Miss Kopy Kat: How To Make a Deco Mesh Garland More

Deco Mesh (also goes by the name poly sinamay mesh) has been the secret ingredient for florist and decorators for years now. I have not seen it available for sale even in stores that normally have floral supplies but Hobby Lobby did have a few colors this year on their Christmas ribbon aisle and I bought several rolls when it was 50% off.  It normally comes in rolls 21 inches wide by 10 yards long! That is a lot of length for the money. These were normally $10 but only $5 a roll when they were on sale. Due to new fire safety regulations at the hospital that I work at, we could no longer use the artificial greenery that we had used in the past to decorate a Christmas. I had seen some decorations made with Deco Mesh and decided to give it a try for new holiday decorations for the nurseries. I looked on the internet for directions on how to make a Deco Mesh garland. There are "work garlands" available for purchase (about $8 for a 9 foot length) but they didn't look very complicated so I just made my own "work garlands". The materials for the base of the garlands were purchased from Michaels but they are available at other craft stores and too. This aluminum floral wire was perfect... it was strong enough but easily to bend and cut. The chenille stems are what we used to call "pipe cleaners". You might find other products that work well too...this is just what was readily available to me. The wire will show through the mesh so pick a color that will go with the mesh. I measured out the length of floral wire needed and then attached the chenille stems about 8" apart along the length. This garland was 7 feet long with some extra length of wire added to the ends for attachment purposes. This is a base for a 3 foot garland. Twist the stems along the wire to keep them in place. On the garlands I wasn't in a super rush to get up, I also glued the twisted stems in place. Gather the mesh in your hand in a folding/accordian manner. If you want "tails" on your garland, leave some length before your first gather. Attach your gathered mesh on top of the twisted stem and secure it by twisting the stem on top of the mesh tightly. Gather the mesh again at a point far enough along the length to make a "pouf" of mesh and attach it at the next stem. The mesh wanted to curl back on itself so I had to roll a lot out and weight it down on the end. Work your way down the wire gathering, poufing, attaching. Again, if you want "tails", leave some length at the end. If you want to add more layers of deco mesh, just use the same technique and place more mesh poufs on top of the original mesh. Secure each gather point with the chenille stems. When you are finished adding mesh, twist the stems to the back of the garland to hide them. For transporation purposes, I rolled the tails up Here is one of the garlands above a door. I thought the wide mesh looked better cut into thirds on the end to look kind of like curled ribbon. I attached the garlands to the wall with Command hooks. The garland is very light weight but I bought the 5 pound hooks anyway. Decorative items can be placed along the garland. I intended to put more lightweight gingerbread-themed ornaments at the gather points but that was a holiday project that never got done. There are four of these doors along the hallway. I couldn't put any "swag" in these garlands because we have equipment like x-ray machines going in and out the door. For the other nursery, I used the same technique but different colors and some layering I used the 21 inch wide red mesh and then layered on a 10 inch wide apple green mesh on top. These were for a very long window so I made the garlands in several 6 foot lengths for ease of transportation. Here is the red and green garland with some lightweight Christmas stuffed animals attached. I attached the animals after I got the garland up. I liked this shot. Through the window it shows a newborn baby getting its first bath. These stuffed animals were only about $3 each at WalMart. On these tails, I cut the red mesh in half. The mesh curled itself and stayed curly all month. This door only needed a 3 foot garland. With the DIY method of making a base, you can make the garland as short or long as you need. Even the long garlands cost less than $10 each to make (without the decorations). I also put the deco mesh on the old wreath to tie it in with the look of the garland. 2012 UPDATE ON GARLANDS: The deco mesh garlands were made for 2011. I didn't have a great place to store them so they got put in the attic in a sort of "loose pile" of deco mesh. When Christmas 2012 rolled around, some of the mesh poufs were not so pouffy. When I had seen some more plaid deco mesh for sale in the summer at Hobby Lobby, I luckily got a few more rolls. I was able to add another layer of the same deco mesh on top of the slightly squished poufs attaching it with the same pipe cleaners that were already on the aluminum wire. I'm happy to report that they look even better now. By the time I realized that I needed some more deco mesh for the red and green garland at the other nursery, I had already made my "run" to the neighboring town that I get most of my deco mesh from. I did, however, have some white deco mesh left over from a wedding. I decided that it was "good enough" and added it to the green and red. The Deco Mesh in this post was Christmas colors but this same technique can be used in making garland for other holidays, birthday parties, showers, etc. Some other deco mesh items I have made are wreaths, pumpkins,a Santa Belly and curly wreaths.