Friday, May 21, 2010

Mirrored garden streamers tutorial

Garden Streamers 
by Jude at 
Dolce Cape Cod

Years ago, I received a present of small mirrored streamers to hang in my garden. They were simple sets of mirrors on either end of a string a few yards long.

They were made to be draped over branches to catch the sun, with the mirrors working as counterweights to hold the streamer in place, The streamers are quite magical when the light  reflects off the mirrors, and they're especially enchanting when a gentle breeze catches them; sparkling fairy circles of light dance across the ground.

It's like jewelry for your garden!
 I thought these would be easy to make -- and they are, now that I've worked out the kinks. Most of my effort came from finding the one and one-half inch mirrors and figuring out which kind of line to use. I found many suppliers of one-inch mirrors, but the smaller size just didn't produce the proper effect.  Fortunately, I finally found an inexpensive supplier of the correct size mirrors here. The mirrors come packaged as a cute little rolled paper cylinder.Each one-and-one-half inch mirror is 14 cents, or $10.08 plus shipping for 72 mirrors. Pretty darn inexpensive, don't you think? You'll need four mirrors for each streamer.

I also went through several prototypes using various materials to use as the streamer string that connects the sets of mirrors. Fishing line was a nightmare -- can you say "big, fat, tangled, snarly mess?" 

After that,  I decided to go the natural route, and used hemp twine. I hung the dangles outside one afternoon, and spent the next morning picking up sliced twine  from the ground where the pieces of streamers had fallen after the rough edges of the branches halved them. Next, ribbons. Very pretty, but also not  transparent, so the streamers lost the magical hey-where-did-that-light-come-from effect.


Finally, in Home Depot, I found just what I needed: twisted mason line. The price for the mason line was just a couple of dollars, and it was made of nylon, polyester and polypylene. There are times when a good, strong, man-made fiber is just what you need to survive outdoor conditions. This is one of them.

Okay, are you ready to make these for your own garden or porch? Here's my tutorial. It's only the second one I've created, so I'm very eager to hear your comments, and I'm really, really hoping everyone likes it; please come visit me here on Cape Cod at www.dolcecapecod.blogspot, and tell me what you think, okay?

Mirrored Garden Streamers

Supplies you'll need:

One and one-half inch mirrors 
(Each streamer uses 4 mirrors)

Waterproof glue (I used E-6000 and Gorilla Glue, and both worked very well)

Mason line

Equipment you'll need:


Plastic clips or clamps

Here's everything I used, lined up on my 
"work" table on the patio:

Step One:
Get your supplies ready.
For each streamer, lay out four mirrors, reflective side down.
Measure out and cut a piece of mason line several  yards long. I  used the fabric tip rough measure way: Just hold the line from your  nose to your outstretched arm. Twice.

Step Two:
Form the end of one line into a small coil, looping the end of the line through the coil several times to fasten loosely. Repeat at other end. (If you don't coil the line into loops, the weight of the mirrors will pull the string out from between the mirror sandwich, and you'll be left with string hanging down with mirrors on the lawn. There's a reason I know this.)

Step Three:
Place looped ends on mirrors and cover liberally with glue to secure.
Sandwich with other disk, and clamp securely with the plastic clips.

Step Four:
Let dry thoroughly, according to glue instructions.
I left mine to dry for 24 hours. Longer is even better. In the meantime, start making more for your friends and family; they make great gifts!

Step Five:
Drape your streamers from branches. Watch mirrors waft, spin, dangle and catch the light.

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  1. Wow, they look great! I think even I could make them without help! Great tutorial. Thanks!

  2. What a fabulous idea! I can just imagine how beautiful these are hanging from the trees! Great tutorial! Hope you are having a wonderful weekend! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  3. What a super cute idea! I love that. Makes me wish I had a garden. Everything needs a little bling right? :)

  4. What a brilliant idea! Love your detailed step by step tutorial. Feel like making one now. ;)

  5. Those are beautiful. I love them. I would be delighted if you linked the mirrors to my Wednesday party -- the Boardwalk Bragfest!

  6. What a fun idea! :-) I'll have to find a special spot in the garden! I think you should give them a special Faerie Lights. :-) I have michevious raccoons who come and try to take my glass globes from my outdoor candelier. I hope they don't spy my shing garden jewelery!

  7. Love this idea! Now I just need to find a spot for them! So pretty! Thanks so much for joining The Sunday Showcase. I greatly appreciate it! hope you have a wonderful week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  8. Hi Jude! Just wanted to let you know I’ll be featuring your mirrors today! Stop by and grab a featured button if you like! Thanks again for joining the Sunday Showcase! Hope to see you again next week! ~ Stephanie Lynn

  9. Hmmm. Hope I don't post twice, but my computer is acting up. (I'm at the beach and the WiFI is spotty.) LOVE this idea. So romantic. I'm a crafter, too! Gotta remember this..

  10. Awesome! What a neat idea, thanks for the tutorial.

  11. HOw fun is that! Bling for the garden! Looks beautiful!

  12. I can see these hanging in the cherry tree out back and also out in the tree out front... so pretty

  13. What a wobderful idea, I bet they look lovely catching the sun out in the garden.
    And great tutorial :)

  14. This is so cute! Garden mirror/cd streamers are usually so unattractive. I'd definitely like to try this out! Perhaps I'll try recycling old cds for this project. :)

  15. love mirrors outside...great idea!:)

  16. Oh, wow. How absolutely perfect to put near the pool area!! GORGEOUS!!


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