Using Zip Ties to attach Deco Mesh Ribbon to your Decorating Projects

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Mesh ribbon is incredibly easy to use and attach to your mechanics by using zip ties (a.k.a., cable ties).  You can use pipe cleaners (as an alternative) instead of the zip ties, but zip ties secure the ribbon tightly at each puff or bunch, which makes the pulling and tucking more efficient as you work to create your design for a wreath or swag.

The zip ties also work well for attaching ornaments because they slide easily into the ornament hooks.  The size you want to get is at least a 3-4″ length for the zip ties, or you can go longer, and just cut the tail ends off at the end of your project.

Zip ties will last for years, where I think pipe cleaners can wear a bit over time.  And if you want to take apart your project later (for whatever reason), zip ties are easily cut with sharp scissors or pruners.

PROJECT No. 1: Wreath with Candy Cane Mesh Ribbon:

  1. 13″ Round Wreath
  2. Zip Ties (3-4″ lengths, white colored)
  3. Deco Mesh Ribbon (rolls usually come in 20″ widths and apprx. 20-30 ft.)
  4. Sharp scissors or pruners
  5. Ornaments (3 red holiday ornaments used with a snowman head for this project)
  6. Another type of ribbon if you want to add more to the design

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The key here is to bunch the starting end of your ribbon by gathering it, and then using a zip tie to secure it to the wreath.  In this first step, you want the bunched starting end to be “tightly” secured to your wreath frame.  Pull the zip tie closed and then move down the ribbon to gather your next attachment point.

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Bunch the starting end first tightly.  Then grab another zip tie and attach it to your wreath frame.  When selecting your zip ties, consider the color of your ribbon.  Since this is a white and red, I used white zip ties so they won’t show.

Decor Mesh Ribbon_0003At regular equal length intervals (about 4 or 6″ apart), gather your next bunch.  You do not need to cut the ribbon at any point as you are working from your roll.  But what is key, is as you move to the next zip tie, do not tighten it as you did with the starting point.  Attach the gathered end in you hand to the wreath with the zip tie.

Attach it, but do not fully tighten the zip tie closed – because you may want to slide other items under the zip ties when decorating with embellishments later.

Decor Mesh Ribbon_0005The photo on the left shows the front of the wreath.  As you move around the wreath frame, equally spacing each bunch and gathering with a zip tie, remember to finish off with leaving “tails” for the bottom of the wreath.

The photo on the right above shows the back side.  Do not cut off the zip tie tail ends until you have completely finished adding additional decorations.

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I decided to grab a finer ribbon to add a little softness of white.  As you can see, just slide the ribbon through the loose zip ties.  This ribbon was a little difficult because it kept catching and snagging on the mesh ribbon, but I managed to get it done all the way around the wreath.

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Next was adding some bright red ornaments and a snowman head I picked up from a craft store.  Use a zip tie to connect 2 of the red ornaments together, then attach the 3rd ornament to the two.  The reason to do them this way is if you bunch all three with one zip tie, and then tighten, it can pull apart the ornament hook.  It fits better when you put two ornaments together with one zip tie, then add the third to your bunch.  Grab another zip tie and attach it to your wreath at the base.  The snowman head was attached by using a zip tie to attach the tip of his hat to the wreath.  After all done adding your preferred decor, go around to tighten every zip tie and cut off the tail ends of them.

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Decor Mesh Ribbon_0007Much more could be added to this wreath to bling it up or add more whimsy, but I decided to just keep it like this for now.

PROJECT NO. 2:  Swag with Big Bow using Mesh Ribbon

Next was creating a bow with a stick swag, using 3 zip ties and one piece of the deco mesh ribbon at about 3 ft. length. You can literally use any kind of stick, vine, or metal mechanics to attach mesh ribbon easily.  The product is pliable, bunchy, and showy.  I still haven’t figured out how to fix the frayed ends where the ribbon is cut, but I saw recently that using a lit candle to lightly burn the ends of a ribbon may help this problem – this is to be tested later.  I will let you know how it works, but I imagine you have to be super careful – mesh ribbon product is flammable.

