Wire Garden Cloche Tutorial

Make Your Own French Country Garden Accent

Chicken Wire Cloche Tutorial

Ever wanted to make your own decorative chicken wire garden cloche? Well, here is a tutorial that shows just how easily you can.

Originally the French used glass cloches, also known as bell jars, to protect young plants and seedlings from the cold, frost and garden critters.

Today they are widely used as decorative items and wire versions are just as popular as their glass cousins. Use them to accent your garden table, placing them over flowers, candles, small vignettes or anything else your heart desires. You can even use them to cover food.

Once you have made one or two for your patio or outdoor garden room, don't be surprised if you continue making a few more in different heights and widths for indoors as well.

Materials and Tools Needed:

Materials for wire cloche
  • Chicken Wire
  • Wire Cutters
  • Long Nosed Pliers
  • Thin Craft Wire
  • Base (optional)
  • Protective gloves

Chicken wire cloches are attractive enough on their own, but if you are wanting to fit them into a base there are many things you could use like a terracotta pot plant base, pretty china plate, cake stand or even an upturned round cake tin lid will work well.

The amount of chicken wire needed will depend on the size of the cloche you propose to make. As a rule of thumb, for the height I take the diameter measurement of the base and add on and extra 20cm (8 inches), which includes the allowance for the 'knob' on top. I then measure the circumference of the base and add an extra 1.5cm (half an inch) allowance so the wire edges can overlap just a little, making it easier to join the edges.

Cloche Tutorial Step1

Once you have cut the chicken wire, overlap and line up the edges, securing them together with pieces of craft wire. Use the long nose pliers to twist and crimp them, trimming away any excess so you get a nice neat seam. When finished you will land up with a longish tube. If you look carefully you will see the seam running down the back of the tube in the image on the left.
Cloche Tutorial Step2

Grab the tube with both hands about 10cm (4 inches) down from the top and start crimping it towards the centre to create a neck. Crimp it together as tight as you can. If you battle to create a tightly crimped neck, try twisting a length of craft wire around the neck once or twice and pull the ends in opposite directions really tight before releasing.
Cloche Tutorial Step3

You will then land up with something like this. No worries... we will fix it in a minute.
Cloche Tutorial Step4

Make sure you have those gloves on, then hold the cloche in one hand by its neck and make your other hand into a fist. Push your fist up inside and use your knuckles to mold the dome shape from the inside as you roll it around slowly by the neck. Keep turning the cloche as you mold and continue going around and around, molding until you get the right shape.
Cloche Tutorial Step 5

Once you have the shape of the dome, fan the top piece of wire outwards, then from about half way in from the outer edge fold the top inwards to form the 'knob'. Keep pushing and crimping until you get the desired shape.

There you have it, your first DIY chicken wire cloche...Enjoy!

I'm off now to make a shorter one wide enough to fit a cake plate. Will post another picture of this later.

Happy crafting!

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