How to make a cat or bear...
We have a roll of 1" chicken wire sitting around, luckily, so I tried my hand at topiary yesterday. Wow...it was MUCH easier than I thought. For the people who want to know how easy, read on.
The result is an adorable 30" high cat. Here's how I did it, in less than an hour:
1: figure out the diameter of the cat, by standing the wire and letting it roll in to a circle, and cut the width plus 6" more for connecting. My circle was about 24" around. There are screening shears that make this fast, or just use wire cutters.
2: making the connections; cross-cut into your wire, 3 squares deep, every third or so square. Then, bend out the cut strips and twist them a few times. They will look like a short rope. Thread them through the holes where you want your connections and bend to secure. You only need about 4 points to connect the body.
3: for the neck; pinch pleat around the middle of the wire, to make a tight 'neck' area. Do it again around the bottom, where it will sit in the pot, for a 'bottom'. This is easy. I did 2-3" pleats and then smashed the head down on top of them, from the inside...same pressure from the top and bottom.
4: for the head-top; pull the wire together at the center, without pleating it, to close the head. You can cut 'rope' again (I did'nt) or just use the 1/2" exposed ends and easily twist them. Leave about 4" open at each end.
5: cut 8" squares (more or less) and fold them together so that there's an open point at one end. Push them into the open corners of the head-top to make pointed ears. (You can make rounder ones for a bear.) Make the rope at the frayed inside edge, and use it to secure to the cat/bear at a couple of points. It doesn't need to be that strong, just secure. It'll stay put.
5: Make arms; cut two 12" rectangles and make tubes. Squeeze/smash one end shut. Make rope a the other end.
Bend them into a realistic position. Attach them below the neck by reaching inside. It's easy.
6: Make a tube-tail and attach it to the rear end. If you want a cat with a free-standing tail, get a gardening stake to mold it around. Otherwise, you can make it double rope-ended and attach at both ends.
7: Get it into the pot; Spray paint it green..we had yellow, so ours is yellow. LOL. By the time get back with the ivy it'll be dry. I used 24" plastic green stakes, run through the body, to secure it to the dirt filled pot. The stake in the tail is another anchoring point. It's very stable.
Total time: 1 hour.
Total cost: $15
As for plants...I'm going to use a small leafed variety of ivy, but I'm betting that any small leafed climber would work.