Decor Mesh Ribbon_0009This is the stick swag I decided to use to attempt a bow creation with the mesh ribbon.

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Basically I did a big puff first, smaller one in the center, and then big puff again.  It came out rather “who-vill-ish” and I wasn’t sure if I liked it – but my husband said he did, thus it got hung up on the wall in the same room with my other candy caned themed items.  When start to feel crafty again, I may add more bling to these but this is how I started them.

P.S.  You don’t need a 30 ft roll of this material to do these two projects, but I guarantee, you will end up using the rest of the roll as you learn to create with the mesh ribbon.  Give it a try!  For more ideas, click HERE.

Decor Mesh Ribbon_0012Cathy Testa

Three Easy Ways to Use Mesh Ribbon for Holiday Decorating

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Project No. 1: Grape Vine Wreath with Mesh Ribbon and Decor

This is super easy to do, and no glue gun is required!  Select mesh ribbon (or Ruban en maille in French) with the colors you like and just make sure your decor colors work well with your ribbon choice.  This project can be done in less than an hour easily.

Here is what you will need:

  1. One grape vine wreath (20″ size was used)
  2. 4″ and 8″ green zip ties (a.k.a, cable ties)
  3. Roll of Mesh Ribbon (20.5″ width was used).  Length is dependent on how big you want to make the puffs.
  4. Your choice of matching ornaments (holiday balls, florist picks, etc.)
  5. One large tin decor (snowman face with hat used)
  6. Sharp scissors or snips

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First step is gathering the end of your ribbon and attaching it to the wreath.  Zip ties work extremely well for this. They are strong, easy to connect, and durable.

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Once you have your starting end attached to the wreath and secured tightly by pulling the zip tie closed (left above photo), determine how big you want your puffs to be.  You will be gathering the ribbon at the next interval (right above photo), and how much you space each interval is dependent on how big you want that puff to be, or you can place your zip ties at even intervals/spacing first so you can judge before you start attaching the next puff.

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NOTE:  For the interval places you will attach the ribbon, be sure you do not pull the zip ties completely tight at each interval as you pinch and attach.  Leave a little slack because at each interval, you will attach your decor items (so you need some gap or space at the zip tie to attach the decor items after you are done.)

Move to your next gathering location.  Gather and pinch the mesh ribbon at the next spot, and attach with the zip tie (loosely closed).  It helps if you insert the zip tie first at your next position, so it is ready for you.  You may also want insert the zip ties before you start attaching the ribbon at intervals to estimate the spacing so it is at equal intervals for each puff you will make on the wreath.

At the last tie, leave a long strip of the mesh ribbon to serve as your tail ends.  Using the scissors, cut it in half length wise, so you have two tails.  The length of the tails is up to you.

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Now it is time to attach your decor.  Florist picks, decor with stick ends, and regular holiday ornaments are easy to secure.  Grab another zip tie, and slide it through the ball hook end, then attach it at the intervals to the zip ties used to secure the ribbon.

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Position a large focal point element where you feel it is well balanced and easily secured.  In this case, a snowman with hat was used.  The hat tip had a hook on it so it was super easy to use the zip tie (my favorite attaching mechanism!) to the top end of the wreath.  At the base of the tin, luckily the back had a little hook too.  (P.S. Holiday tins and decor shown in these projects are available at my December 7th Evergreen Kissing Ball and Holiday Creations class!)

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After you have all the ornaments on and other decor, go around to pull each of the zip ties tightly closed to get everything secured.  Snip off the tail ends of zip ties that are sticking out.

NOTE: The florist picks with a shiny silver gold flakes and the red leaves were very easy to insert because of their wired ends. Just tuck them in and secure with the wired end. Or just stick in the pick end (like on the snowflake) into the grape vine wreath.  

