More often than not, necessity is the mother of cute craft projects. Case in point: these adorable chicken wire cloches (or plant jails, as I call them) are an easy craft project that have been cropping up all over the interwebs lately. I wanted to make a version of my own and was forced into it yesterday in order to protect the baby romaine plants my neighbor had bestowed upon me.
Needless to say, we’ve got a lot of chicken wire laying around this place, and I was able to find some miscellaneous scrap pieces that would do the job quite nicely. For the larger of these two cloches which is approximately 8 inches in diameter and 12 inches tall, I cut a piece approximately 24 inches in length and about 14 inches tall (cut it two or so inches taller than you want the end result to be). I cut it so that there is a finished chicken wire edge along the bottom length, with all three other edges left rough. Then I curled it into a cylinder, as shown below. Overlap the two rough edges and then begin to fold in the sharp edges so that they wrap around each other and effectively staple the seam together.
At this point, and again many times in the process, you will need to gently mold the wire into an aesthetically pleasing shape. It ain’t gonna be perfect, so don’t try. Just make some semblance of a cylinder. Next, you will bend the top, raw edge into the center to create a dome.
Your cloche, for all intents and purposes is done, unless you want to add a handle. For these, I used a small length of jute rope, wrapped the ends in thin wire, and wired the rope to the top of the dome.
I am so in love with these, that I will be making some more elaborate versions that will be available in our soon-to-be-opening Etsy mercantile. Will they be an adequate defense against the gobbling talents of my chickens? They are pinned into the ground with landscape staples, but it will not shock me if my girls linebacker-tackle those things just for one beak-full of romaine. Time will tell. In the meantime, they look cute, right?