Sunday, March 23, 2014

DIY Deco Mesh Carrot



 Back at a family gathering at Christmas, one of my
daughters-in-law, Karen, showed me a picture of a deco-mesh
carrot door hanging that she really liked.  We decided that we
could figure out how to make one ourselves by Easter time.

Here is our version:

The frame for our carrot is made with a dowel rod, some
aluminum floral wire and pipe cleaners.  All of these can
be found at craft stores.  Dollar Tree also has the wire.

The larger roll of wire came from Michaels...it is about $4 (you could use a coupon) . 
The roll from Dollar Tree is only 6 feet long..you would probably need more than one roll.

Not wanting to have to get out a saw, I picked a dowel
rod that was thin enough (5/16") that it
 could be cut with pruning shears.

The horizontal piece of dowel for the carrot frame was
made 15" long.  That left 21" for the vertical piece.
About 7" was left above the horizontal piece to attach
the carrot's greenery to.  The two pieces were wired together.

Some excess wire was left (but not as much as in the
photo below) to use for hanging the carrot.

A "V" shape of aluminum wire was attached to the ends of
the horizontal dowel to form the shape of the carrot.
How big you make this depends on how large you want
the carrot to be in the end.


The less you cut the wire, the stronger the frame will be so
you can continue with the zig-zag interior wires  straight
off of the "V" shape attachment. The interior of the carrot
shape will be where you will attach poofs of deco mesh.


At first I thought that a single wire zig-zagging down the
length of the carrot would be enough to add pipe cleaners to
in order to attach the deco mesh but the frame needed the
wires to cross equally on both sides of the vertical dowel.

The gold of the aluminum wire would probably blend in
enough with the orange deco mesh to not show but the dowels
at least need to be painted or they will be too obvious once
the deco mesh is applied.  The mesh is quite see-through.

I just went on and painted the wire too.
Try to use pipe cleaners the same color as the mesh you are
using.  Since these pipe cleaners will only be holding one
deco mesh pouf each (and not more ribbons, etc.) you can
cut them in half.  Twist the pipe cleaners onto the frame
in a pattern similar to the picture above.  Leave the "arms"
of the twist open to the front of the carrot.

You don't have to hot glue the pipe cleaners onto the
frame but it helps them not slip along the wires while
you are attaching the deco mesh. I like to put the frame
face down and glue the pipe cleaners onto the frame from
the backside. Start the glue on one side of the pipe
cleaner twist on the wire, continue onto the pipe cleaner
"hump" then onto the other side along the wire.

The top part of the vertical dowel got painted green since
that is where the foliage of the carrot will be attached. 

I made the frame for the carrot door hanging before going to
Karen's house to save time.  Her house is about 1.5 hours
from mine.  She and her husband have worked so hard to
renovate a home on a hillside...it is just lovely now.

The carrot frame and more wreath supplies made the trip
to  Karen's on a recent Saturday. 

 Most of the deco mesh came from Hobby Lobby.

Karen hasn't made anything with deco mesh before so
I showed her how to attach the mesh to the frame using
the pipe cleaners.  The hardest part when you are first
learning how to use deco mesh is how much length of
mesh to use between attachment points to get a nice pouf.

Another thing you have to get the hang of is how to gather
the mesh to get the pouf to look like you want it to.
lI think it is easiest to start folding/gathering it in
accordion folds across the width of the mesh. 

For your first attachment point on the carrot, leave a
"tail" about 8-10" long.  You will tuck this behind the
carrot in the end.  It keeps you from having a "cowlick"
of deco mesh and helps the mesh not come loose also.

Start on one side of the horizontal dowel rod placing your
gathered/pinched mesh into the open "arms" of the first
pipe cleaner.  Twist the arms as tightly as you can around
the pinch/gather of mesh to hold it into place.

For your second attachment point make another gather of
mesh 2-3" farther down the roll then the actual spacing
between pipe cleaners.  You want to have enough excess
mesh to make a "pouf".

Each pouf has its own personality...they don't have to
all be the same especially for this project.

At the edge of the carrot make another pouf of mesh and
attach it on the "row" of pipe cleaners beneath your current one.
On these turning poufs try to have enough excess in them that
you can adjust them to help cover the sides of the frame.

Work across each row of pipe cleaners.

Feel free to add more twisted pipe cleaners onto the wires as
 you are working your way across if you feel that more poufs
 are needed to get the look that you want. 

Karen's husband got Joseph, a Carolina dog, while he was in
college before they even started dating.  Joseph is devoted to
Karen and is a great protector of her.  He wanted her to be
playing ball with him instead of making a mesh carrot.

To give Karen some space and not be hanging over her
 with a camera while she is working on her wreath,
 I'll show you some pretty things around her house.

Here is a close-up of the Pottery Barn Easter banner
 in the above photo:

Here's a beautiful collection of pillows on her sofa:

She has lovely vignettes all over her home.
This one is in the entry foyer:



Here's one on top of the china cabinet in the dining room:

Dried hydrangeas in the living room:


This vignette is in the corner of her kitchen:


OK, now that Karen is finishing up the main part of the carrot
 so we'll go back and take more photos.