The grape vine wreath base works great for this project, but you could use other types of wreath frames.

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Hang on your door and enjoy!

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Project No. 2: Big Ball Bunch with Mesh Ribbon

This is something I did last year, but this year, I decided to try it out with the mesh ribbon.  I love hanging this ball bunch from an overhead light fixture at my entrance.

Items need:

  1. Large weather resistant holiday balls
  2. 4″ and 8″ zip ties (a.k.a., cable ties)
  3. Mesh ribbon (20.5″ width used)

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The first step is connecting all the balls together.  Zip ties are awesome for this (gotta love those zip ties!!).  Run a tie through each end of the individual balls and then attach them together with a central zip tie.  You may want to hang them somewhere after to access if you like the look of how the balls are positioned before you attach the mesh ribbon.  The balls are gathered together but not super tightly because you need those gaps and wide open areas of the ties to pull through the mesh ribbon in your next step.

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Cut a length the ribbon to get started.  It is difficult to judge how long you want that length to be cause you will be tucking and inserting it into the zip tie between the big balls based on the look and size you desire.  I started with like a 4 ft length, and cut more later as I worked.

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Gather the starting end of the mesh ribbon and tighten the top of one of the zip ties to secure the starting point. Once secured, move a few inches down to the next gathering point.  Again, how many inches is up to you – how big do you want that puff to be. Once you know, pinch and gather, and use a zip tie around that point to secure the pinched area (top right photo). And then from that point, bunch up your next gathering point on the ribbon with a zip tie and pull it through another zip tie that is on a ball.  Repeat the process, and tuck and pull the ribbon around the balls to form the look desired.  Leave a tail end to hang from the base to cut in half length wise when done.

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When all completed, remember to add a zip tie to hang the whole bunch from.  Here it is shown hung on an overhead light structure.  I wish I could have taken a better photo, because the cast of the shade was making the photo dark – but in the sunshine, this big bunch of balls with beautiful mesh ribbon is so sparkly.  I just love it!  And it is so easy to assemble.  This project took only about 30 minutes or so.  Very easy.

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Project No 3: Urns with Big Red Ball and Mesh Ribbon

So since I was on a roll, I thought I would dress up my two urns outside.  Again, super easy with the mesh ribbon.

Items needed:

  1. Container of your choice, filled with soil
  2. Stakes (bamboo pole used)
  3. Loppers to cut bamboo stake
  4. Big Holiday Ball (needs to have an open end or hole)
  5. 4″ and 8″ zip ties (a.k.a., cable ties)
  6. Mesh Ribbon (20.5″ width used)
  7. Wire (ends of coat hanger wire used)

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Step one is cutting the bamboo stake to the desired equal lengths.  Insert the stake into the soil.  Position it in the center.

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Attach the beginning end of the mesh ribbon to the stake with a zip tie tightly closed so it is secured to the bamboo stake.  Then wrap the ribbon around the pole to create another “puff”. Keep repeating attaching each puff to the center stake/pole.  After you have your puffs in place, use the wire to push the mesh down in the center so it is level. You can bend the wire into a U shape to do this.

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Insert the ball to the top of the stake end.  Later, I plan to add live evergreen cuttings and tips.  It’s got a thriller or focal point (the ball), a filler (the mesh ribbon), but it still need something else to spill around it, which will be the live evergreen cuttings later.

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Mesh ribbon is so incredibly easy to use.  It beats struggling with regular ribbon and it creates such a nice large and showy display.  You can make the puffs as large or small as you like.  There are endless uses for mesh ribbon during the holidays.

And if you select a mesh ribbon with a little sparkle, it will shine in the sun too.  My recommendation is you get a roll at least 10 yards long – you will use it – believe me – because it is so much fun meshing around.  For these three projects, I used approximately 15 yards of ribbon total.

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Written by Cathy Testa