Have you seen the beautiful decorative balls hanging outside at 322 Glenwood? Ever wanted to make your own?
Well, Glenelm resident Joanne is offering a 4-part workshop over Zoom to show you how to make these large wire-balls with mini-lights, just like the ones hanging in her front yard!
The workshop will be given in a series of four sessions:
- Thursday, September 16th: Make the wire hoops for the ball(s)
- Thursday, September 23rd: Wire the hoops into a ball
- Thursday, September 30th: Cut and attach the chicken wire
- Tuesday, October 5th: Wrap and secure the lights to the frame
Each session will be 30-45 minutes, starting at 7:30 p.m. The instructions are straightforward, but the wire work is a bit more time-consuming, and will need to be completed between sessions.
You’ll need the items marked with an asterisk (*) for week 1. This will make 3 balls:
Make sure all wire is galvanized.
- *A set of good fitting gloves is an absolute must. They should fit well. I like the type that have a rubber coating on the fingers and palms and are knit on the backs. You can find them in most gardening supply sections of stores.
- *A 100-foot package of 14-gauge galvanized wire (this makes 3 balls). If 14-gauge is sold out, you can go to 12- or even 9-gauge (the lower the number, the thicker the wire).
- *A package of 18-gauge galvanized wire (generally comes in 100’ pkg. – you will only use some of this)
- A package of 22-gauge galvanized wire – this is not absolutely necessary but can be helpful when adding the chicken wire.
- A spool of plastic coated gardening wire (optional). I used this to redistribute and secure the lights after I wrapped them on the wire form.
- *Yard stick or tape measure
- *Sharpie or something to mark the wire
- *Pliers to manipulate wire and pull it tight
- *Wire cutters
- A roll of chicken wire (sometimes called hex wire – try to buy a 2’ wide roll – if wider you will have to cut it.
- 83 – 100 foot long set of mini-lights. You will need a set of lights for each ball. When purchasing lights I was very focused on getting ones that stay lit if one bulb burns out/malfunctions. It was a challenge to find this information on most sets of lights. I also found that when I called the manufacturer about lights that did not stipulate this, the outcome was that they did not stay lit if a bulb burnt out. I did some searching online with no luck. I eventually settled on the only set of lights I could find that stay lit – an 83’ 8” string of lights by Noma called Advanced Constant Lit 7 function Cluster Lights which I purchased at Canadian Tire. They are the ridiculous price of 99.00, but last year went on sale a few times for 50% off. I had to drive to Selkirk to get them. I should also mention that I wanted to use the twinkle function on my lights, but because they are on a timer, the lights revert to the staying on function. If anyone out there finds some other options for lights please let us know.
- A spray can of rodent repellant (optional). Over the years I have had challenges with squirrels eating the bulbs or chewing through the wires on my tree lights. This stuff doesn’t kill the squirrel, but tastes nasty. You will discover just how bad it tastes if you forget you’ve sprayed the balls and use your teeth to pull off the gloves you’re using to hang them ☹. Disposable or washable gloves are a must here.
- Long zip ties to hang the ball
Simply send an email to glenelmcommunity [at] gmail.com