over time.

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