My weekend project was making a fall Cornucopia. It was the first time for making this, so I experimented and made some changes along the way. Again, form was made out of good old faithful chicken wire. Chicken wire can be purchased in rolls at places like Home Depot, mine came from Lowe’s. It was about $8.00 and I’ve made about 4 projects out of it and still have plenty left.
You’ll need wire cutters to cut the chicken wire. I like to wear an old pair of dress leather gloves. Garden gloves are too bulky and you need something to protect your fingers from sharp edges.
Roll out the wire and press it down to make it easier to cut. I used about a 30″ length on this project. I apologize for the photos….I don’t have a neat craft area….my are is the packing table in the shop. But it works fine…….just not too attractive)))
Roll up the wire in the shape of a cone. Wire edges together from the cut ends. Just keep experimenting until you get the shape you like.
This was my finished shape.
At this point, check the size of the opening depending on what you plan to put inside the Cornucopia. For now I plan to use some artificial gourds and squash.
Choose your materials – color of mesh and ribbon. I already had some Copper Metallic Ribbon open, so I chose this to go around the opening. I wanted a couple of rows of a contrast to the rest of the body. The mesh I chose was a Fall Multicolor Check. It looks more red/green in this photo but it actually has a good bit of gold, orange and mossy green. The deco poly mesh was 21″ in length. In retrospect, a more narrow mesh would have been easier to work with, but these were the colors I wanted and it was what I had. The chenille stems or pipe cleaners, were a pumpkin orange color.
Start the twists around the opening. The copper metallic ribbon used was 4″ in with and light weight, so the chenille stems were cut into thirds for this ribbon. Once the deco mesh was started, the stems were cut in half.
Pinch up the end of the ribbon and lay into one of the twists. Doesn’t matter where you start.
Bunch up about 2″ and place in the next twist. Work all the way around the opening.
When you get back to your starting point, just re-open that twist and place your last bunch there. Don’t cut your ribbon….you’re going to drop down to the second layer and go around again.
Drop down about 1 1/2″ or so to start your second row of twists. Your spacing won’t always work out evenly, some may be a little high or low, but you can always fill in gaps later as needed. Sometimes I place my twists on the chicken wire completely before I start with the ribbon, on this project though, I placed a twist and then did my ribbon. Continue working all the way around again.
When you’ve finished the second round, cut your ribbon, but leave a long tail….18″ to 24″. Just tuck to the inside for now. At a point later on, I applied hot glue to the wire edge that was showing and covered it with the ribbon tail.
Start the mesh. The Chenille stems were cut in half for the mesh. When tying on the Chenille stems, try to wire them in where they won’t slip and slide by connecting through more than 2 pieces of the chicken wire. This also will help stabilize your form. Bunch up the mesh and lay down in the first twist. Close tightly with a couple of twists. It doesn’t matter where you start. Tuck the raw edge to the inside.
Continue bunching a couple of inches of mess and go to the next twist. These bunches were much tighter than what I use for a wreath or garland and more difficult to handle for sure. So, if you have a more narrow mesh I would suggest using it. Don’t worry too much about gaps at this point, you can pull and loosen bunch later as needed or fill in gaps with extra mesh. Again, I placed the twists as I worked around the Cornucopia trying to prevent gaps as best I could.
Continue with the mesh working your way to the tail. Typically I would work all the way around the Cornucopia, but after about half way, I started working from one side to the other, leaving the bottom with no mesh. I wanted the Cornucopia to sit flat and not be too easy to roll over.
Cut the mesh and tuck the tail to the inside.
The inside looks messy, but we’ll work on that a little later.
At this point, I thought the Copper Metallic Ribbon didn’t stand out quite as much as I wanted. Had I used a more narrow deco mesh, it probably would have been find, but I decided to beef this up a little bit and went back with more Copper Metallic Ribbon around the opening. I just re-opened a twist and started another round, this time making my bunches a little bit larger. Worked all the way around the opening twice and then it looked the way I had wanted.
At this point I started tucking the chenille stems out of the way. Any gaps were filled by cutting pieces of an orange metallic 2 1/2″ mesh and tucking into the gap. These were not wired or tied in any way. I just cut a piece of ribbon, folded it over and stuck it in. Now, if I were making these to sell or give as a gift, I would have taken more pains and attached it securely, but this was for my backyard party coming up in October))
After the gap was filled, it not even noticeable that it’s a different mesh.
The long tail we saved from the first rounds of Copper Metallic Ribbon are ready to be glued to cover up the wire edge.
Just apply hot glue to the edge and press the wire edge of the Copper Metallic Ribbon to it. I used scissors or something to press the ribbon as I go to protect my fingers. Work all the way around the inside covering up the wire. You may have to lift up your first round of ribbon a little to do this.
Also I cut a piece of the mesh I used and tucked inside the Cornucopia to help the gaps or openings be less visible.
If you shape has gotten a little off while you’ve been working on the Cornucopia, just work with it. Thats the good thing about chicken wire, you can shape, re-shape, it’s very flexible. Choose your embellishments. I had something called flame grass in red and mustard gold. The ends had to be cut off a bit and I didn’t hot glue any of my embellishments in. To make the Cornucopia permanent and secure I would have done this, but when the fall gourds, mini pumpkins and Indian corn are available at the farmer’s market, I’ll want to use some of these. Spanish Moss or Wood Wool would be another good bedding material. For our backyard party, I’ll probably use a bed of Sweet Gum, Maple and Hickory leaves that have turned. Another good reason for not hot gluing anything…..
Check the bottom side since it is made of chicken wire. Don’t want any raw edges to scratch your table top. Raw edges can be turned inward and you can place it on a folded napkin or place mat to protect the table. Again, my Cornucopia was made in mind for outside decorating. I’ll post more photos this fall when I fill the Cornucopia with fruits of the season)))