Wanna talk about being on a roll? That’s me! Another project completed!
I’ve seen these little cloches or shoo flies made from wire strainers for a year or two now and it was on my list of things to do. I found an old strainer at an estate sale for a dollar.
Normally, $1 would be more than I’d want to pay, but the wire in this one had such character. It was finer than most and more delicate, and yet, more primitive. It just seemed like the perfect shoo fly. So it came home to live with me for at least a year before it was transformed. You see, I’d look at it and wonder how in the world I was going to get the heavy wire around it off. You know. The hooks and the part that fits into the handle. I was afraid to open the tin “track” around it, afraid the mesh would come out and I’d have to throw it all away. That is, until I did a search on how to make a wire strainer shoo fly cloche and ran across Our Pioneer Homestead’s tutorial. (***Update*** Sadly, this blog is no longer in existence.) She showed us how to take the heavy wire out from the track with a butter knife. Ha! Yeah. Right. A butter knife wouldn’t budge the track around mine. I had to use a screwdriver. Hers also came out in three pieces so that she only had to loosen small areas to get the heavy wire out. Naturally, mine was much harder. This is how mine came out:
I had to pry up the tin track allllll the way around. Took for-eh-vah. But it was finally done.
I then went back and clamped the track back down, pinching myself with the pliers a couple of times. Ouch! Still have a tender spot on my finger.
Next step was dabbing paint on the wire so it wouldn’t be so silver. I think I used Folk Art’s Butter Pecan, but might have used Apple Barrel’s English Lace. Whichever it was, I couldn’t really tell any difference, so didn’t take a picture of this step. The best way to put the paint on is to use a stiff bristle brush, I used my old stencil brush, and with a cloth or paper towel (or I used toilet tissue because the bathroom is just a few steps away) under and touching the mesh, dab the the paint on. If it’s too thick, it’ll fill the holes. Too thin and it’ll just run through. I found having the tp underneath helped to keep it out of the holes.
Then I thought I’d get creative and add some black distressing. Oops. Uh, black was definitely not the most attractive choice.
At best it looked like it had been used in a mechanic’s shop. At worst, it looked like it had black measles and in one spot, black ring worm. I tried not to panic and proceeded to paint over it again with Butter Pecan.
Whew! That worked just fine. Gave it a nice copper look. I then found an appropriate knob in my stash and here’s the finished product.
See how wonky the mesh is? And I didn’t get the knob exactly in the center top, but I’m saying that adds to the authenticity.
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