Leave a tail of deco mesh at the end of the carrot too.

Tuck these tails behind the carrot.  You can secure them
with a pipe cleaner or wire to the frame on the backside.

A really cute feature of the original carrot that Karen liked 
was that it had deco mesh tubing to represent carrot "hairs".

My Hobby Lobby doesn't carry orange deco mesh tubing
(at least this time of year).  I tried painting some white
deco mesh tubing orange...I thought it worked pretty well.

However, I did not want to mess up Karen's carrot with
jimmy-rigged mesh tubing so I ordered some official
orange mesh tubing online from Mardi Gras Outlet.

I wasn't sure whether to get their metallic tubing or the
jute tubing so I got both to see the difference.

The metallic tubing is in the foreground...it is the one that
would look best with the mesh on the carrot.  The jute
tubing is in the background...it would look good with burlap.

To make the carrot hairs (if you want them) gather the tubing
into loops like a lop-sided bow.  Secure the loops by
twisting a wire or pipe cleaner around the base leaving
some "legs" to use to attach the loops to the carrot frame.

Scatter several of the tubing loops through the carrot.
They show up really well on the edges.

Another fun way to make the carrot "your own" is what
you decide to use to make the carrot leaves.

You can make tubes of  green deco mesh by cutting 21"
wide mesh into 12" strips, roll it into a tube shape,
pinch in the middle, then secure with wire or pipe cleaner.

Add sets of  these toward the middle of the horizontal
 dowel or along the length of it like Karen did.

The tubes look cute by themselves but if you want to you
can also add additional flair by using greenery too.
 This plastic leaf bunch is from Hobby Lobby

Wire the greenery along the vertical dowel rod.

Karen has pretty door décor for lots a seasons and
occasions.  She just uses a nail that has been hammered
in her door to hang things on so all we needed for the
carrot was to make a loop of the wire that was put
on the carrot frame early on.
Well this photo actually shows the loop before we added greenery.

Hang the carrot on your door and make any adjustments
in the mesh loops needed to cover the edges of the frame
and fine tune the carrot shape .

The deco mesh carrot is large and easily seen from
the street.  The orange and green colors really "pop"
against the wooden door.



I liked Karen's carrot so much that I decided to make
one for my front door too...made another frame about
the same way as the first. 

As I was actually putting the deco mesh on the second
frame, I felt like it needed more attachments points.
The photo below shows two vertical wires I added
(black lines) and more pipe cleaners (black "x"s) as
I was working on the carrot.  Just FYI in case you
want to add those to the frame ahead of time.


The second carrot went together pretty much like the
first...gather deco mesh leaving a tail...

...attach mesh poufs along the horizontal dowel...


...don't cut mesh but continue down to next
level of pipe cleaners on the frame...
These are the extra vertical wires I added for more attachment points


...keep working down...add more pipe cleaners
if needed to keep mesh close to the side of the
 frame so you won't lose the carrot shape...
ooops...I think that is going to be a hole above that row


...leave a tail then tuck it.

To fill the hole in the middle I made a single mesh pouf,
secured it with a pipe cleaner and attached it to the frame.

Checking it out on the door to find any big boo-boos...

...added rolled tubes of mesh for leaves...



...two sets near intersection of dowels and three
along the vertical dowel...
...very cute even without more embellishment.

The cost for this carrot without the mesh tubing and extra
greenery on top would be about $26 (or about $16 if you
got the supplies for 40% off during a sale or used coupons.)
You would have some orange and lots of green mesh leftover.

Here's the same carrot with orange mesh tubing "hairs" added...




...along with some crazy floral item from Hobby Lobby...





It's a big and fun Easter door hanging that many of my
neighbors have already commented how much they like it. 
Make one for yourself...it's easy!


I'm sharing this post over at 
Our Sunday Best Link Party @ Twigg Studios
Inspiration Monday @ Scattered Thoughts
Metamorphosis Monday @ Between Naps on the Porch
Inspire Me Tuesday @ A Stroll Thru Life

7 comments:

  1. Those turned out so cute! That's a fun thing for you and Karen to do together too. Love her vignettes. :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Gayle- That is so so so very cute! You did a great job. xo Diana

    ReplyDelete
  3. So delightful Miss Kitty. Looks so pretty on your door. Excellent tutorial. Your daughter has a beautiful home and also did a great job of her carrot too.
    Thanks for sharing. Thanks for visiting Timeless Treasures with a nice comment.
    Audrey Z.

    ReplyDelete
  4. OMGosh! Your carrot is so much cuter than mine. I wish I'd seen your post before I tried making mine. Great tutorial,too. Thanks for the inspiration.

    ReplyDelete
  5. The carrot is adorable and Karen has a beautiful home! I am loving her giant mirror.
    xx,
    Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  6. Was trying the carrot tonight, not as easy as you make it look.
    LOL
    What gauge of wire did you use for the frame?
    I have 18 gauge on a roll but I can not get it to straighten out, it keeps wanting to curl.
    Getting aggravated. Am I using the wrong kind?
    Thank you so much!
    Maria

    ReplyDelete

Thank you SO MUCH for taking the time to comment on my blog!

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