Friday, November 18, 2011

Free Craft Friday -- Tomato Cage Topiary

I saw variations of this on with very little help in the matter of how to make one.  So most of this is me winging it but I thought I'd share how I did it.

Tomato Cage Topiary / Christmas Tree

-tomato cage (I think mine are 4 ft)
-wire or wire clothes hangers (I tried to do mine on the absolute cheap)
-wire cutters (somewhat optional; I didn't use mine)

*under $10 including cost of lights and tomato cage (I believe); cheaper or FREE if you have either on hand.

Step 1.  Turn your tomato cage upside down and secure the legs together in a point using the wire/hanger.  I tried hemp tie at first so ignore that part.

If your tomato cage is like mine there it too much space between the wire to have a nice rounded shape when wrapped in garland or lights.  It comes off looking more like a triangle than a "tree".

Step 2. Keep you tomato cage upside down.  Unwind you wire hanger and straighten it out.  Place your wire/hanger in between two cage wires to fill in space.  Put your wire on the outside of the tomato cage wire to help strength it and keep its shape when wrapped with garland or lights.

Step 3.  Using the top wire (holding the legs together) hook your wire/hanger over it.  In order to use one hanger for the height of the "tree" this hook was rather small made by bending it over itself with the pliers, placing it over the wrapped wire and then pinching it closed with the pliers.

Step 4.  Stretch the wire to the bottom rung wire of your cage and then loop it over like the top and pinch it shut with pliers.
Step 5.  Repeat steps 2 through 4 to fill in the other spaces around the "tree".
Finished cage/"tree" should look something like this; the top swirl wire is just my excess from wiring the legs together.  Click on the picture to enlarge it if this helps.

Step 6.  If you do place it into a pot or on the ground it never hurts to secure it.  This could be done with little stakes or even bent pieces of hanger looped over the bottom wire and stuck into the ground. 

Don't love this picture.  I think they look better in person but maybe I'm a little biased.

I wrapped lights around mine but you could also use garland and other decorations.  I think next year I may try a combination of lights and garland.

* I also saw instructions on how you can use this for ivy plants or other vine growing plants in the summer.  Awesome!

If you happen to use this tutorial or link to it I'd love to know.  Please leave a comment.  Thanks!

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