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Art made from used barbed wire is becoming a Farmhouse decor favourite and I love the way it looks. Especially using old, rusty barbed wire! And since we have some old rolls laying around, we figured out how to make a barbed wire Star to hang on the exterior wall down at the barn.
You can use these tips to create your own custom metal wall art.
How to Make a Barbed Wire Star
The tools you will need include:
First we had to make a template. Graham is way better at figuring out this kind of stuff, so I was glad he was so willing to help! Here’s how he figured out the measurements.
Making a template for metal art
Use any board you have laying around for this project. You just need to make sure the board is big enough for the size of star you want.
You can even reuse the board after the farmhouse star is finished. The board will have a few holes in it, though.
Measure the width of the board and divide by two. Make a mark at the center point to work from in the next step. IF you have a large enough protractor for your circle, use that instead of the following.
How to make a perfect circle using string
Using a drill, place a screw in the wood at the center mark. Tie a piece of string to the screw and make a loop at the other end.
Put your pencil in that loop and pull the string tight. Keeping the string tight, draw a circle on the wood.
Go all the way around until you have made a complete circle. Now you can remove the string line and pencil.
Get your drill ready. Grab some more screws. It’s time to create the star.
The Barbed Wire Star Pattern
Figure out the equal distance between five screws in the circle. Here’s how you can do that.
If the diameter of your circle is 20 inches, multiply that by 3.14 = 62.8
Now divide the 62.8 by 5 (the number of points on the star) = 12.5
There is 12.5 inches needed between each screw.
Now anyone better than us at math probably has an easier way to figure out the screw placement, but this is how we did it.
Leave the screws sticking out about 1 inch. You will need this height for wrapping the barbed wire.
Wear leather gloves, you will be glad you did.
Wrapping the Barbed Wire
Pick any point to start and begin wrapping the barbed wire around the screw. For the first turn, leave a couple inches on the left side, wrap the wire around the screw and continue wrapping in a right handed direction.
You’ll come back to finish off that little piece later on.
Now just keep wrapping the rusty barbed wire around the screws in a star shape. If you like, you can finish your star with just the one wrap around.
Or you can do two wraps, which gives you a bit chunkier of a star. You’ll fix up those “loose” looking wires before you’re done.
We went with three wraps of rusty barbed wire to make the Metal Star even chunkier. To cut and secure the end, first have a piece of wire ready.
Cut the length of excess barbed wire and wrap it a bit around the other barbed wire to hold it in place. Wrap a piece of straight tie wire around all three runs of the barbed wire and cinch it using pliers. Look at the photos, to see what I mean.
Now you can take short pieces of wire and work on any loose wires. We want to have the barb wire be tight and close together. Wrap the wire around the three pieces of wire at the intersections, where the cross wires meet.
If there are still any loose looking wires, just use another piece of straight wire, line them up and cinch them together. Using pliers will make this part of the project much easier. Use the cutting part of the pliers to cut the excess wire.
Once you are done reinforcing the wires, you’re ready to lift the star from the board. Just use the drill to remove the screws from the board and the star can just be picked up.
Hanging the Metal Star
You can use the straight wire to create a small hanger at the top of the star. If you want to keep the look really rustic, you’re done. Hang ‘er up. It will look great against any kind of wood siding!
I decorated our star just a bit. I used raffia to tie a simple bow, then added a sprig of red berries to give a little pop of color. The Barbed Wire Star is hanging alongside the Virginia Creeper that grows at our barn.
I might add a few seasonal touches but maybe not. I like the rustic simplicity of having the barbed wire be the focal point. Wouldn’t a huge star hanging high up on our house gables look great? That may be another project!
Experimenting with metal art using old rusty barbed wire has turned out to be a fun craft project. You can do so many things with it – maybe make a barbed wire cross or make a farmhouse barbed wire wreath like this one.
More Farmhouse posts
How to Fix Up That Ugly Stairwell – You HAVE to see this “before” picture; that stairwell was scary and super ugly!
Building Closets in the Loft – we needed more closet space and so we turn the loft off of our master bedroom into a spacious closet area.
How to Paint Over Ugly 1970’s Wood Paneling – we had to. We just had to. We brightened up the entire house with this very simple project!
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