December 31, 2011

How To Make a Deco Mesh Garland

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.

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 


  1. I love this stuff! I just made a Mardi Gras wreath that I will be sharing in a day or two. This stuff is everywhere around here-even the garden centers have it. It is so fun to work with and always turns out looking good. I love the garlands you made, with pastel colors and stuffed rabbits you could do Easter, or green with leprechauns for St Paddy's, etc...

  2. These turned out so cute! I bet everyone at the hospital loved them. Best wishes for a happy, healthy and creative 2012!

  3. You did a wonderful job. I have never worked with this stuff but it looks like fun and I love the final touches you put on the garlands- xo Diana

  4. So glad you posted this! I almost bought some of that today but held off. Think I'll go back! I would like to try some on my tree next year but love the look of your garland, also!

  5. What a wonderful project and a great way to make the hospital a bit "homier"!
    Happy New Year!
    Kerry at HouseTalkN

  6. Lovely decorations and so festive at your hospital. I know patients and staff enjoyed your efforts.

  7. wow! That brightened up everywhere! it looks great!

  8. Great job! I know everyone enjoyed it and thanked you for doing it. So festive! Love, love the mesh ribbon. Looks great!!
    Joining your blog today...hope you will drop by and visit with going on!!

  9. They're wonderful! Great job! I'd never heard of "deco mesh" before. I'll definitely be keeping my eyes open for it *winks* Vanna

  10. Thank you so much for stopping over at Suppers, Youngans, & Thangs. Hope the sweet tea works for you. That is how I have been doing it for years. I am following you back. You have some really cute ideas. See y'all.

  11. Hi, my name is Heather! Please email me when you can, I have a question about your blog!


  12. So cute! Saw this on Pinterest! You did a great job!

  13. These turned out great! You did an amazing job. What gauge wire did you use?

  14. I love this idea! I found this on Pinterest. It is a VERY small world though... as I scrolled down and saw the pictures everything looked REALLY familiar. My son was in NICU at South back in April. We too live in Montgomery. What are the odds I would find you out of the millions of people on Pinterst! I have you bookmarked and can't wait to browse your blog!

  15. Your tutorial is exactly what I was looking for. I am tired of messing with the old greenery garland - it never really looked good and with age it is just a compromise for money sake. Sigh. I am going mesh hunting today and will link back when my garland is complete. Thank you. ~Kelly

    unDeniably Domestic

  16. Thanks for the clear directions. I am putting up bulletin boards in my classroom and I am going to try this next week for my borders :)

  17. What kind of glue did you use for the "pipe cleaners"?

  18. Tabitha...I used hot glue to attach the pipe cleaners to the wire. Run the hot glue in a little line beginning on the wire, over the twisted pipe cleaner, then onto the wire on the other side of the twist. You can use regular glue too but usually I am too impatient to wait for it to dry.

  19. I love this idea and love that you decorate the unit at work - patients of all ages love and need that <3

  20. I found this just in the nick of time. I was about to order a ready made deco-mesh work garland to frame out our front door for Halloween. Your DIY version is both less expensive and more flexible. Thanks for posting it. (Oh, and also for making those delightful garlands for the little ones and their families.)

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  22. Thanks for this tutorial. I live in the Netherlands and bought some deco mesh in Louisville last summer. Didn't really know what to do with it but since you can't buy it in The Netherlands I decided to buy some.

    Now I know how. Thank you!!!

  23. I love the garlands you did! I am trying to create a red, white, and blue display in my yard to honor our son who passed away due to service related injuries. I did a beautiful display over Christmas using a lighted garland of greenery, a lighted Christmas star, and flags centered around an antique arched gate. I've replaced the star with a red, white, & blue mesh wreath and have left the flags. That in and of itself looks nice but I miss the lighted effect at night. Your tutorial for the mesh garland will be the perfect base for the lights. I am having a bit of a dilemma as whether to intermingle the colored lights or to do a small section each of red, white, & blue. I'm also debating using mesh or burlap. I would love to hear your thoughts. Again, your garlands are beautiful!

  24. hey, i love that you made them to spice up the hospital. check out this site i found for CHEAP deco mesh--you dont get all the decorative ones, but if you want a little more plain colors this is the way to go!!!

  25. Love your site! Your instructions are great!! Thank you for sharing..

  26. Thanks for the great tutorial. Can't wait to try. Great job on decorating the medical unit too!

  27. Thanks for the great tutorial. Can't wait to try. Great job on decorating the medical unit too!

  28. This comment has been removed by the author.

  29. Any idea how much mesh per foot you'd need for it to look similar to your second round?

  30. You can buy deco mesh very reasonably online at
    Happy decorating!

  31. Beautiful!! Thank you for sharing!! It really made the hospital look so festive and we're sure all of the families, children, and nurses and staff really loved it! Thank you for sharing your wonderful ideas and brightening so many peoples' lives in the process! God Bless You!!

  32. What is the best way to store mesh gsrlands and mesh wreaths? I used a wreath box for ny wreaths last year and they still got a little smashed, it was hard to poof them up again.

    1. OOOPS! Sorry I did not see your question until now Melanie. For my deco mesh wreaths I store them flat non-boxed in my attic on top of other stuff (with no weight on the wreath itself) or hanging on nails hammered into the attic beams. You are right, it is hard to poof them up after they get smashed. I have had success in putting another layer of deco mesh on top of the smashed mesh and it is not very noticeable.

  33. I love your heart! That was such a beautiful thing to do! Thanks for the best tutorial I've seen on deco mesh!

  34. Really nice. Thanks for the directions!

  35. Really nice. Thanks for the directions!

  36. Ty I couldn't find the work garland anywhere so I thought about it and said. It can't be that hard to make it myself and sure enough I googled it and found your post tyvm

  37. well Im looking at decoratiosn for Christmas 2018 and think Im need to make some of your garlands-shopping is required. love love love them thanks for sharing

  38. Thank you for this post. I have been looking fir a way to make a work garland. again thank you.

  39. merci pour la demo, vais faire pareille pour ce noel 2018! isabelle

  40. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible creative solutions. And for bringing Christmas joy to the hospital. I'm sure it lifted the spirits of those in need. I found your post while looking for ways to make my own work garland and you nailed it. I'm making red, white and blue garlands for a 4th of July party and will give you full credit! Thank you again.

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