Friday, April 5, 2013

diy {Tomato-cage Chandelier}

I am probably the worst kind of gardener there is.

I admit it.

I love the idea of gardening. I want the vegetables and the flowers. 
I'm a rockstar planner/shopper/planter. 
But after that? 

I am a dead-beat gardener.

I don't remember to water or call. I don't weed, feed properly, or discipline. Half the time I forget to pick up the harvest on-time. I do not pay my garden-support.

All jokes aside, ask my poor husband, I'm bad. When he worked a job where he didn't have to travel we did ok -- a sorta limp-along ok, where I held up very little of my end and he pretty much dragged my dead weight. But we [read: he] managed to keep the thing alive and get some good out of it.

Now he travels. 
There is no garden.
The end.

Or not...
We moved a fair amount of gardening things along with us to this house, even though there are no plans to garden this year. I may wheedle some tiny flowers pots out of him if I'm good. 
I'm a rockstar wheedler.

Anyway, there is this stack of tomato-cages just sitting there.
They look so lonely and bored.

I had to help at least one of them out...


Tomato-cage Chandelier

  • tomato-cage
  • fabric
  • yarn

  • fabric scissors
  • heavy-duty wire clippers

The fabric I used was the backing off an old quilt. The poor thing is in pretty bad shape but I have plans for the front. It seemed a shame to toss this cheery polka-dot.

It was a bit of a chore to cut all the ties but I'm glad I did.

I cut the whole thing into strips about an inch wide (this project didn't take exacting measurements, thank goodness). It made a happy pile of polka-dot streamers.

Using the wire cutters I cut the legs off the tomato-cage right below the bottom ring.

I started wrapping the whole cage, tying lengths of fabric together as I went.

I left three alternating rungs without fabric-wrapping and then wrapped those in minty yarn (perfect for Spring). All the ends are just knotted at the bisecting rungs. I left the ends because I liked the raggy-taggy look.

Yum, makes me smile.
Who needs a garden? 

I tied three more streamers to the top for the hanger.

But I needed something more to finish it off.


Pattern Posies

Our favorite little local thrift shoppe wraps all their breakables in old patterns and I'm in the habit of keeping a stack because it seems likely I will think of something to use them for, if only gift-bag tissue.

 I broke out my favorite scalloped-circle punch and punched away at a stack of pattern pieces. The circles became the raggedy pattern posies. These aren't an exact science either -- I'm not really into exact, if you can't tell. You just layer two or three pieces together and sorta 'smush' them into a flowery shape.

Thrift-store lace (again) and a quick needle and thread job. Not fancy stitchery at all.

Voila! A happiness-chandelier with pattern-posies on the side.

I started into this project an hour before the kids got home from school and didn't quite get done before they walked in. Felicity, not one to be left out of anything crafty, got busy using my scraps while I finished up.

She made these flowers with the tomato-cage legs, yarn, pattern posies and cupcake papers.
They may grace our table, play stand-in for our non-blooming houseplants, or bring a smile to a friend, I haven't decided yet.


Girl of my heart
Happy Friday!



Did you see the huge pile of strips that fabric gave me?
Well, I was curious about a smaller version of this project so I got to experimenting.

This one is made using only the top two rungs of the tomato cage. Otherwise the design is pretty much the same. I left off the yarn, it just didn't work on this size somehow.

I tied short strips around the bottom to give it some girly flare. This way it is a bit more lamp-shade looking.

I can see it as a front porch pretty or over a vanity. Maybe with something sparkly hanging down in the center? A friend said she thought she would hang her jewelry on it.

How would you use it?


  1. I have so many old patterns that I hold onto for I don't know what reason, except for the nostalgia, I guess. I like the idea, of using it for packaging. I have used about half of it for kindling fires. We aren't such perfect gardeners here, but it is surprising the harvest you can get even from a weedy garden.

    1. I like to keep the old pattern packages with the pictures too... imagine new patterns for a dime! :)

  2. You make me smile with your creativity! :) Love it!

  3. Nice! I followed your trail over here. Think I'll stick around! :) happy creating!

    1. Alison, Thank you! I'm so happy to keep you! :)

  4. Dear not too shabby chandelier,
    I hope I saved a couple of those from our stash of gardening days gone by too! Looks like a super fun quick project! I often think of flowers instead of veggies when I think of gardens these days...too bad they all are not edible!! I sure wasnt much of a gardener when I was growing babies either, seems they kept me busy enough.
    In buckets & such
    The bungalow

  5. I read the title of your post and my heart sank. Someone had the same idea as me and she was Johnny on the spot with it. I have been planning in my brain the design for my tomato cage garden chandi. I am still going to do this but I will have to be extra creative so mine is not a copy cat. If I do copy a teeny weeny bit you will be honored and placed on a pedestal on my post. Hope that's okay with you. It should be since you stole my idea. LOL I loved reading your gardener account. You make me laugh which is why I am your newest follower. Laughter is tonic. Thanks for the meds! ~Blessings, Wanda

    1. Wanda,
      Your comment made my morning! Thank you for stopping by. Copy away... isn't imitation the best form of a compliment? :) And laughter is certainly the best medicine and I'm thankful for daily doses around here.

      Thanks for following along!

  6. Love the idea of wrapping items in the pattern paper. The tomato cage looks rather pretty in its new clothes. I think I would suspend those LED candle votives from it in tiers.

  7. What a grand idea, I never would have thought to use tomato cages. I have a ton of them sitting around just waiting for the season to be placed around tomatoes. Maybe when not in season for them, I should make chandeliers out of them just so they won't be stacked in the yard.


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