I've had quite a few requests for this blog post over the last couple of months, and I've finally gotten around to sharing it with you! Please excuse the photography in the following photos, but I wasn't fully prepared to document this as a DIY piece until just before I was about to start. Anyway, as this is my first ever DIY on the blog, I hope it will do the trick.
What you will need:
- A frame of your choice
- Chicken wire
- Gardening gloves
- A staple gun & staples
- An array of artificial flowers/foliage of your choice
- A hot glue gun & glue
- Wire cutters
Take your frame and ensure it is decorated in any which way you would like. Luckily my frame was already painted white, which is the look I was going for in order to make the colours of the flowers pop, but this is not necessary. It will be difficult to change the frame once you have added the flowers so I would take the time now to make sure it is finished as desired.
Put on your gardening gloves, or any fabric/protective gloves that you have, in order to roll out your chicken wire. (I did this step without gloves and I do not recommend it... chicken wire is not friendly). Place the chicken wire over the back of your frame and cut to fit, ensuring that there is some excess over the back as shown above.
Take your staple gun and staple down every last inch of the chicken wire to the frame. Go to town as much as you'd like to ensure the wire is fully secure to the frame. As you can see from my photo, I punched staples all over the place! It can be quite tricky to get the staples to fit over the correct part of the wire to ensure it's secure, so it may be useful to ask for another set of hands for help. I did this on my own though, so it's not entirely necessary ... it'll just build those arm muscles and take a little longer to complete.
Top Tip - Ensure the wire is pulled tightly across all angles of the frame as loose wiring can cause the flowers to bow with the weight if there is too much slack.
Once your chicken wire is cut to size and secure at the back of the frame, it is now time to gather together your chosen flowers and on to the creative part. I would give one last check over the wire now, just to ensure there aren't any visible sharp edges of wire showing through the sides of the frame from the front.
Cut most of the leaves from the flowers along the stem. You will be able to use these leaves later, so don't worry, not all is lost, and it also makes placing the flowers much, much easier.
Now on to the fun part!! What you now need to start doing is poking the stems of your flowers through the chicken wire and arranging in any way you like. I've left the stems long for this piece as it gives me the option to reuse the flowers for something else, should I ever want to! All you need to do is bend the stems near the head of the flower to create an L shape. This will allow some support and hold the flower in place as you poke it through.
Do not cut the stems too short as you may risk the flowers falling out more easily.
Keep adding flowers and foliage until the frame starts to get full. I would advise working from all corners of the frame and dotting flowers around randomly, rather than working from one corner outwards. That way you'll be able to spread out your flowers more evenly and create a more balanced overall look.
Learn from my mistakes - I worked from one corner outwards before and I was left with lots of gaps across the frame because the initial corner was too dense and I had underestimated how many flowers I would actually need to fill the space. You can always add more... but its a nightmare to have to take out big chunks and rearrange.
Now that your frame is filled of all it's gaps and spaces, you can now have a play with the leaves you cut off earlier on. As you can see from my photo, there are still pieces of wood showing through the flowers along the border of the frame.
Heat up your glue gun and start sticking your leaves around the edge of the frame to conceal any gaps. This can also be done throughout the main body of the flowers to add colour and texture to the overall piece.
Once you are happy with the finished design you can turn the frame over so the front is now on the floor. Don't worry your flowers should be pretty sturdy so it should survive the temporary face plant.
Now put your gloves back on and grab your chicken wire again, and repeat the same process as before. Place the chicken wire over the back of all the stems and cut and staple to size. This is just a protective layer to ensure your flower stems don't move and to secure your design in place.
Once you are happy that the second layer of wire is secure, flip your frame back over, give the flowers a little neat and tidy up if they should need it, and then sit back and admire your amazing handy work.
You did it! You completed the first ever Edie Rose Ashley DIY and hopefully you survived without a chicken wire scratch (I did not).
I really hope you enjoyed this tutorial, and found it easy to follow. If you have any requests on any other DIY's you would like to see, just pop your suggestions in the comments! Also, please tag me in your frames on social media as I would love to see them!!
This one is for all you strong independent DIYers out there!